Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring has sprung

I know I probably use that title each and every year but I just cannot help it. It must be said.

First daffodil of the year.  Man-Cub brought it in to me yesterday.  I love that he's 10 and still has to bring me the first daffodil, the first lilac and the first hydrangea from our garden each year.  And I especially love his specially chosen and carefully prepared vase.  He is very proud of it.

I've been in denial for several weeks now, hoping for one last late-winter snowfall, but, alas, it was not to be. And spring is now here to stay. It all began, as it always does, with Nutmeg's coat blow. She started fluffing out around the second week of February and I thought, "Well here goes the second-worst 6-week period of the year..." In case you're interested, the worst 6-week period of the year is mid July to the end of August. But mid February to early April is right behind it. The hair, THE HAIR! It's simply MADNESS! I could follow her around with the broom ALL DAY LONG and it still would not help. I would share a photo I would not. That is disgusting.

Shortly after the fur frenzy, the frog frenzy began.  Which reminds me, this period can't be all that bad because it's one of the few during which we sleep with our windows open every night.  The tree frogs in the woods across the sleep sing us to sleep with their orgiastic songs.  It's always one of the highlights of our year.

Once the frogs' chorus began, we knew it wouldn't be long before warm breezes and bright sunshine came our way.  The woolens were shed, the short sleeves came out, the clothes line was squealed back into use and the windows were thrown open, hastily reclosed, thrown open again and hastily reclosed once more.  The Viking and I have a bit of a window war in the early spring.  I am always opening and he is always closing.

Yesterday was the first day that truly felt like spring.  The windows were left open (ha-HA!) and the menfolk spent the vast majority of the day outdoors.  The Viking played chimney sweep, cleaning the woodstove and chimney and getting thoroughly blackened in the process.  I had to repeatedly resist the urge to stick my head out the window and sing, "Chim-Chim-Cher-ee" at him.  But I sang it to him when he walked in the door, nearly unrecognizable.  While he was getting good and dirty, Man-Cub cleared the yard of sticks, toys, rubbish and anything else that doesn't belong out there.  I did my part by dismantling the bed, washing its disassembled parts and hanging anything that could be hung out on the line.  And then I had to do my grocery shopping which is a harrowing tale that just does not bear retelling.  Redheaded Snippet had had a sadistic 8 AM track practice--yes, we're in another athletic season--and was napping and nursing her sore muscles.  She did fold several loads of laundry for me though, a task she could easily manage while camped out on the couch.

One more thing before I go; I'd like to record another dinnertime adventure so I don't forget it.  We had (marinated and grilled) chicken last night that Man-Cub, for some reason ('cause it was GOOD), decided he did not like.  And in order to shift attention away from the fact that he wasn't eating it, he decided to pick on his sister and try to make us laugh in the process.  And it almost worked.  At some point, he began acting like he couldn't tell the difference between his chicken and his sister.  The Viking would ask him something like, "Why haven't you eaten all of your chicken?" and Man-Cub would answer, in all seriousness, "Well, it's clear across the table from me.  Why on earth would Mom put it there if I'm supposed to eat it?"  And Redheaded Snippet would glare at him and The Viking and I would stare at each other across the table, silently forbidding each other to laugh.  This went on for a while, with several variations such as, "I don't know, Dad, it looks awfully stringy and tough" (while pointing at his sister), or "Hey!  Stop talking and get on my plate!" (also at his sister).

Finally, Redheaded Snippet yelled at him, exasperated, "I am NOT your CHICKEN" and The Viking and I finally cracked.  Mission accomplished.  Almost.  The Viking is very good at being on duty during dinnertime, which is a good thing because by then I am just too worn out to do anything but pass the salt.  And he did not let Man-Cub wiggle out of eating his dinner, cleverly witty or not.  But Man-Cub did manage to get one last shot in, after The Viking said, upon rising from his seat, "This is the last time I am telling you.  Eat.  Your. Chicken."  Man-Cub pointed once more at Redheaded Snippet glaring at him across the table and said with a totally straight face, "But I haven't baked her yet."  Then he looked right at her and said with a sigh, "Alright, get into the oven and set yourself at 350..."

When he was born, we used to speculate about what life would be like ten years into the future.  We'd say, "Can you imagine how crazy he's going to drive his sister when he's about ten and she's about fifteen?"  And here we are...and it's every bit as exasperating but funny as we thought it would be!

Happy Spring!  Get your windows open!

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