It’s official now. The Christmas tree is down, ornaments shoved into a box for another year. Did I wrap up Christmas lights carefully so I can unwind them and place them on the tree with nary a curse word next December? Of course…of course I did. But they’ll find a way to coil together like a nest of rattlers.
It seems since the business of the holidays, the weekends are a time to shirk duties and chores and sit around. Well, at least on Sunday. Saturday we cleaned the house and discovered that when Person one Swiffers a floor and Person Two comes in and asks, “Do you want me to clean this messy floor?”, Person One develops an intriguing eye tick. This may be inevitable when the Roomba is
asked ordered to clean a room, and spends most of its time bumping into chair legs and kicking clouds of dust ahead of it before getting hung up on a door threshold and running out of batteries. I should be fair—it did clean up a surprising amount of pine needles while I say on the couch and screamed at it. This is what cleaning in the Soutowood household is all about. Actually it also involves Baby Harbat taking something important and hiding it somewhere unpredictable. Looking for the whisk? Check behind the TV!
Because Baby Harbat is two, she needs to be her own woman already. This means asserting control over even the most inconsequential things. Will she wear her sunglasses? That depends if you want her to. Because if you do, it will never ever happen. I took her out to a regional park on Sunday, and it was mostly a quiet and desperate power struggle. “I doing it!” is her response to anything. Don’t want her to run wild down the street? If you ask to hold her hand her legs turn to jelly and she melts into a puddle in the middle of the road, usually in front of onlookers and a line of cars. Will she ride in the wagon? No. She will ride on your shoulders. Are your neck muscles burning from carrying a 35-pound child and you want nothing more than to get back to the car? Good, because it’s time to sit on a rock and refuse all entreaties to walk “just a little further”. Then we got home and she could barely stay awake to read one book, then snuggled under her blankets for a nap. Finally…finally.
Ten minutes later she was using her bed as a trampoline and yelling for Babbo and Mama. No nap that day. So I went to a wine tasting in town, had some prosecco before and during dinner, and coasted through a single episode of the original Star Trek series. Oh, and I learned that when you are rotating half-baked scones on the oven door, and three of them fall onto your pants and the floor, you might say naughty words and throw a handtowel against the wall with maximum velocity. YOU might. Since I’m Uncle F$#k-Up, I simply smiled and calmly continued with my work.