Sunday, November 5, 2006

Weekly Chronicle November 5, 2006

In case any of you should respond to this week's chronicle and ask how we're liking Texas, let me save you the trouble and tell you that that Texas and I are presently in a fight of considerable proportions--not even on speaking terms. I know it's ambitious to pick a fight with an entire state (especially the lone star state--considering its behemoth size and unrivaled ego), but the weather here has left me no choice. I endured the blistering heat and stifling humidity of the summer (with a fair amount of murmuring, yes,) but I tolerated the perpetual state of stickiness through all of September and most of October. My only comfort was the confidence that come winter I would reap the benefits of the humidity; when my friends in Utah were lotioning up their cracking knuckles and scaly heels, I would be reveling in the baby-bottom softness of my humidity moistened skin. You can imagine my disappointment and distress when the weather turned chilly this week and my knuckles turned into a roughened road map of little red splits--I've been slathering on the Vaseline and the Blistex just like I did in the dead of the arid Utah winter.

But what Texas lacks in good weather, it makes up for in good--very good--people. Let me illustrate with a few stories. I went to Tom Thumb one evening this week to pick up a few groceries; I knew that I could carry what I needed, so I didn't bother picking up a basket. As I was shopping, I noticed a sale on yogurt that was too good to pass up, so I opened the big, industrial fridge with my free hand and the yogurt jenga began. I tucked yogurt cups into every stuffable crevice, securing the last few under my chin. As I shuffled towards the check-out, a nice, middle-aged gentleman noticed my balancing act and said, "Oh, here, you need this more than I do," and offered me his empty cart. So thoughtful. The funny thing is that the same thing happened to me a few days later at Kroger when I was filling two large water jugs for a friend. I didn't anticipate how heavy the jugs would be when they were full of water, so I didn't get a cart. This time as I power-waddled to the registers, I was grimacing like a weight-lifter and a similarly kind gentleman offered me his cart. Now that I think of it, maybe it's not so much the good-hearted Texans as it is my own pitiable circumstances that explain these acts of kindness. Whatever the reason, I appreciate their goodness.

Well, when I'm not playing yogurt jenga or power-lifting water bottles, I'm usually cleaning up after Henry. The events of Friday morning will suffice as evidence of this fact. Henry woke up in his usual cheerful and very wet fashion, so I got him dressed for the day in a clean, dry outfit. I should have left him in a diaper until after breakfast, but as I've already demonstrated in the previous stories, foresight is not my forte. So I strapped him in the high-chair with a bowl of warm oatmeal and his froggy spoon and let him feed himself (which he absolutely insists on doing these days.) With Henry secured in the confines of the high-chair, I decided to do a few little chores in the other room. I returned to the kitchen a few minutes later to find his clothes covered in mush and his face freckled with oats. (Please see the attached pictures to appreciate the magnitude of the mess.) I cleaned him up, changed his clothes, and pulled out the puzzles to keep him entertained while I mopped up oatmeal that had managed to slide past his pants and onto the kitchen floor. Apparently the puzzles did not hold his attention for long because when I finished in the kitchen I heard Henry's distressed little voice calling, "Ho-joo! Ho-joo!" from a distant corner of the house. ("Ho-joo" is what he says when he wants me to hold him, or when he gets himself into a precarious place that he can't get out of...which was unfortunately the case in this instance.) I looked in a few empty rooms before I accurately traced his cries. In case you should question the credibility of this story (I know it is pretty fantastic...especially on the heels of the oatmeal episode) I have documented my findings with pictures (attached below) to eliminate any suspicion of my fabricating this sequence for the sake of livening up the chronicle. I found Henry in the toilet, surrounded by a cascade of unrolled toilet paper! He has gone potty in the toilet a few times in the past few weeks and I think we have awakened a bit of a fascination with the commode--so although I was surprised to find him

in the toilet bowl, I wasn't surprised that the bathroom was the chosen locale for the mischief making.

I feel like I should write something about Nate, but his life is decisively boring. He works, studies, eats and sleeps. When he can, he helps around the house and is usually the one responsible for bathing Henry. When I asked him if there was anything in his life worth writing about, he waxed pensive for a moment, then said, "Nope! Just you guys." So, I guess in writing about "Em & Henry's Excellent Adventures," you're hearing about the most exciting part of Nate's life as well.

Even though my life is speckled with crusty oatmeal and I sometimes get wrapped up in insignifigant things like, oh...say, unrolled toilet paper, I know that these are unique and beautiful and formative I try to savor them moment by serendipitous moment. And I write about them and share them because they are, as one wise man said, "the molecules that make up eternity."

The Oatmeal IncidentStuck in a precarious place

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