Yesterday, Fort Awesome and her boyfriend, Way Too Bashful to be a Republican, came over. WTBR is a filmmaker, and a good one, and Fort Awesome had the idea that he could take photos of the kids, and then they'd enlarge them and have them matted and framed, and that would be my Christmas gift. So, yesterday they came over. I made brunch (pancakes from scratch, sausage [not from scratch], egg nog and coffee, and fruit salad that Fort Awesome made) and we ate and talked. It was an excellent time, and WTBR is both like and unlike Fort Awesome in really interesting ways, and they seem just...just really good together.
WTBR took photos of the kids in the house, and then we headed to the park to get more pictures. We played for about an hour or so, and WTBR was amazing with the kids. So was Fort Awesome, but she's always amazing with the kids.
Last night, Fort Awesome called me and said the prints were developed. We went over to the Co-op*, which WTBR has christened "The Nebuchadnezzar," and looked at them.
They're wonderful. One photo I loved especially. It's of all three kids sitting at the kitchen table, hands reaching into the fruit salad, and me in the background at the stove, cooking pancakes. A good photographer knows how to balance light and dark, how to frame a shot, all of that. But a great photographer knows what to capture. That photo? That should be called "Family Portrait, 2006."
Fort Awesome, a week ago in my kitchen, opened my 'fridge and chuckled.
"What?" I said.
"Look at all these milk products."
"What? There's some cheese and milk."
"There are four kinds of cheese. No, wait, five."
"And sour cream. And butter. And egg nog."
"What's your point?"
"I think this house is sponsored by the Dairy Council."
In an email I sent to Fatally Hip Mrs. Friend Two:
"I big heart sexual congress."
Thing Two failed the eye screening at school, and I was pretty sure Thing One needed glasses, so I made an appointment for both of them to get their eyes checked. Thing One was cooperative, patient and smart in the exam chair, making small talk with the optometrist.
At one point, she asked, "So, how many years did it take you to earn your doctor degree?"
"4, then 2 years extra training," he answered, good naturedly.
"Well, my mom's degree only took 2 years. And it's terminal," she said, quite proudly. Right then I remembered something Friend R said, a few weeks earlier, about Thing One: "It's like you're raising yourself."
In a normal story, this would have been the punchline. However, in the narrative arc of the life of Terrible Mother, the humiliations end not. This is because Thing Two's turn was next. He climbed up in the chair while I told the doctor he failed the eye screening at school, and since there's a family history of myopia** I thought it would be prudent to have him checked.
A few minutes in the hot seat was all it took to prove that Thing Two's eye exam failure was due to his love of being the clown, ie: "I think it's a Z...no no, it's a Q! Wait! It's a P!"
I put my head in my hands.
*Yeah, Fort Awesome lives in a Co-op. It's cool sometimes. Other times, it's a Co-op.
**This is not a metaphor, people. People!