part of this complete breakfast

I’ve had this song and video stuck in my head all day. Which totally works for me.

In other news, a child over today tore our house apart grabbing blankets and furniture to build forts and then torture-imprisoned many cats in said structures until I (nicely) requested for the child to stop (with the cat thing). After agreeing to Ralph’s request to put a few things back before leaving, the child scuttled out the door and back home having done no such thing and leaving the kids’ room and our bedroom in a total shambles. This child also seems to have a hygiene problem, which I find unappealing and depressing; also a problem with perpetually telling untruths. Yesterday upon seeing a jar of cash and coin in our house I heard the child telling my son it belonged to a friend, hoping to take it home.

I have no idea why today I let this behavior get to me. Actually after having typed it out, it seems reasonable enough I did. I’m proud of myself though that I provide a good home to any child who visits, as long as I’m not distracted by the other stuff going on which is REALLY EASY because I am kind of a busy and frenetic person. I’m not nearly as mellow as some people make me out to be. As for these “badly-behaved children” (usually under-nurtured ones so, hard to pathologize the child itself) my job is to provide a warm, welcoming house – and food, and as much freedom as possible – to the kids in my life (my own and others’). It usually works out great which is probably why a lot of kids like being here.

In this case maybe today I simply preferred the company of my own children and private homelife, a series pf lovely episodes: we’d spent the morning taking baths together and then the kids asked for an unconventional breakfast: popcorn and fresh oranges (we have some really lovely citrus in the house). The popcorn I prepared old-skool, as I don’t own a popper or microwave or anything – just a pot with a lid and a little oil, potholders and stove top. I have many memories of my father (usually shirtless) popping up a huge batch before family movie night – we had an electric element range and sparks would fly off the burners as he banged about. After he’d pour the popcorn into a large paper shopping bag, then swirl butter in the pan to melt; add the butter and some salt to the bag and shake-shake-shake. I do the same, now; except I add parmesan cheese and nutritional yeast. Today as the kids sat happily in their underwear I showed Nels how to section an orange without a mess and how to carefully eat so not to crunch a seed (is it my imagination, or does citrus with seeds taste sweeter than seedless varieties?).

I cleaned up breakfast and the kids ran around snuggling cats and reading and drawing and building Legos. I felt a little blue at today’s wetter and gloomier weather and thus made up a batch each of niter kibbeh and berbere sauce. Dicing chiles and garlic and grinding spices and clarifying butter? Yeah, that worked out fine. My daughter ran around in her little tank top with her hair up in a ponytail singing Pink songs and my heart broke in half at how young-lady-like she’s looking (taking her measurements the other day for sewing I observed her waist and hip measurements have a 6″ difference… yes, growing-growing, they don’t slow down). I’ve gotta remind myself to slow down and enjoy the time I have.

Halfway through Ralph’s evening errands he was stopped by a family man feeling exhausted by family and work life. The guy ended up telling my husband he wanted to talk to him more about our family life. He said, “Your kids are so nice and polite, and smart, and you all seem to get along… I want that.” It’s cool to be noticed and acknowledged, although not for the reason you might think. I really want to help other families find their way into loving family life all the more. It happens; it works, for realz.

I’ve got a bottle of organic wine and fresh-washed bedding and a couple of squeaky-clean bathed kiddos and sleepy cats. It’s all working out OK.

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