From Object to Subject

Hi friends. It’s been a while. I’ve been busy. Distracted. And part of that is Tess. She’s no longer the direct object in all my stories.  She’s the subject.


She’s active and busy and running all over the place. She’s a legitimate player in our day-to-day lives.


It’s no longer us doing things to Tess: I was nursing Tess…feeding Tess…putting Tess down for a nap…playing with Tess…holding Tess…


Instead it’s become…


Tess walked.


Tess ran.


Tess waved.


Tess brushed her teeth.


Tess stole Sam’s Bubble Tape.


Tess tore a page out of her Elmo book.


Tess picked the tulips Sam and I had planted.


Tess threw most of her grilled cheese on the floor for Wally.


Tess wiped her yogurt-stained fingers all over the baby grand piano.


Tess swatted at her brothers when they snatched the Lego’s she was fiddling with.


Tess spun in circles in the middle of the floor during the consecration at mass today.


Tess slid into the driver’s seat of her fully-packed car and drove off to [city TBD] to move into her new apartment. She starts her new job on Tuesday, but she and her boyfriend took Monday off so they could unpack and purchase some furniture.


Okay, that last one didn’t happen [yet], but you get the point.


Let’s play a game of Guess Who! to catch up on some of our other recent activity.


Guess Who cracked the back of his head on the patio chair when he lost his balance standing on the fire pit….That would be Sam. No stitches were needed, but he was probably concussed given that he also smacked his forehead just above his right eye. In the same fall.


Guess Who conned his great-aunt into buying him a new Lego set.…That was Nate. Was that too obvious?


Guess Who recently scored his first soccer goal. …Sam! Though Tess’s first goal probably isn’t too far off. She can dribble a soccer ball down the field, waddling and swinging her arms like she knows what she’s doing.


Guess Who made a picture frame for his mom, which he gave to her at his preschool’s “Moms and Muffins” celebration. He sang some songs with his friends and showed his mom around the classroom, reporting to his teachers that his mom’s really good at “making good decisions.” …That was Sam again! He also told his teachers that I’m 80 years old.


Guess Who used the dust buster to suck up all of the water in Wally’s water dish… Sam! He said he wanted to see what would happen. Well, what happened is that it broke. Which is a shame because after the washer and dryer, that little dust buster was my favorite appliance.


Guess Who added the word “literally” to his vocabulary…Nate. He literally uses it in every other sentence. Which makes him sound like a fifteen year-old girl. “Mom, I literally have to ask George if he’s going to Lego club tomorrow.”


Guess Who added the word “choppy” to his vocabulary… Sam! He uses it as a noun, verb, adjective, and proper noun. As in, he addresses us all as “Choppy.” He also uses it to describe his day at school, the taste of his food, and what he just did on the toilet.


Guess Who sprinted home from a neighbor’s house to grab a half-full bottle of lemonade from our fridge so he could sponsor a lemonade stand.…That was obviously Nate. The verb “sprint” should have given that one away. (Sam doesn’t sprint.) He pushed through the front door one Sunday afternoon while Tess napped and Tighe and I nursed very mild hangovers on the couch. Pointing his index finger in the air like he’d just had an earth-shattering epiphany, he loudly declared, “I need the lemonade! We’re selling it! A dollar a cup!” He hustled to the refrigerator, tucked the bottle under his arm, and sprinted back across the street. He came home later without the lemonade and without any profits. Apparently, he and his friends ended up drinking their product before they could get it to market.


Guess Who strolled home naked from a neighbor’s house on Sunday afternoon. Three different times. …Sam! He was carrying his bathing suit in his hand each time. Apparently, though he had gone over there to play in their kiddie pool, he didn’t like that he got wet. So he came home to change into another suit, proceeded to get wet again, and returned home—naked, wet, and crying. Three times.


Guess Who might finally be starting to age… Wally! I mean, he’ll still launch a very friendly assault on every serviceman, delivery person, or babysitter who comes to the door. But he’s starting to nap more. On Saturday afternoon, he begged to come inside from the infantile chaos that was happening in the backyard. Plopping down in front of the sofa, he stared at us with heavy eyelids, as if fighting hard to stay awake. He is 10, after all. I guess age hits us all.


Guess who’s putting in a ton of overtime parenting this lacrosse season… Tighe! He’s making dinner, giving baths, donning kids in PJ’s, and even doing laundry. All so I can escape to the Wonderful World of Lax for a few hours every day.


And finally, Guess Who gets weepy every time she remembers that the school year is almost over…. Oh, that’s me. Most definitely me.


Thanks for playing our game! If you scored an 8 or higher, then congratulations! I’m proud of you—you must be an avid Urinal reader. Or you just know Nate and Sam pretty well. Or maybe you drove down our street on Sunday and saw Sam streaking through the quad. Sans the green hat.