Wednesday, February 25, 2004


Before I had kids, I used to think that there were few differences between the genders. Any differences grew out of mothers forcing their little girls to wear pink and carry dolls.

This afternoon, Jonah walked into my mom's kitchen carrying five clusters of Lego. Then he carried on one of his trademark 20 minute soliloquies about those objects. Mom, these are my boats. This boat goes to South America and clears up the ice and has a snow plow and goes thirty and a hundred and five and one miles an hour. This one costs one and five dollars and two quarters and it goes on the tracks with the deisels and it has a purple button that helps it clear ice and an orange button that uncouples it. And this one has an explojun every Monday and Tuesday and Tuesday and Monday. He went on itemizing the various features of his mighty boats, and it involved a lot of explojuns.

Later we took the kids to church for Ash Wednesday. Jonah sat still. But Ian, who 1-1/2, immediately stood up on the pew and ran back and forth while shouting "Baa." I tried to hold him in my arms, but he threw his body to one side until I set him down. Then he climbed right back on the pew and shouted "baa." A little girl in the next row sat quietly on her mother's lap. Then Ian attempted an escape from our row and a sprint up the aisle. So, I dragged him to the back of the church where he did laps in the vestibule until it was time to go.

On the way home, the boys insisted on running back in forth in the garabage tunnel, a nasty, dirty spot by the side of the building where the buiding's garbage festers. After a couple trips back and forth, I dragged Ian to the front door as he hollered. That was fun, mama. On the second step, he tripped and drove his front tooth through his bottom lip. Blood oozed between his teeth. I raced up four flights of stairs with a bag of fish sandwiches from Burger King in one arm and a thirty pound sobbing boy in the other.

A few months ago, I returned home after being gone all day. They were plopped in front of the TV watching NASCAR racing or something. Steve had taken them for a long adventure downtown. Then I noticed how Steve had dressed Jonah. He was still wearing his pajama top and the snap and zipper were undone on his pants. The only reason that his pants had stayed on him all day was because they were a size too small. I understand that many four year old girls have opinions on clothes and would notice if their father had dressed them in such a manner.

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