Tag Archives: chaos

NO-NO! … thank you.

The Concords are all about upheaval right now.

They just moved, there’s a ton of work to be done on the new place. Three days after moving in, with two kids under three? The new nanny starts. Yipes.

So, to give Felix and Betty (not her real name, but what I will call her here) a chance to get to know their new neighborhood, I took them for a walk.

Oh, the broad, tree-lined streets, the tidy sidewalks, with grass between sidewalk and curb. The quietly well-appointed colonials, the landscaping dignified and perennial… Felix jogged about twenty paces ahead, stopping only under duress when I yelled “STOP!” at driveways and intersections–all boy, all go–while Betty dawdled and dutifully held my hand at every opportunity.

Betty is a sweetheart. She and Felix have hit it off remarkably well, when you consider that she left her old preschool and her old home three days ago, and is now adjusting to a new nanny, a new house, and an interloper. Felix–who’s been an only child for eight months, has forgotten how to share, grown used to life at home, and is uncertain about Betty and her brother Elmer in terms of their relationship to me–is actually the one having an outwardly harder time assimilating.

It’s also only Day Two. I think we have some time to get accustomed to one another.

Anyway… there we are, making our way down the sidewalk, when Betty comes alongside Felix and tries to take his hand. Felix yanks his hand back like he’s been scorched.

“No-no!” he scolds.

Betty, undeterred, tries again.

“No-no!” Felix cries. This time tossing a help! look back at me.

I fell terrible. Betty is trying to be affectionate and friendly, and is being rebuffed, not because Felix doesn’t like her, but because he is stubborn fiercely independent and views hand-holding as just another way The Man is trying to keep him down.

I say, “Felix, Betty is just trying to be a good friend. She wants to hold your hand. It’s okay if you don’t want to hold hands, but please say, ‘No, thank you,’ to her instead of shouting.”

Betty, determined wee flirt, tries one last time.

“NO-NO! … thank you,” Felix replies, the thank-you barely audible and fading before it’s even out of his mouth, and runs off down the sidewalk.

Yard Sale!

Yesterday was our fifth wedding anniversary. We’ll start there. A week ago, my Mom called and offered to take Felix overnight, so we could have anniversary date night. Initially, we were like, “Um, yeah, but can we do it Saturday night instead?” Then Mark had a brilliant idea!

Rewind five years and two months. Wibbly wobbly…timey wimey… (extra credit if you get that)

A soon-to-be-married CDG and Mark sign a mortgage on the house in which they now reside. Mark promptly begins gutting it. Over the next five years, he systematically guts 75% of the second floor and rebuilds it all–beautifully, I might add.

All the stuff we needed out-of-the-way while various parts of our home were unfinished find their way into the spare bedroom. Chaos ensues. Our cat, who went to live with a very nice lady named “Cindy” about six months ago, spent four and half of those years being angry at me for:

  1. moving Mark in with us
  2. moving her to a new home
  3. renovating the home, loudly, with power tools,
  4. getting dogs, and
  5. having a baby

Then, petfinder.com and I found her “Cindy.” Everyone, including the cat, loves this situation. But I digress.

She spent those angry years peeing on the carpets in the spare bedroom. If we shut her out of that room, she peed in the bathroom, or on the basement floor. Just. Eeew.

Due to the overwhelming amount of stuff in the spare bedroom, we couldn’t get the carpets up and out until after the cat was gone. Until we suddenly found ourselves with a free and childless Saturday morning in June. And Mark had a brilliant idea!

Say it with me now, “Yard. Sale.”

So, last week we cleared everything out, sorted, purged and organized. The carpets came out, along with the smell–halleluia!–and we got ready for our yard sale.

What? A romantic fifth anniversary weekend shouldn’t include a yard sale? It worked for us! We also squeezed in dinner out, sushi to celebrate the sale, and adult… conversation. Gutter minds…

So, for the past week, the words “yard sale” have been in large font around our house, and my mind keeps turning back to the ski resort slang term yard sale, referring to a spill so bad that all your gear scatters when you fall, as though it were on display at a yard sale, rather than assisting you with your alpine descent.

Since what I lack in skiing prowess and athleticism, I make up for in enjoyment (my Dad, who taught me to ski, always says, “If you don’t fall, you’re not trying hard enough!”), yard sales were a frequent and prominent part of my downhill skiing experience. If I had a dollar for I hit the snow with my poles ten feet away in opposite directions and my skis on their way down the mountain without me, listening to some yahoo on the lift calling out, “YARD SALE!” I wouldn’t need to go back to work.

Of course, it’s been more than five years since I’ve skied. So we put my ski boots out. At an actual yard sale.

Happy Anniversary!