I can scarcely believe there was a time in our lives that we lived in the actual frozen tundra. A time when we’d step outdoors during the winter months and the insides of our noses would freeze instantly and our vocabulary was replete with phrases like windchill…minus such and such….snow emergency.
And now I nearly pass out when I’m forced to associate with the likes of minus five. (Fahrenheit, but still.) My blood has gotten thin, or something, because I’ve spent these last few arctic days in serious hibernation mode. Lying around. Wearing the same clothes. Eating warm chocolate chip cookies with ice cream. Drinking more coffee than is wise (and wondering why I’m not falling asleep until the early hours of the morn.) Making silly little crafts and wasting thousands of hours on the world wide web looking at pretty things. (Beware of the Pinterest vortex….it will suck you in!)
The Hen and I sat down at the table today, working on our own little projects. I was making a card for someone. He was drawing a treasure chest. We have vastly different creative processes, that’s for sure. His involves making nonstop, constant, running commentary about anything and everything that pops into his head. Mine involves….not.
‘You like mountains, mom?’
‘You like Gaga, mom?’
‘Yes’. (Would you tell him if I said no?)
‘You like purple, mom?’
‘You like Ironman?’
I know parents suffer from selective amnesia that allows them to say bizarre things like ‘my child never did that,’ but I swear the Gort never talked this much. I remember a friend once complaining about how much her daughter talked and how her head just hurt from it all, and I thought to myself ‘huh, the Gort never talks that much.’
He’s an internal processor like the people who gave him life. There’s a statistic somewhere on the internet about how women have a physical need to utter something like ten thousand words a day. And men want to say roughly ten words. Unless you’re Tony Kornheiser, of course.
Well, lucky for the professor, I only want to say about fifty words a day. Maybe it’s because I’m naturally gifted at being quiet. Or because I’m worn out from making chit chat with the six-and-under set. Or because I’m grumpy from all the hibernating.
But back to the Hen and the nonstop verbiage. As he was nattering on about colors and superheroes and letters, I couldn’t help but think about former annoying coworkers. Since he, essentially, is my coworker these days. I thought about the secretary who did her lipstick like Betty Boop and listened to classic rock (whoa-oh-whoa listen to the music) while singing along in the wrong key. And there was the coworker who wore so much perfume, I had to open windows when she left the room. Just so I could breathe.
As trying as the sensory onslaughts have been, the chatters have been particularly tough to deal with; turning an innocent ‘how are you’ into a twenty minute conversation about something else entirely. Immune to social cues like polite nodding and mmm-hmmmms.
Sort of like the Hen. Who is also a bit of a wardrobe critic, I learned today. ‘Hey mom, why you wear that jacket all the time?’ Because I’m hibernating, son. And my blood is thin. And I’m freezing.
But I suppose a bit of idle chatter and wardrobe critique isn’t quite as annoying as the habits of my other co-worker: writing on the walls with markers. And the floors. And the carpet. And the doors. And the table. And his booster seat. And repeatedly pushing a toy stroller into my person while I’m trying to prepare his dinner.