Wednesday, July 12, 2006
This isn't funny yet.
Someday it might be.

But right now I'm just strung out.

My father is an angry man. Has been as long as I've known him. He just sort of lives close to the edge all the time. I wish he was happy, but he's not and it's not something I can fix.

Willem is a good guy, but he carries the responsibility of the whole world on his shoulders. So he wants my dad to be happier (not so much out of an altruistic feed-the-world thing, but because if my dad was happy then he wouldn't snap at the kids or act angry so much of the time) and he doesn't like it when I say that my dad has never been happy and is not going to just wake up better one morning. Any more than he is going to wake up and think to do the dishes or mop the floor on his own. He's willing to do it if asked, but it won't independently occur to him. No matter how much Willem wants it to.

So I'm feeling very torn between them right now, understanding where they're both coming from and feeling loyalties in both directions. But the bigger pile of loyalty sits on the head of Willem.


The part that will probably be funny someday, though it is not yet, is that when I came home for lunch today, I was immediately regaled with tales of what a terrible morning Jacob had. Whiny and crying and tantrums, oh my. Both my dad and Willem had negative things to say about him (and guess what? My very BIGGEST pile of loyalty resides with Jacob and Emily, so I was instantly defensive for them) but my dad's discourse was (a) louder and (b) said with more certainty. Plus Jacob was already down for his nap, so I never even got to see him. So, a crappy lunchtime all around.

But I digress. My point was, after my dad's diatribe, I said something lukewarm and milquetoast like, "Well, that's what being two is about, kids have tantrums." And he said, "MY kids didn't."

I can't decide whether to be honored to think that I never had a single tantrum, freaked out to think that my sisters and I were that weird (because, come on, aside from those in a persistent vegetative state, WHO doesn't have tantrums sometimes? At ANY age?), or baffled to think that my father's long-term memory is that selective. I very clearly remember both of my sisters having tantrums... yes, even my even-tempered, lovely little Sarah and sweet precious delicate little Mary.

Honored, freaked out and baffled, plus stress and torn in several directions and tired and wishing I could just be home and not at work. Yippee.