No one mentioned my CLEVER use of the word “Twilight” in yesterday’s post title. TWILIGHT. Because he bit me, see? And it was in the middle of the night? Get it? It works on so many levels! HA HA HA HA ehhh.

Anyway, whether it’s teething (every time I peer into his scream-hole there seem to be more and more teeth erupting from his gums, further and further back, possibly in double rows like a goddamned shark) or just plain 18-month Hellfire Missile stage, I am suddenly noticing that Dylan is biting everything lately. I’m the only one that’s experienced teeth-to-skin contact so far, but whenever he’s angry he runs off to bite sofa cushions, furniture, toys, his own hand, and random passing wads of dog fur. When I was changing his diaper yesterday and he was pitching his usual fit about the great injustice of having someone wipe smashed-flat poop remnants off his ass, he groped wildly behind him, snatched a book off the changing table, and furiously chewed the cover while staring at me with murderous eyes. His meaning could not have been more clear: I WOULD GNAW YOUR FACE-FLESH OFF IF I COULD, WOMAN.

Ah, biting. It’s always something, isn’t it? I remember when Riley went through a hitting stage and in throes of a tantrum would raise his little fist to us and we’d be looking at him like, are you kidding me right now? I know there are all sorts of techniques for dealing with small children who physically assault you, but my first reaction is always incredulous anger: you sure you want to start this? Because man, you be writing checks your tiny ass can’t cash.

The only thing that makes the parenthood pendulum survivable is that after it goes swinging through the Bad Place—after you’ve actually felt your your patience get up, briskly dust off its hands, mutter “fuck this”, and saunter away with a GONE FISHIN’ sign left in its wake—it always goes hurtling back in the other direction. The same kid who just spent five minutes screaming and drumming his angry little hooves into your belly while you had the audacity to pull a pair of jeans over his thigh-rolls is suddenly giggling and burying his face in your knees, clinging to you like a happy barnacle. And so it goes. All you can do is hang on during those times you’re dragged into the shit.

And if you’re really lucky, you’ll manage to snap a photo that provides you with endless, wicked cheer, that seems custom-made for lifting your spirits when you’re neck-deep and floundering.

Ohhh, head-bonk. Yeah, that’s gotta suck. Everyone okay? Yes? Cool, just let me get another picture or two, then.

Tomorrow we’re heading down to the cabin in Oregon for one last summer outing. Although Riley’s birthday isn’t until the 31st, we’re having a family celebration on Saturday, which should be fun. I also plan to try out my newly acquired swimming skills in the Umpqua River, and hopefully do so without remaining laser-focused on that one time I saw a dead seal in the water. A DEAD ROTTING SEAL FLOATING JUST UNDER THE SURFACE OH MY GOD.

Tell me, what are you guys up to this weekend?


85 Responses to “Equilibrium”

  1. Lucrezia on August 20th, 2009 3:06 pm

    Aww cute picture. As for Twilight, my witty puns are often overlooked as well, so I sympathize (I AM funny dammit). I love your description of your child’s anger – frustrating to go through, amusing to recount. And as for the shark teeth I actually saw a girl once with two full rows of teeth, all the way across the front of her mouth, and it was sooooo creepy looking that I don’t care what dental surgery would have cost, it would have been worth it.

  2. Kat on August 20th, 2009 4:24 pm

    The whole reason that they are so damned cute is so that, with a smile and a hug, we’ll forget those vaguely homicidal thoughts that we had five minutes ago when they were biting/hitting/screaming/etc. It’s called survival of the species.

    You are so brave. If I ever found a dead seal (or anything!) while swimming, I would NEVER be seen in that body of water EVER. AGAIN. Ew!

  3. warcrygirl on August 20th, 2009 4:52 pm

    Tomorrow I’m taking my cub scout den to our local water fowl park to finish up our Wildlife Conservation Award, then Saturday I’m helping with our Back to Pack Party at our elementary school. Sunday? Lay round the house like a bloated walrus and find some way to justify blowing off church just onemoretime before the school year begins (we took the summer off – we’re such heathens).

  4. Lesley on August 20th, 2009 5:10 pm

    This weekend I’m starting a recovery program to expunge the Ben & Jerry’s If I Had 1,000,000 Flavours demon that possessed me all week. I hope that doesn’t sound flippant, but getting over eating and eating and eating that shit is not going to be pleasant. There will be unsatisfied cravings, whining and possibly tears.

    Beyond that I’m going to start a ChiRunning program, that promises to make running effortless and injury free. So far I’ve read nothing but good things about it and since running is “one of the BEST ways to burn fat” according to J. S&Michaels, I need to get my ass out there doing it.

  5. Victoria on August 20th, 2009 5:39 pm

    I totally didn’t want to say anything about the “Twilight” thing because I thought you’d think I was a dork for assuming it was a Twilight reference! ;)

  6. el-e-e on August 20th, 2009 6:29 pm

    I ALMOST commented something about vampire-y Dylan but resisted because it was so obvious with the title and all. Because you’re good with the metaphorical stuff. Unlike myself.

    That picture is to die for.

    We’re attending our first T-ball practice on Saturday. 5 year olds, Lord help us all. :) Have a great swim!

  7. Lesley on August 20th, 2009 7:12 pm

    Postscript. Just saw this and thought I’d pass it along cuz you like scary movies. Lars von Trier has made a psycho horror movie titled ‘Antichrist’ that looks pretty awesome, starring Willem Dafoe.

    Article says:
    Willem Dafoe and Charlotte Gainsbourg star in the film as an unnamed couple recovering from a personal tragedy, who retreat to their remote cabin called Eden to heal. The Globe’s Elizabeth Renzetti wrote from Cannes that after its first screening there, “the audience didn’t seem to know how to react – and there would have been many who had seen the Danish auteur’s disturbing earlier movies – alternately gasping and laughing as the acts of violence became ever more weird.”

    Seems to be stirring up the usual controversy.

  8. jonniker on August 20th, 2009 7:13 pm

    HAHAHAHAHA I love that picture. That alone is worth having two kids. THAT ALONE.

    This weekend is tax-free shopping weekend here in Vermont, and we’re going to the Carter’s Outlets in the gleaming metropolis of Essex Junction, VT. Because why NOT save even more on exciting things like sleeper pajamas and onesies rather than, I don’t know, the hookers and blow that we would have gotten in our child-free days. Or at least, I don’t know, a flat-screen TV or something, right? But no. Onesies and maybe some TOYS. THRILLSVILLE.

  9. Kristin on August 20th, 2009 8:27 pm

    Hey – saw this on MyBallard. I know you live in Seattle, although I have no clue what neighborhood. But maybe this is Cat?

  10. wendy wisniewski on August 20th, 2009 8:29 pm

    writing checks tiny asses… heh heh heh. Now that’s a classic. I will try it on the older crowd at my house.

  11. mnerva on August 20th, 2009 10:37 pm

    Jeez, I don’t know what to comment on first. The time my cousin at about age 5 literally reared back his head, chompers bared to bite his little brother’s (age 3) leg? And I snatched his ass up and yelled at him, basically saying WTF? His response: “I wasn’t going to bite him!” “Well what the hell else were you planning on doing? You had your mouth an inch away from your brother’s leg!” being my respone. Holy crap was I angry, and they weren’t even my kids. I think it’s because biting it so feral and base–it offends on many levels other than just the pain. And then another incident with the same cousins. The younger one came up to me from out of nowhere and pinched the shit out of my arm. So I turned and pinched the shit out of his arm (ok, not full force, but enough to hurt). He started whining and crying and I asked him “Doesn’t feel so good, does it?” He replied no, and I really don’t think he ever did it again. Sometimes I really think you have to get down to their level.

  12. mnerva on August 20th, 2009 10:38 pm

    OMG! And the fact that the head-bump photo had me cackling.

  13. Kate on August 20th, 2009 11:04 pm

    That picture is priceless. One for the baby books for sure.

    Weekend? Well, tomorrow is my son’s 7th birthday. We’re going to the fair and riding rides and eating fair food, then Saturday morning we may go fishing again, and then we’re having a family/friend taco feed. I have to work Sunday evening. Blech.

  14. Judy on August 21st, 2009 6:44 am

    I did notice the Twilight reference (clever!) but was too busy laughing at the part about screaming “M-F’er” and throwing him out the window.

    Really? A dead seal? I would never go back in the water. I can’t even handle a dead fish.

    This weekend: nothing. I got a new bed this week, a lovely supportive yet tender hunk of a bed (we without men in our lives look for love where we can get it) and new sheets and a new blankie and everything is soft or silky or fuzzy, and I have not spent nearly enough time with this new love of mine so I plan on sleeping in and possibly having a Saturday afternoon nap. Reading on the balcony overlooking the river. Playing computer games in my room. Eating. Maybe a pedicure, but that might be too much trouble.

  15. Stephanie B on August 21st, 2009 7:05 am

    It’s jammed with FUN! Finally! Saturday we have a babysitter and are going out to dinner and then to see the musical “Wicked”. Sunday we are heading off to Disneyland for 3 days. Then goodbye to summer!

  16. Amy on August 21st, 2009 7:13 am

    It’s my birthday weekend (my birthday is today) and I like to try to milk as much out of it as I can, especially on the once-every-8-years that it falls on a Friday! Plus, Sephora emailed me a free birthday swag coupon so – yeah – I’m gleeful!

  17. veralynn on August 21st, 2009 7:43 am

    Heading to the Jersey shore today for our company picnic on the beach, then off to visit with some family and Sunday come home to meet my boyfriend’s new airplane!

    And, speaking of Twilight, I will be trying really hard NOT to think about this:

  18. Jennifer on August 21st, 2009 9:31 am

    I was just thinking that Riley’s getting some prolonged birthday events — he got his bicycle present early, and he’s getting an Oregon party, and you’re probably also having a party on “the real day” the 31st, right? WooHoo – birthday birthday birthday!!

    This weekend I am being solemnly reminded that summer won’t last forever (have we seen our last 80-degree day? *cry*) so I’ll be out ripping it up on the bicycle… maybe a 75-mile day on Sunday. Last-gasp summer riding days.

  19. Amy on August 21st, 2009 9:39 am

    There is something secretly satisfying when they hurt eachother instead of you! (also mom of 2 boys) Our summer came to a screeching halt when #1 son started 2nd grade on Wed. Whatever happened to the day after labor day??? So weekend plans: hubbo is homeward bound from Fort Worth (drives cross country) so I’m thinking, nice, a weekend that I don’t have to be a single mom again. WRONG! Was informed that he’s taking this opportunity to go abalone diving with his brother and friends. So the boys and I will hang. My oldest joined a theatre group and his first rehearsal is Saturday so we’ll be doing that while youngest gets one on one time with Grandma!! Then maybe a trip to the pool on Sunday before we loose that option for the winter. Is it really almost over?? Good luck with the swimming!!!

  20. Shawna on August 21st, 2009 12:38 pm

    Packing to move on Tuesday; finishing off a photography gig and doing some post-processing on today’s shoot (look at me, talking like a real photographer); possibly the Papanack Zoo.

    Have a lovely time at the cabin!

  21. Suzy Voices on August 21st, 2009 1:40 pm

    That picture is priceless!!! And here’s what I’m up to this weekend:

  22. Vic on August 21st, 2009 2:02 pm

    Is it wrong that I laughed at the picture? And this weekend, my friends and I are going to see DC United play the LA Galaxy. It’s Ladies Night – guess they wanted to make sure that us ladies had some eye candy (in the form of David Beckham).

  23. Lesley on August 21st, 2009 4:12 pm

    Thought I’d pass along this story about a cat that returned home a year after it left, as it may give some comfort and hope about Cat.

  24. Melissa on August 21st, 2009 4:14 pm

    Heading to South Carolina for 2 weeks!! That pic is a scream….Have fun.

  25. Jenn on August 21st, 2009 4:33 pm

    That picture is hilarious. My weekend will be comprised of getting in my long run (marathon training!) and relaxing. I have zero swimming skills and you’ve inspired me to check out the adult swim lessons at the Y with all your triathlon talk! Good luck avoiding dead seals. Blech.

  26. Liz on August 22nd, 2009 4:10 am

    Oh thank God…I’m not the only one who is pissed and indignant when they start something…! This weekend: am trying to recover from going back to work this week as a classroom teacher while dealing with the little ones alone because Hubby is out of town.

  27. chocolateprn on August 22nd, 2009 11:13 am

    You are hilarious. I just happened upon your website today – very entertaining!

  28. patois on August 23rd, 2009 7:54 am

    Would it be totally uncool for me to keep this photo to use to lift my spirits? Or do I have to use my own stunt kids?

  29. Beth on August 23rd, 2009 4:35 pm

    You just go and say everything I think in a far better, more clearer, funnier way than I ever could. I think I am in that bad place and am just about to get that sign out and get the hell out of here. Thank you for making me feel like I am not the only one! Hope you had a great weekend

  30. Redbecca on August 23rd, 2009 7:19 pm

    What patois said. I may totally hijack this picture to lift my spirits on shitty days. You caught it perfectly.

    Our angry badger’s 2nd birthday was today. We had a party on Saturday. He was amazingly awesome for that, and today was an antisocial crank. Oh well.

  31. Kelly on August 23rd, 2009 10:47 pm

    What IS it with Dylan and the dog hair, man? I can’t even PRETEND to understand where that comes from.

  32. MaryM on August 24th, 2009 10:53 am

    I WOULD GNAW YOUR FACE-FLESH OFF IF I COULD, WOMAN. made me laugh out loud

  33. Justine on August 24th, 2009 9:52 pm

    Sundry – you are, without doubt, the funniest, most honest and definitely most talented writer on the net (and most other places too!!). Never stop writing – it would be such a shame for the world to lose your voice :)

  34. joaaanna on August 25th, 2009 5:39 am

    I so want to print off this picture – but that might be taking it to a creepy level.

    I feel bad about how much it makes me laugh.

  35. Jaidnoire on September 1st, 2009 9:33 am

    Your description of the Parenting Pendulum was spot on…with my just-about-to-be-2yr-old, there’s alot of back and forth over here…

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