We steal each other’s lines. It’s true:
Jane: You terrify me.
Flora: Is that good or bad?
Jane: It’s just… a statement of fact.
Sean: You terrify me.
Jane: Is that good or bad?
Sean: It… it just is.
Cinder: You! Terrify! Me!
Ender: Good! In! Your! Face!
In other news…
Jane: Gah! That funny thing you said in the car the other day… what the hell was it?
Flora: What? When?
Jane: You know. The last time you were really amusing…
Flora: I like to think I’m always amusing.
Indeed. I wish I wasn’t so forgetful…
I know I’ve said I don’t brush my children’s hair and it’s a major philosophical thing, but the thing is, I don’t brush my children’s hair AGAINST THEIR WILL, which means Flora often sports 28 meticulous, threaded braids, and Cinder will occasionally ask me to help him de-dread those locks of his he can’t tend to himself.
Ender, on the other hand… raised by wolves. But there’s a birthday coming up, and visits with grandparents and what not and there will be photographs, so many photographs. We discuss. Negotiate. Use a bottle of conditioner. He brushes his own hair vigorously. “Ouch! I! Am! Not! Being! Gentle.” I’m holding the brush as he comes out of the tub, and as I wrap him in his towel… he head-butts me. Hard skull against soft lips and hard teeth and it hurts so much I cry and scream and throw the hair brush against the bathroom tile and…
Ender: Oh, Mama. See? I told you brushing my hair would end badly.
Good news: the tiles are fine. The hair brush is not.
And neither is my lip. Although Flora says it is a lovely, sultry look, and I pull it off.
Speaking of birthdays… yeah. The Ender, my littlest, is five this week. When did that happen? To celebrate, I present the Ender Retrospective:
Before Ender: or, what the psychic said (November 2011)
Ender’s Arrival on Planet Earth (the last three minutes) November 2009)
Why Ender’s Ender (November 2010)
Being Ender (November 2011)
Embracing Chaos: unParenting unResolutions (December 2012)
No, of course I don’t expect you to read all, or any, of those. (Well, except for you, Mom. I’m actually doing this just for you.) But, we must celebrate the boy’s birthday, no? Let’s do it with this story from when he was two and change. It begins with a vicious assault on my coffee cup by a tantruming two-year-old. And swearing. And then:
Cinder: You asked for it, you know. I mean, you did nickname him Bear. Bear? That’s what he is. A very, very good bear.
The Bear bares his fangs, growls, and rushes at Cinder, delivering a vicious head-butt to the belly.
Jane: You’re right. We should have nicknamed him Fluffy.
Cinder: Well, it could have been worse. You could have called him Cthulhu.
We could have. Names. Powerful things, no?
Happy Birthday, Fluffy.