Opie, in her younger days, was pretty good at climbing the steps. Once she got going, she would bounce up the stairs without stopping. And of course there was always a treat at the top — she preferred lettuce leaves to carrots. Tula gets stuck. Or stunned. Or obstreperous. She doesn’t see the point of working out for that treat … really, isn’t it enough that she’s cute?
New Year’s resolutions, a month early.
I had a moment yesterday morning in the laundry room: The Teenager had stacked the wet workout clothes from the night before on top of the washer. The clothes were still wet, of course, but one had to admire the neatness of the stacking job. She had apparently “forgotten” to hang them up. I love the all-purpose teenage excuse of “I Forgot.” I lost my temper, and just as quickly regretted losing my temper — not because she didn’t deserve the tongue lashing, but because I had wasted my breath.
And then there is DH, who had a plan called Thirty in Thirty (that would be thirty pounds weight loss in thirty weeks). Among other changes, he is trying to reduce the amount of carbohydrates (from grains) in his meals, but changes are difficult because DH is also something of an expert at self-sabotage. This morning, we came back from breakfast, and he had an early (as in, less than 90 minutes between meals) lunch of two servings of cereal. Me, in the background, rhetorical question: “Is that cereal? Is that a second bowl of cereal?”
Yes, I wasted my breath on that one too.
If I truly believe that the only thing I have control over is what I do, then I need to stop having futile expectations. Or expectations in general, because expectations are always in the future. I cannot expect “reasonable” behavior from The Teenager, because she is indeed a teenager, and everyone knows “reasonable” and “teenager” do not mix. But the act of expecting does not change just because my daughter is a teenager, and my husband is not. Ultimately, his diet or her silliness are not my business.
This is the year I learn to make myself quiet.
This year’s USA Pro Challenge cycling race came through my city, and in a fit of hometown pride, DH and I signed up to be volunteers. We thought we would be course marshals, but we ended up in the VIP Tent doing early morning setups. Volunteers are easy: give us free t-shirts, free food (left over from breakfast for the amateur racers), and a couple of drinks vouchers, and we are happy campers.
But probably the highlight of my day was the VIP luxury restroom trailer. No VIPs were around — the governor had shown up earlier, made a brief speech, and sent the amateur racers on their way, but he was long gone. Feeling VERY IMPORTANT, I used the women’s restroom. Yes I did. It was air-conditioned, it had running hot and cold water, and the toilets flushed. It was, as they say, as pictured and described. Who knew portable toilets could be so high-end? Certainly not Opie and her new baby sister, Tula:
Recipes: warm yellow bean salad with shallots and olive oil/tarragon vinegar dressing; ratatouille; sauteed Tuscan kale with white beans; roasted carrots and potatoes