April 24, 2006

After spending five hours in a car getting to Eugene, I then spent all of Saturday jiggling Riley in my lap making small talk with the female relatives while the menfolk built their fence. At the end of the day JB looked at me and with total apologetic sincerity said “Gosh, this must have been boring for you.”

It was one of those moments of dichotomy where I wanted to leap up and do the end zone dance because OF COURSE IT WAS and I TOLD YOU SO and yet what would be the point, I was already there.

Next time Mr. Sawyer tries to sell me on another fence-related weekend involving a road trip, however, I’m going to tell him to rub it, spit on it, and cram it in sideways.

I didn’t help with the fence assembly since the NO GURLZ ALOWD sign, while not technically visible, was definitely there (men build fences! women put out lunch materials and hover in the background urging men to have more deviled eggs!), but I did take vicarious pleasure in JB’s toolbelt, which he sported as proudly as a caveman wearing the pelt of a saber-tooth tiger.

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Also, this business about stranger anxiety (where babies start becoming fearful of new faces) apparently does not apply one whit to young Riley, who practically purred like a cat over all the activity and people. He was so engaged and happy I started feeling vaguely guilty about our own comparatively quiet household environment. How the combination of JB and I produced a potential extrovert, I’ll never know.

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Best moment from the weekend: JB’s brother was holding a tired, starting-to-get-crabby Riley in his lap, and as the boy started winding into a full-fledged crying fit, began patting his back gently and saying in a smooth, sympathetic tone, “I’m so sorry for your loss”.

(JB’s brother is a funeral director.)

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warcrygirl
16 years ago

Never fear, “stranger danger” mode doesn’t kick in until around their first birthday. You may have yourself an introvert after all. My favorite line for someone who’s pissing me off (yet I can’t cuss out for whatever reason) is “I’m sorry you feel that way”.

Can JB come build a fence for me?

Melanie
16 years ago

“‘I’m so sorry for your loss.'”

THAT is funny.

Annie
16 years ago

Sounds like JB’s brother is a scream. I love the happy Riley picture. The stranger anxiety can come and go.

Don’t you love it when husbands work out the truth for themselves? Better late than never. But he does look quite manly in the old tool belt.

fifi
fifi
16 years ago

Was that irony, or unconscious utilisation of strategies that work on other distressed people? Lovely story!

Bella
16 years ago

Heh! I guess you go with what you know. I can’t help but wonder what Riley’s expression had been would he have understood those words!

Niki P.
Niki P.
16 years ago

Where on earth did you get the Monopoly Tshirt JB is sporting in that pic with Riley?? My boys have been in Monopoly mode lately and they would LOVE tshirts with the cards on them!

Sara
16 years ago

Oh, that drive. I’m sorry for your loss. How many bags of baby crap did you have to haul? Isn’t it amazing how much it takes? Cute photos all around, as usual.

Danell
Danell
16 years ago

I swear the quietness (err…boredom?) at home is one reason I don’t feel bad leaving my kid at daycare. The expression on his face when I drop him off some mornings is as if it’s disneyland compared to home. This makes me simultaneously happy that he is so glad to be there and frustrated that my parenting skills must be poor in comparison to those who can stay home full time and keep their children sufficiently entertained.

crystal
16 years ago

but at least the fence looks good! and riley is, of course, cute as always. baby smiles are killer.

Jessie
16 years ago

“I’m so sorry for your loss” = Too funny! Did it work though?

Pete
Pete
16 years ago

When I helped my brother with his house he out ‘manned’ me with his toolbelt. It had more pockets and hangy things, plus it had suspenders. I went down to Home Depot that night and got one like his. The suspenders were nice because now my pants don’t fall down from the weight of the belt and you can’t have enough pockets and hangy things when you are up a ladder putting up siding.
Love the brother story, makes me think of ‘Six Feet Under’

Pagne
16 years ago

On the plus side, next time you guys need a fence or manly construction stuff put up, you have free laborers. I’ve noticed hookers on blow aren’t too keen on showing up for stuff like that.

victoria
victoria
16 years ago

My in-laws live in Eugene, too.

You just need to perfect you in-law avoidance techniques. I’ve got mine down to an art:

“I have to work on Christmas Day.”

“I’ll be recovering from surgery on New Year’s.”

“I can’t stand to be around that big dead animal on the table at Thanksgiving.”

“My OWN relatives need me on your birthday.”

“I get carsick when traveling to Oregon.”

“It’s really nice you’ve been married for 30 years, but marriage-related celebrations are way too partiarchal for me.”

“I’ll be coming down with hantavirus that week.”

(I’ve actually used all but the last.)

Seriously, you just need to LET GO of the compulsion to put others’ happiness before your own. Just. Let. Go. You do not have to please others at the expense of your own limited time and energy.

nstig8r
16 years ago

LOL that must be the funniest funeral director ever! love it! : )

Paige
16 years ago

Riley should just learn now to take the sympathy where he can get it anyway. God knows us wives are no good for sympathy.

Gentry
16 years ago

I spat my coffee at “JB’s brother is a funeral director.” But did it work?

Ceece
16 years ago

ad nauseaum JB’s brother sounds hillarious blah blah :-) but seriously he does. I guess you have to just take it all with a grain of salt and some humor to it, if dealing with death and grief is your job.

So far we have no stranger danger with our bean either.

Kerri
Kerri
16 years ago

Ha oh my god I love the funeral director. Who does that?