The other day during breakfast, I asked Stella to name her favorite animal. She sat there for a minute, with her brow furrowed and finger perched on her lips, obviously in deep thought. Stella then perked up and exclaimed, “MEERKATS!” We saw them at The Woodland Park Zoo a couple weeks ago. Honestly, I expected them to look more like rodents, but they were WAY more adorable than that. I remember Stella smiling from ear to ear as she watched the meerkats scurry around in their faux-desert environment. Melted my freezer-burned heart. Anyway, Cody and I were so impressed with her question-answering that we followed up with another query: “Stella, what’s your favorite food?” She immediately replied, “Animals!” Come to think of it, the girl does enjoy bacon and chicken.
It’s amazing to me how someone so cute, small and thoughtful can be so destructive. See, Stella’s first pair of glasses lasted only 18 days. Last night, while riding in the car, she just about tore one of the temples clean off. It’s still attached, but dangling and wonky. Kind of like my sanity, except with that, there’s no warranty.
Know what else is messed up? There are oil stains on every piece of clothing that I own. Pre-treating with dishwashing liquid helps a lot, but it’s hard to get them all out, because oil stains are invisible until you put the garment on to wear for the day. Then they leap from their hiding places, get all up in your face, and yell, “Surprise, chump!” And you’re not thrilled. Upon reflection, the amount of rage these stains have prompted from me is embarrassing. I have thrown tunics across rooms, and yelled angrily about how I have nothing to wear. And I’m 33 years old.
Perhaps my instability is linked to the fact that Stella’s been eating a lot less lately. Yep, when Stella’s appetite wanes to this degree, it still bothers me, even though I know better. When I said my sanity was dangling, I meant it. During the past week, more food has wound up on my clothes than in her mouth. She often refuses to sit in her chair and will only come to the table if she gets to sit in my lap. I’ve had to fight to remain calm–especially when she gets my hopes up by grabbing a fistful of tomato-y, olive-oil laden pasta, only to casually dump it back on her plate and grab me by the front of my shirt for leverage as she repositions herself in order to get down from the table, after eating just about nothing. Maddening. She’s just too busy thinking about meerkats to eat, and who has time for napkins when mom’s new t-shirt is at the ready?
But I’m not all hopeless or anything. Stella’s got a back-up pair of glasses (because I’m a genius). Even better–I haven’t seen Stella’s eyes cross since she got the glasses! Over the past couple weeks, I bought an entire new (summer) wardrobe for Stella and myself. But I’m no fool. At meal times I’m wearing that fun, striped apron I wisely bought a year ago and never used. Which reminds me, Stella happily ate a bit more at breakfast and lunch today–hooray!
Sorry, Cody and Stella. I’ve been a bit down lately. But it looks like we’ll survive. In the heat of a frustrated moment, I forget how good we are at that.