Friday, September 10, 2010

Ashes, Ashes, we all melt down

We as a family are no longer fit for extended public consumption. I say that, but I am only fooling. We are not even fit for abbreviated public consumption. Pete and I can make a shift to appear normal; we understand social expectations and can follow them, but the two-year-old dynamo is quite another story.

We took a day trip to Martha’s Vineyard, mainly to get the boy on a boat and round out the transportation countdown: taxi, tram, plane, escalator, moving walkway, bus, car… boat. Also, Pete wanted to drop off some CD’s with the Black Dog guys. He promised he would, in exchange for using a picture of one of their boats on the cover. Plus, he worked on that boat 22 years ago, a 16-year-old kid, climbing the mast like a monkey, hanging from the rigging.

We left the house at 9:54 and arrived at Vineyard Haven at 11:30. By 1:00, we were done. After Pete changed to worst poopy he had seen in awhile in the Steamship Authority restroom, we went to wait for the next ferry, allowing the little demon time to frolic in the lapping waves of a crappy beach near the dock.

The pictures make it worth it. Plus, I sold a CD to a couple on the ferry. But we are really best sticking close to home. He’s not a placid child who becomes engrossed in things for an extended period of time. Aside from youtube videos of garbage trucks, he doesn’t sit still for much, and even then, it’s “’nother gabbage tuck. ‘nother gabbage tuck.”

We shift-ate through lunch, each scarfing down our fish sandwich and cheeseburger while he either screamed or threatened screaming. We tried to wrangle him in the little tangle of buildings that it the ramshackle center of the Black Dog empire. We attempted to woo him with promises of tee shirts with doggies on them. Slowly, we devolved into Those Parents with That Child. When Pete trudged off with Finn’s poopy butt on his shoulders back toward Steamship Authority and said he’d see me in twenty minutes, I thought, “This is how people wind up getting divorced.” One overly stressful public experience leads to a hissed public argument leads to resentment, and if you had any underlying resentment for that new resentment to mate with, you could be doomed.

This is why I assert that you must like, I mean deeply enjoy, the person you are partnered with before you have children. You must know how to talk to each other. You must know the other’s moods and buttons, not so you can push them but so you can avoid pushing them. The new addition will push them for you.

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