Saturday, December 27, 2014

Gonna Get to You Girl ...


On my first day of wearing a teal Fitbit flex on my left wrist I didn't even leave the house. I've walked only 2,760 steps -- and about 56 of those happened 30 seconds ago when I went downstairs to the kitchen to cut myself about 1 1/2 inches of Havarti, slices I centered onto six original flavor Zestas and then ate in bed like some kind of animal.

You'd think, well whatthe. Certainly you must spend all day chasing a fleet footed toddler around. Au contraire, mon frere. I spent most of my day lying on the kitchen floor, where she covered me with a dish towel (or a "bit" in her imagination nation) and told me through a series of grunts, gestures and mispronunciations, that it was time for me to take a "map." Tucks a Grover ("Vuva") doll under my arm, smacks her lips to say "Bop" in lieu of a kiss.

I had planned on detonating the calorie counter, too, even typed in the details of BFB (our weekly Big Family Breakfast): eggs, toast, hashbrowns, fake sausage patties, Sriracha-as-frosting. But sometime around 4 p.m. I let loose all Jekyll-like on a box of homemade almond bark, peanut brittle and chocolate-peanut pieces made by my sister-in-law's sister and realized I could never account for every calorie caked in my molars so I just decided that I'd start behaving like a civilized human being next week. After I clean out that pesky tin of popcorn and the chocolate pudding cake has been exorcised.

We drove back from Rochester yesterday and I dropped Chuck off in front of the house and he ran inside and quickly scattered a bunch of packages while we inexplicably drove around the block listening to "Blank Spaces" all so that The Girl and I could walk in the front door and I could scream: OH HOLY NIGHT! SANTA MUST'VE BOUGHT THAT KICKASS SLED FROM MENARDS AND LEFT IT HERE FOR YOU! YOU ARE THE LUCKIEST LITTLE GIRL IN ALL THE LAND!"

There is no snow, so Chuck laid a blanket beneath the runners and pulled her back and forth across the wood floors while she cheered "Weeee!" and even sounded sincere. We got her mostly books, but also a stuffed Grover and an Abby Cadabby to go along with the Elmos she already has. But instead of getting a little misty-eyed at the way we've build her her own Sesame Street family, once all the boxes had been demolished  The Girl looked up at us and said:

"Roger?" 

(Translation: "So then where is Cookie Monster?")

I must have been possessed by some sort of parenting manual from the 1970s when the words "Well maybe you'll get him for your birthday" zipped out of my face.

Last night we sampled from Chuck's bottle of Irish Whiskey, a gift, and all of a sudden it was really hard to follow the happenings on "Twin Peaks," which we are currently marathoning.

We went to a movie on Christmas night. "Big Eyes." It was okay. The last time we went to a movie together I was large with child and spent much of "Spring Breakers" shifting uncomfortably in my chair. The Girl has yet to reveal whether any of the James Franco-isms were absorbed through the placenta. Maybe nuances from the film will rear within her personality as she gets older? I'm not a scientist. Anyway, the last time I went to a movie, just me, I saw "Annabelle" and I sat alone in the dark with a lap full of nachos grinning through a cinched hood.

Ma Pista made game hens for Christmas, so we were each greeted with our own delicious bird, seemingly struck-down mid-backspin and then stuffed with carrots and the like. I made it about 1/2 way around the bird before my stomach sealed itself.

Chuck's refrain for the next two days, became: "Yeah, well, I just ate a whole chicken."

On the way down to Rochester, Chuck confided that he had packed just one pair of socks.
"I'm assuming someone will give me socks," he said.
I'd only brought two pairs. But I planned to steal some from my mom, who has acres of socks paired together in a drawer and somehow manages to keep her whites such a brilliant shade of white. As a houseguest, I'm always really into sampling shower products and toothpastes and mascara. But at their house, the sky is the limit.
"I think all the sock-givers are dead," I said, thinking.
But he stayed strong.
"I'll get socks," he said.
The first gift I opened was a pack of wool socks. I looked at Chuck and he had a similarly-shaped box.

On Christmas Eve we went to one of those big huge family gatherings where you eat things like pickled eggs and creamed herring and meatballs -- and then steal the white elephant gift your cousin is super stoked about: A bottle of Jack Daniels, a bag of Lays and a bar of chocolate from Trader Joe's. As far as I'm concerned, I won Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, back at home, the girl wakes up every day and immediately asks for the whereabouts of Santa. It's going to be a long trip around the sun.

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