Monday, October 5 2020

a troll tooth, goat cheese, and a spider party



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Dear Journal,

Good morning, everyone. Happy Monday. After getting out of bed on time, showering, and brewing coffee, I suppose we're too deep into this Monday to quit now, and we might as well get on with it. The house is quiet. The dishwasher is empty. The yeast fed. The dogs sleep on different corners of the carpet and couch, trying to pad their own morning with an extra nap. Marissa sips coffee behind me over the sound of a fussy, grunting, Miles.

"I don't know how you wake up earlier than me," said Marissa. "Don't you just... like... want to die?"

"Sometimes," I said, before staring blankly out the window. I broke my trance and leaned in to see Miles. "And what does Mr. Single Troll Toof have to say about that?"

Yesterday, we discovered Miles was hiding a single little tooth. Not a normal one. Not a top tooth. A single, wide, fleshy bottom tooth.

"It's his monster tooth," I said, teasing. "No, his scary tooth. His punk tooth. His troll tooth."

"You're so weird, dude," said Marissa leaning in, trying to get a good look. "You're not supposed to get any teeth yet. Especially not on the bottom." Tickling his mouth open, she gently grabbed his chin. "There - see it?"

"Oh that's just horrible looking," I sneered. "He's just like a little creature now. With a single bottom tooth, for raking. For ripping."

"I'm most surprised that he cut his first tooth without us noticing," Marissa added. "I thought the pain was supposed to be kind of an ordeal. No screaming, no drooling, no trouble sleeping."

"Well he's had such a ride with puking and acid reflux, maybe Charles Mingus is just the world's toughest baby and he doesn't feel pain anymore."

Marissa reminded me that in only four weeks, Miles will switch to the early stages of baby food. We'll have to set up the high chair at the table, which means we'll need a new seating arrangement.

"I think the easiest way to do this is nobody sitting at the head of the table. We'll sit across from each other, with a wingus on either side of us," explained Marissa

"Man to man coverage," I said. "That works. Are you OK switching spots, dude?" I asked. Rodney nodded with a mouthful of food.

"You know this time around, I thought all these milestones like teeth and food would make me into having another kid," said Marissa.

"Like they would tempt you into changing your mind?" I asked.

"Yeah," explained Marissa. "But it's the opposite. For each thing that happens, I'm just feeling grateful that we could be all done with it forever."

Sip. So how was your Sunday? Beyond just watching the football game and cleaning up after ourselves, we didn't do much. Sadly, the Bears caught their first loss yesterday, and for the first time this season we experienced the losing side of a football Sunday.

"I'm kind of bummed," I said. "I think about now is when we'd have that fourth quarter adrenaline rush, and that would pretty much carry us through dinner."

The Colts deepened their lead with another field goal. The bears scored an unceremonious touchdown, then lost an on side kick. We let the game continue to play on the TV, but I wandered around the house sipping on tequila and putting things away. There was a knock at the door.

"Who is it?" asked Marissa. I craned my neck to peer through the front door window. "Ah, it's our neighbor."

"Which neighbor?" asked Marissa.

"The new one," I said, forgetting his name. "The hippy one."

Our neighbor Lucas awaited on our front step, a cautious distance from the door. He waved and smiled. I cracked the door, holding back Ziggy with my leg.

"Do you want some goat cheese?" He called out. "We and Talia made too much. It's a little salty."

"Oh sure thing!" I replied. "Just... leave it on the step I guess."

Lucas set down the Tupperware and smiled. I gave a friendly wave back.

"What is it?" asked Marissa.

I stepped back into the house and shut the door. "He said he made us some goat cheese." As the words escaped my mouth, I immediately regretted not asking Lucas more questions.

"He made... goat cheese?" said Marissa, wrinkling her nose.

"Yeah, now I have so many questions," I laughed, inspecting the container. "Like did he start with goats milk... or did he start with a goat?"

Marissa leaned to look out the window towards his house. "He doesn't have a goat back there, does he?"

After dinner, I put Rodney to bed. I sat in his room, watching him pat himself dry from his bubble path and find a clean pair of jammies.

"What's going on over there on your window sill?" I asked.

"That's a SPIDER party," said Rodney, doing a little hop in place to emphasize the excitement.

"A spider party?" I replied. "Oh how cool."

All five of his little lego characters stood on the ledge, like they were mingling at a party. Mysterio lay face down, his stiff purple cape extending in the air. Carnage stood in the middle of the group with his menacing, dangling red arms. Spider man rested on the floor beside the wreckage of his helicopter.

"Why don't you take a picture of it, dude?" I said, handing Rodney my phone. He scampered away and held the camera lens up close. He made off with my phone and took some pictures of Mom too.

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"What do you like most about Momma?" I asked as Rodney climbed back into bed.

"Hmm. I dunno," said Rodney.

"What is your favorite thing that you and momma do together?" I rephrased.

"Dada, I have no idea," said Rodney, pleading. Marissa laughed from the other room.

When Rodney says that, he stresses the no. I have no idea. It sounds so human and relatable, doesn't it?

Thanks for stopping by today. Have a wonderful Monday, everyone.