Thursday, February 15, 2007


Here I sit, in this quiet house in the middle of the day.

Clarification: it seems quiet until I tune out the humming refrigerator, our old rumbling heater and the intermittent whir of the wine chiller, which holds a bottle of champagne that had nearly reached the proper temperature just as we nodded off on the couch last night. (Sorry, Trey.)

Underneath that layer of white noise is a sound I shouldn't be hearing right now: Spencer and Katie are conversing in the nursery.

They're supposed to be napping, a task that should be easier now that Daddy has snuck into the house and kidnapped Carter, who often provides an irresistible nap diversion. Those two are en route to the pediatrician's office, where Carter will be diagnosed with one of those "Holy cow!" double ear infections that makes me feel terrible for not taking him in earlier in the week. Antibiotics for all!

I'd expect his siblings to be in dreamland, worn out from a full morning of dismantling the house and disassembling every toy we possess. Instead, they're chattering away, a half-hour after I unceremoniously plopped them into their cribs and turned off the light.

Until recently, I loved listening in on their twinspeak via the baby monitor on my bedside table. Then Spencer "helped" me with the laundry one afternoon, and the receiver end of our monitor, which had served us well for over four years (thank you, Cobbs) did not survive its wet and tumultuous adventure.

So now I creep down the hall on little cat feet and strain my ears to make out what they're saying. First, there are peals of laughter. This is followed by a moment of silence and then, somewhat surprisingly, the following exchange:

K: "You see, Pepper? Everything seems better after a giggle. Sure, she has us cooped up in here like dogs in kennels, but if we pretend that we're having a wonderful time, then we will. That's the power of positive thinking, manifested."

S, sighing heavily: "What pablum have you been sampling, Dadie? I think you need to check out of the Dale Carnegie library and examine something a little less simplistic."

K: "Give me a little credit, brother. Let's talk for a moment about the theory of autosuggestion, courtesy of Emile Coue. I'm assuming that you're aware of the 19th-century French philosopher?"

S: "Please! 'Every day, in every way, I'm becoming a better and better toddler?' Nah, I don't buy it. How about... hey, what was that? I just heard something in the hallway."

K: "You're being paranoid. You know she's asleep on the couch with the remote control in one hand and the laptop on her chest. Although, now that you mention it, I don't hear her snores echoing off the walls. Hmmm... "

S: "Better play it safe. Mamamamama puppy love door Daddy bye-bye?"

K, whispering: "Keep it up. She may be on to us."

S: "Pepper sleepy. Night-night."

K, almost imperceptibly: "Nice touch."


Anonymous sugpix said...

You owe me a keyboard.

I just spewed water, drenching my keyboard and am currently shocked that I'm able to type this.


you are too much.

*wiping away tears of laughter..oh damn, smeared my mascara. who cares, I might need to read that again*

5:30 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hilarious. Totally hilarious.

7:20 AM  
Blogger Big Mama said...

You crack me up.

And seriously, next time I'm in Dallas? I'm totally calling you to be my chauffeur even if you're a liberal Longhorn.

3:31 PM  
Blogger anniemcq said...

This post is so funny I hurt myself. Seriously, I think I pulled something in my neck.

Next they'll be discussing existentialism and Sartre. Of course, that's 20th Century, so maybe next year.

10:16 PM  

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