The ‘sloth & torpor’ category

The Reckoning Week 54: The Newlyweds Game

March 25th, 2021


We sometimes play the Newlyweds Game in the bathtub, the creepy game show from the ’60s where Bob Eubanks grilled couples on how well they knew each other. It works for identical twins in a pinch.

I’ll lob questions at them, such as: 

“Eliza, what’s Phoebe’s favorite color?”

The bonus is that I get to learn a lot about my kids in the process. For instance, I now know that Phoebe’s favorite colors, in order, are:

  1. Pink

  2. Golden

  3. Light pink

  4. Sparkly pink

  5. Extra sparkly pink

I was a kid whose favorite color was red, and I always prided myself on not being a “girly girl.” But I was also the total bookwormnerd who got picked last for every team.

My daughters are the other extreme: they love sparkly things, pink things, frilly things, twirly things. They also love climbing trees, mashing mud, collecting rocks, running with sticks, and exploring in the woods. They’re dextrous. They ski black diamonds without blinking an eye. I am afraid of chairlifts, so I don’t ski. 


Yesterday, they wanted to go for a walk, and like a dummy, I got excited. I never learn. I love walks and don’t get to take enough of them. I long for the day when I can go for a walk with my daughters. That day is not yet here, because when they say “walk,” what they really mean is, climb the nearest tree. Then the next one. Then the one after that.

Thirty minutes later, we are 50 yards from the house and I’m about to have a conniption. Eliza is up a silver birch, surveying the land from her perch. Phoebe is hunkered down on the road, examining acorns to determine whether they are worthy for her bucket.

I know I should be more in the moment about all of this, but I really want to go for a walk. And if I can’t go for a walk, I want to make that one phone call I need to make, but unfortunately, we’ve stalled out in the single place on our drive where there’s a cell black hole. 

I’m torn between storming away in a huff and watching them like a hawk. I’m doing mental calculations about exactly how high up is too high before we have a looming ER scenario on our hands. I’m having flashbacks to when my two young cats used to climb up trees and strand themselves. I’m remembering the one time I had to hire a literal arborist to scale a tree and get my vicious half-racoon Budapest out of it, risking his own life as he lunged at her with heavy gloves on.

Unlike Budapest, when my kids go up a tree, they can usually get down. Like Budapest, they absolutely will not be told what to do.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 

What I’m reading:

Untamed by Glennon Doyle

What I’m eating:

I am finishing up week 12 of the Happy Belly Health program wherein I have not had alcohol, sugar, or flour* at all.

I am planning to make these over the weekend: 

crinkle top chocolate peanut butter skillet blondies.

Anyone want to join me in a virtual bake-off?

* Except for weekly family pizza night, which they will pry from my cold, dead hands!

What I’m working on:

For SaverLife: An Update on Unemployment and Taxes: Your Questions Answered

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