I’m starting to think in blog sometimes, which is slightly disconcerting. It reminds me of writing letters to my friend Tina.
Tina died of breast cancer in 1996, but in the years when she was first diagnosed, I would write her these silly letters to make her giggle. She was not married, and moved often as a DJ for Top 40 kinds of music. I’m more of a classic rock fan, myself.
Anyway, she found my stories about kids and a husband quite funny, so I actually started viewing different circumstances with an eye toward how I would tell her about it. It probably saved my family from more than one screamfest. I’d be standing in the kitchen scooping suds with a cup because a helpful child had added liquid soap to the dishwasher when I wasn’t looking in an effort to help, or scrubbing tomato sauce off the ceiling because Eric had tried to kill an ant, accidentally smacked the lid from a jar of Ragu and sent it flying, and I’d start thinking about how I was going to explain this to Tina.
I’d start chuckling, the offender would beat a hasty retreat, and I’d think about how to describe the beautiful, perfect arch the lid made across the kitchen, the absolute cleanliness of my floor and ceiling by the time things were done…even the pretty sight of mounds of bubbles making waves across the floor.
The day I discovered the boys had cut a big panel out of the new curtains I had saved up to buy, I imagined explaining an a perfectly rational voice that anyone who buys new curtains and cute little scissors for a 3-year-old on the same day deserved it. And Bugs Bunny’s face with the stitches to hold the panel back in place were quite interesting.
The morning a 2-year-old managed to climb up onto a cupboard while I was still asleep, grab the toothpaste and smear her entire body in it…well, what words can I use to describe to Tina how minty fresh the little one smelled when she walked up and stood next to my bed, green from head to toe?
Trying to spell the noise it makes when a 2-year-old jumps up and down in his crib at 4 a.m. when the floor was hardwood challenged my skills, but I did it. Trying to describe my daughters screams of fury when said 2-year-old managed to get the crib to move across the room so he could fire stuffed animals at her head until she got up…well, that was fun, too.
So, once again I’m thinking in letters to Tina, but having to come up with a title instead of starting out "Dear Tina…you are not going to believe what happened today."
Yep, the truth comes out. I developed my skills as a writer in an effort not to ditch my family and run off to a foriegn country.
So…Dear Tina, do you have any idea what it is like to try catching a dog that thinks "Jeffrey, come here!" means "Mom wants to play tag!"