Monday, January 01, 2007

coming home

It's like entering a crime scene.

The Three Little Pigs are in the hallway. Dr. Seuss sits open on the couch. The sweetly embroidered sweater I bribed him into that morning lies wet and muddy on the floor next to the hamper. The cat's bowl overflows with kibble; the cat herself slithers out from underneath the love seat to complain about it.

I start to deduce things: They ate cereal. I step gingerly around the books, the cat, the fire engine, the scattered blocks, one shoe.

I can hear the bath water running. Isaac is talking a steady stream – his language, not ours – although every day we win him over just a little more with our strange dialect.

The faucet sound halts and I hear Mike's voice say “Let's see what's in those pants.”

“Nothing!” he exclaims a second later. “No more poopies. You had a lot of poopies today. Three poopies.”

Despite the fact that I may have been out in the larger world, flung into whatever paltry respite it can provide under its broken wings, in general, once I step back over that threshold, I'm home instantly. As if I'd never left, the chaos envelopes me again, and I can't remember the adult conversations or the way I sashayed down the block alone, savoring freedom.

This night also I am nonplussed by what I'm overhearing, and I might have missed it altogether, the chance to step away from my life and see it, really look at it from an outsider's viewpoint. But then my husband begins to sing.

“Once. Twice. Three times a poopie.”

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for letting us old moms remember how it was...we forget the impossible anger as well as the terrible sweetness that babies (excuse me, children) bring into our lives.

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