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Monday Night Summary

Back to it.
After my week of pretending I live in a house with some other people that look like my family, I made the death march to my car this morning as John waved goodbye and tried to cheer me up with jokes. It didn't work. Despite the ridiculous amount of e-mail in my work inbox and the "there's one in every office" co-worker who never fails to accost me before I've even finished booting up, the nine-hour day felt more like 90 years. I thrived on diet coke and contests with myself over how many e-mails I could respond to before the next one came through. I'm pretty good at that game. Nobody manages an inbox the way I do. Man, now I'm even more depressed.

Something fishy this way comes.
Remember the scary time that Quinn almost drowned during a swimming lesson? That was fun, huh? I haven't enrolled the kids in swimming lessons ever since, which has only served to make me that much more paranoid about them being around water. I know; it's the stupidest vicious cycle ever. The only way I agreed to let them swim in the gorgeous new pool in our neighborhood this summer was for John to get them actual life vests, which he did technically do, even though they're both about two sizes too small, because John still thinks our kids are three (understandable though that may be, given the whining and tantrums that are still heard daily in these parts). Between the too-small vests and the huge, ill-fitting goggles that Bryce insists on wearing to keep water from going up his nose, I know this is hard to believe, but trust me: we're the freaks at the pool. Bryce, the cautious one, decided to shed the inappropriately named life vest, since it was choking the life out of him and all, and since the pool in our neighborhood has a pretty huge shallow end, he has gradually taught himself to swim. It's a thrashy, explosive swim, which is exactly how you could describe everything Bryce does, so really not surprising, and he's quite proud of his accomplishment. I blew it off the first few times I saw it, because I noticed he would take two choppy strokes and then stand up on the pool bottom and breathlessly say, "did you see me swim?!" just when I was getting excited that he might actually be swimming, and I'd sort of nod and smile and clap, all while thinking, "GAH! Keep going, don't stop!" But tonight he was forced to swim a little further to reach the steps he was going for, and I realized the reason he's been stopping to stand up is because he hasn't figured out how to just lift his head to take a breath. He actually makes himself more tired by taking a few good strokes and then standing upright, breathing several times, then starting over. This swimming and breathing method could sum up Bryce's ENTIRE LIFE. I can't actually even believe it.

Goodbye my love.
Quinn has opted to keep the life vest because floating is easier, smoother, and more entertaining than all that difficult kicking and deep breathing. But, the twisted little kid likes to "play lifeguard" with Bryce, which entails a dramatic sputtering, some "help, I'm drowning"s, and a dose of eye rolling that is only morbidly entertaining because he's bobbing around in a life vest. The kid's a psycho. When it was time for us to leave the pool tonight, he floated to the middle and refused to come out while John and I stood there debating how much we really wanted to 1.) leave, 2.) humiliate ourselves by continuing to negotiate with the little terrorist, 3.) drink. "I live in this pool!" he proclaimed giddily. "I'm never coming out!" Float, blob, splurb, smile. We said, "if you can't cooperate when it's time to go, then we won't be able to come back in the evenings." He paused with only slight concern: "Ever?" I jumped on the chance: "That's right, we'll never come back. Now get out." (We thrive on empty threats over here. Don't judge me.) He meandered over and I wrapped him a towel and gave him a nudge towards the gate. "Goodbye my love, pool!" he squealed with delight. I think I'm onto something here with this "water behavior as a metaphor for the kids' lives" thing.