Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Kid World

I’m mostly in conversations with kids these days. My busy/tired schedule has made real grownup conversations the exception, especially those of the nonwork variety. That’s fine. For now, I should be more concerned with the absence of exercise, major life goals, and a financial plan. Also, there’s something soothing about kid world. The harshness of reality is diffused, remote, like living behind a wall of glass blocks.

I reserved most of Sunday for the kids. We toured artist open houses, talked about the art, found some etchings for the apartment, but mostly, we focused on the refreshments. I had to tease my ex later about the values he’s imparting on the kids. When my girls saw the table of appetizers and drinks at the first stop, they jumped up and down, yelling “FREEEEEE FOOOOOD!!!” in some kind of starving frat boy victory dance.

Where’d you learn that?

“Free food is great, Mom! We found free food with Dad on the way to Oma and Opa’s the other day. It was so good! It was free!”

What amazed me was the stuff the kids were willing to eat in the name of free food. Snap peas, raw broccoli, salsa. I should start pretending to find their dinner out in the courtyard. And it certainly cuts down on those lengthy meals. Apparently, you must gulp free food down as quickly as possible, as if someone is about to come pry your mouth open to take their food back.

Despite the amazing free food, I still needed to stop by Trader Joe’s on the way home to get ready for the week. Daisy took a stand against my store choice, “I hate Trader Joe’s. Why can’t we just go to Safeway?”

Violet tried to reason with her, “Sis, we can yook for the tiki man!”

“I don’t even like that tiki man . . . and I hate Trader Joe’s! When I grow up, I’m moving to Canada so I never have to look at another Trader Joe’s!” I’m not sure what sort of extremists Daisy’s been associating with because even the samples didn’t change her mind.

I’ve been stressed, and the kids drive me crazy, but they anchor me in kid world. It’s a much better place to be than many of the places adults go when they’re escaping their worries. I have to give the girls some credit for my blood pressure being normal and my hair finally starting to grow back. Last night, they insisted on sleeping on either side of me. For the sound of the rain and the presence of their little funny selves, I was thankful.