Tuesday, March 9 2021

bathroom privileges, deep dish pizza, and ollie's birthday



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Dear Journal,

Tuesday - why not? I already went through the trouble of getting out of bed and making coffee. We might as well turn this into a whole day and everything. Meetings, coffee, work, lunch, more coffee, more work - and then no work (my favorite part of the day).

At this point, commenting on how beautiful the weather is had become by personal opening paragraph cliche, but the weather is beautiful today. The sun has been out all week, and even if our neighborhood right now feels like a marshy swamp, it still feels nice to bring back walks. Walks are a nice way to clear your head and move around while you digest food.

I have a feeling I’m going to be taking a lot of walks this week. There was little respite between ticket duty busyness and regular busyness. I’ve got to keep projects on track, plan work for the team, and I have to do quite a bit of work writing this week too.

Sip. So Rodney has had a big week. We decided to upgrade his bathroom privileges. Instead of using the plastic potty in his room, we decided to let him take the short walk across the upstairs hallway whenever he needs to use the bathroom. Rodney is very respectful of new big kid privileges, but to be honest the real motivator was just how gross his plastic potty was starting to get. I have a new respect for our late nineteenth century to early twentieth century ancestors when the “slop bucket” was the defacto way for house guests to relieve themselves at night in their bedroom. No amount of Windex or soapy hot water could keep that little plastic potty from forming its own… patina? I’m trying to walk the fine line between being descriptive without being gross - I’m sensitive to the fact that some of you are trying to enjoy your coffee. The moral of the story is that yesterday I got to triumphantly stuff that gross little potty deep into our garbage can where it would never be emptied or cleaned again. Now, when Rodney has to use the bathroom, he yells as loud as he can from his bedroom. “MAMMA-DADDA… I HAVE TO USE THE BIG POTTY.”

“Sounds good, dude,” I say from downstairs. “Go right ahead.”

Rodney is also in the “momma phase” right now - at least that’s what I think it’s called. He likes to try to get a rise out of me by reminding me often that he likes Momma better than me. Last night he responded to our nightly I love you, I like you, I think you’re cool send-off with his own warped version. “I love MOMMA, I like MOMMA, I think MOMMA is cool.” I pretended to be outraged, storming his room with a fury of tickling.

“Does it bother you when we says that?” asked Marissa.

“Not really,” I replied quickly. “It’s just a phase. I think we just gotta take it in stride. He’s a wingus, he’s going to have to work harder if he wants to get a rise out of me.”

2021 03 09 spaghetti

What a wingus.

In other news, Sarah has been recreating some of the recipes from our family cookbook and taking better photos. I’m both impressed that her first try turned out so well. I’m proud under the right photography excellence our family’s recipe can look that good. Marissa likes to tease me about the original picture I took to show off my deep dish pizza - the former visual aid for the cookbook recipe. This photo’s got everything. It’s taken at night. It features my pale, greasy fingers on prominent display. I’m even holding it over our dirty sink, like a suggestion that this pizza is best enjoyed with one hand while washing dishes with the other.

2021 03 09 old deep dish pizza

Now take a look at the photo Sarah took.

2021 03 09 deep dish pizza

Isn’t it magnificent? It almost makes me emotional. The picture makes me think of all the passion and failed attempts that came before it. It makes me think of the version where the sausage at the bottom was still cold and undercooked. It makes me think of how much experimentation was needed to figure out how to keep the cheese and sauce from rushing out when cutting into it. It reminds me of how difficult it was to make a sauce that wasn’t bitter and grainy when concentrated down to that trademark paste like consistency. Gripped with this obsession, there was probably an entire month in our house where we ate nothing but failed variations of deep dish pizza.

Ollie had a wonderful birthday yesterday. To honor his request, we didn’t make a huge deal out of it. We just gave him a few extra snuggles, and after dinner we sang to him while we presented him with his birthday dessert.

2021 03 09 birthday boy

Ziggy was insufferable yesterday. In this picture, Ollie is probably looking off to the side to make sure that I’m holding his sister back securely. As Ollie nibbled on his dessert, she twisted and yipped in my lap out of envy. She’d later punish us by peeing on Marissa’s basement couch - not enough to ruin it, but just enough to know that she did it on purpose.

Now that Ollie’s birthday has passed, order has finally been restored to her twisted, self-centered world.

“I hate her,” said Marissa. “And by that, I mean she’s perfect and I love her.”

How complicated. Thanks for stopping by today, have a wonderful day.