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full house

It’s the holidays and our house is bursting at the seams. Cuz has been living with us since September; my Mom is visiting from Seoul through January; Tom’s family arrives in a matter of days.

It’s all good. I say that to myself a lot these days. Like a prayer.

December started with a healthy dose of fear. Fear for everyone’s sleep, for example. Our house was built in 1910 and it features the world’s creakiest hardwood floors. On the mornings when I leave for yoga at 5:30 am, I have to walk from the third floor to the first floor, without waking Tate, who is a light morning sleeper.

The most distressing mornings are when we wake up and we can tell that Tate’s been up for hours, playing by himself. If we’re lucky, he hasn’t crapped his pull-up and spread his business all over the house. Last week he came upstairs at 6:30 am and haughtily informed us that there was poop in the playroom, as if it had been deposited there by someone else’s ass. Anyway, what was I talking about? Right, my floors. When I tiptoe downstairs for yoga I am careful to shuffle and slide across the floor in an irregular rhythm, kind of like how the Fremen walked across the sand in Dune, to avoid waking the terrifying sandworms. Sandworms have nothing on pre-dawn Tate.

Now that I have semi-permanent houseguests, I don’t just have Tate to worry about. We also have to try to avoid waking Cuz and my mom. Cuz, after three months in Oregon, has just recently adjusted to Cuz Standard Time (CzST), which sits somewhere between PST and EST, and means that she wakes up at 9:30 AM most mornings. My mom wakes, I believe, somewhere around the same time (MoST). My boys, given ideal circumstances, wake up at about 6:30 AM. You do the math. If you have boys, you know how difficult it is to keep them quiet in the morning. We can’t even turn on the TV, because no TV before school is pretty much the only Montessori guideline we manage to observe with rigor at home.

We all do what we can. Tom and I beg and cajole. Cuz and my mom wear earplugs, and have complained not once about the noise.


The thing is, we’ve settled into a rhythm, this full house. On Finn’s birthday earlier this month, we were all here to share shabu shabu and ogle Finn’s gift from Grandma—a printing calculator!—and all that extra love made his birthday so much better.

Cuz moved to our uncle’s house in Vancouver a week ago to free up some space for Tom’s mom, who arrives tomorrow. We thought we’d be glad for the reprieve, but we all miss her. Tom misses his TV buddy. I miss having someone around who eats vegetables with gusto, or who eats vegetables, period. Tate will occasionally bolt upright while playing with his Legos to ask, “Where’s Aunt Bora?” And even Finn misses Cuz. Finn and Cuz have had some epic power struggles over the last few months. We think Finn is confused about Cuz’s role as an authority figure because she kind of looks like a kid, despite being 26. But they’ve come a long way from those early days.

On the way to school this morning, Finn asked when Cuz was “coming home.” Dunno, I said. “Shall we go get her?,” I asked. Finn gave a firm nod. “Yes,” he said.


16 Comments Post a comment
  1. I almost laughed out loud when I read about Tate’s crapped pull up! (And it’s past 2am and I’m at my adopted daughters apartment, on her couch with my 2 month old grand boy sleeping next to me) totally loving a look inside someone else’s crazy life! Thank you!

    February 21, 2013
  2. Tom is all up on that printing calculator, apparently. Will it be his new watch?

    December 21, 2012
  3. Wow, I was not the only child to have wanted and received a printing calculator! I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, your kids are so stinking cute. Wishing you and your family happy holidays!

    December 21, 2012
  4. I really enjoy reading your blog. There have been many times reading it that I laugh out loud. Thanks for sharing and it sounds like you have a lovely family.

    December 20, 2012
    • i do have a lovely, amazing, occasionally maddening family. thank you for reading and laughing

      December 20, 2012
  5. Whoa, whoa whoa. I can’t let this pass unnoticed- kind of like how the Fremen walked across the sand in Dune, to avoid waking the terrifying sandworms.

    You’re scaring me.

    December 20, 2012
    • i love dune (the book AND the david lynch movie) and am not ashamed to say so here

      December 20, 2012
  6. sdpfeiffy #

    And now I must have the details about Cuz’s skin care regime!
    PS so much fun and LOVE in those photos ๐Ÿ™‚

    December 20, 2012
    • i’m going to ask her to guest post as my Christmas present

      December 20, 2012
  7. ferris54 #

    What a wonderful testament to family, patience and unconditional love. It is a PERFECT way to start the Christmas holiday!!

    December 20, 2012
  8. Sounds like fun ๐Ÿ™‚

    December 20, 2012

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