Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Another day in the life

Through the monitor at six in the morning
Comes a call and response
The volume goes up
Down a little
And then up some more
But the refrain itself is constant
Turns out my son was saying yes
And his stuffed turtle was saying no
After barely enough time to get the yes no story straight
The other one comes awake
With a moan and a wail
As usual
Before everyone is even dressed
The cat throws up
No three times
No four
And I’ll need to wash that compression stocking
Once everyone is seated
I check with him again
He affirms he wants chex
I check another time after I ask if he wants milk
And warn him that unless he eats this he won’t be getting anything else
He begins to eat
I go to collect my own breakfast
And before my rear end is in my chair
He has pushed the bowl of chex all over the floor
He wants cheerios
I wonder if he realized that this was the only way he would have gotten cheerios
Without having to eat the chex
He picks at the cheerios
And is ready to watch television
When sissy is done they watch television
And I almost get half an hour to shower
If only Curious George hadn’t been so scary
The first half hour of the morning goes by quickly
We travel to Rome
Head up and down the Spanish steps
And then go to Venice
And travel around on a queen size air mattress
Er … a gondola
After we fight over who gets to sit where
We choose to take separate boats
And converse using the tin can phone
A little bit of tempting fate with markers later
And we find ourselves at an early lunch
And then a play date at the park
Adult conversation
Playground fun
And only one foot in the lake
Things are starting to move fast
Because nap is on the horizon
It seems like I’m hardly done negotiating book selection
And she is giving me my after nap hug
Practicing her letters
And travelling through the alphabet
Attaching something African to each letter
L is lion
N is N’kosi sikeleli
Which he sings the rest of the evening
Starting with the trip to feed the neighbor’s dog
Through leftovers
And right into sissy’s gymnastics
And a trip to the playground
She is annoyed
Now that he is into the song
She is over it
He isn’t over choosing books
Eating shark crackers
Or drinking something out of a cup without a top
So I make a lot of trips up and down the Spanish Steps
Before I can give hugs and kisses
Exchange I love yous
I love you daddy
Practically hear her fall asleep as I close the door
And listen to him end his day the way he began it
Bargaining with the turtle
With most of the day complete
I grade papers
Paint the bathroom
Talk with my wife on the phone
From Iowa
Write this poem
And look forward to doing it all again

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