My daughter is energetically progressing through the age during which sitting still is a significant burden. Naturally, since the government requires her to be restrained whenever we travel, she considers traveling a burden. The ways she entertains herself are myriad and multiform, though. Not all of them make sense to me.
For example, on a recent trip she removed her shoes, then proceeded to stomp them against opposite sides of her face, as though making a particularly violent face sandwich with shoes instead of bread.
I think that my response was compassionately moderate:
Me: (with feigned exasperation) “Why is our daughter so weird?”
There’s a cliché about things “only a mother could love.” Whatever else it may indicate, it certainly speaks to the singular and wonderful devotion that mothers typically express toward their children. Given the frequency with which I’m ridiculous, I suspect I shouldn’t have challenged that particular devotion, even playfully.
Wife: “She’s a kid. Besides, we all have weird quirks. Mostly you.”
This is entirely true.
One of my most obvious quirks is that I enjoy conversation in a particularly acute way. In fact, I enjoy it entirely irrespective of it’s content, which frequently causes trouble for me as I ignore common sense in favor of snappy dialogue. However, any conversation will do. If conversing is an art form (which it once almost certainly was), I’m a fan. I may not be a discerning and discriminating fan, but I’m a vocal one.
Consequently, here are some more samples from my oeuvre.
[While my wife was very pregnant with our son]
Wife: “Want to feel the baby move?”
Me: (putting my hand on her belly) “So in the movie Alien….”
Wife: (interrupting) “This isn’t a conversation where I’m going to end up happy with you, is it.”
[Later in that pregnancy, while I was struggling with a post]
Me: “I have to go to the restroom. Do you want to read what I’ve written so far?”
Wife: “Sure. Do you want to feel the crazy lump that is your son’s foot?”
Me: “No, I want to go to the restroom, which I why I said that.”
[Discussing my tendency to buy in bulk, which was filling our freezer with leftovers]
Wife: “You have to stop buying the twenty packs of chicken nuggets!”
Me: “But they’re so much cheaper.”
Wife: “You eat four; she eats half of one. That leaves me with fifteen!”
[Discussing someone to whom we were attempting to return something that we had borrowed]
Me: “Is she at work or at home.”
Wife: “She’s at home”
[Later, as we pull up to her house]
Wife: “She said to leave it in the box.”
Me: “I asked if she was home and you said she was.”
Wife: “Oh, I thought you were asking if she had a job.”
[While sharing a piece of chocolate cake with ice cream on it]
Me: “Are you finished?”
Wife: “I’m just slowing down. I’m debating if I want to eat that last gooey part, but I ate the other gooey part.”
Me: (pretending to be indignant) “Kind of like you ate most of the ice cream?”
Wife: “But you weren’t eating it fast enough!”
[While driving home from an event that had upset me]
Wife: (noticing my odd behavior) “Are you ok?”
Me: “I’m feeling all stressed and emotional.”
Wife: (playfully) “Want me to hit you? Then you wouldn’t feel stressed and emotional, just pain.
Me: (amused) “You’re not as helpful as you think.”
[We talk about what’s upsetting me for a few minutes, at the end of which I say something about stress again and my wife punches me in the arm.]
Wife: “See, I’m helpful!”
[After discussing a miscommunication]
Wife: “See, you were sad and now I’m sad.”
Me: “But that’s only because you’re entirely wrong about things!”
[Noticing my wife’s expression, I hastily continue]
Me: “That’s going to make you feel better though, hold on.”