28 February 2014


The kid on the right with the smile so big that his eyes are barely open...that's my husband. I don't know a lot about how he was as a child but I do know that he was extremely inquisitive and he discovered many tricks to annoy his younger sister (pictured here) and brother.

I think I can empathize with Alexis and Sean as I, too, fall victim to Paul's antics. He will poke and jump and smack and prod and annoy and talk in ridiculous voices and laugh in ridiculous tones, all while batting his eyelashes and smiling that same smile.

This kid that you see in the photograph above....I have seen him a lot this week.

The other day I hear Paul say something that astounded me - something I really was not expecting.

"I'm bored. I honestly don't know how much more of this I can take."

I'm sorry, whatdidyousay? The guy who boasts about being paid to do nothing and take naps, the one who would rather sit in air conditioning than go to a bar with his friends, the one who has no interest in exploring the countryside or partaking in any cultural experience that does not include filet on his plate...The guy who parallels his greatest accomplishment with the Summer of George by naming his the Spring of Paul....That guy just hit his limit.

"I think I'd be fine doing nothing all the time in the U.S.," he said. "But here there is just nothing else to do."

This came on a day when I was actually feeling confident in my own time-filling abilities. When I got back here a month ago, I decided that I was going to give myself a purpose. I was going to relax from the holiday travels and the stress that accompanies travel, holiday plans and family time, and then I would be useful, whatever that meant.

I have found a lot to fill my days: exercising, meal planning, goal setting, reading, writing (here and other places), researching, studying, life planning, crossword puzzle guessing (let's be honest, I am surely not solving puzzles from the USA Today but I have totally nailed the ones in People magazine), catching up on my favorite blog, finding new blogs to follow, reading lots of articles. I have recently found a way to turn a hobby into a real-life goal. I have been brainstorming and researching other writing opportunities. And, let's not forget, I have been house hunting all over this freaking city because my husband must see every available apartment - even some that are not available. But we'll get to that in the next post.

This week we finally decided that we were done apartment shopping. We had three good contenders and I was ready to be done; Paul agreed. Then we saw one more. Then we were really done. At that point, Paul had nothing left to do.

His biggest disappointment in life hit him over the weekend when the Olympics closed and coverage ceased. If you have been with me for a while, then you know that I am a huge fan of the Olympics. I love watching the events and learning the behind-the-scenes-Bob-Costas-type stories. I read the articles on key athletes. But apparently I cannot compete with Paul's interest in the winter sports.

I had no idea that Paul was an Olympics fanatic. He quickly enlightened me on his love for the winter sports and how he could nearly care less about the summer sports, but the winter sports were exciting. So exciting, in fact, that our television was tuned in to the two Olympics coverage channels EVERY SINGLE DAY THE OLYMPICS WERE BROADCAST. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

One day Paul had to go into the office for something. When he came back, I was sitting quietly on the red leather loveseat reading a blog in the natural light.

"What are you doing?" he enthusiastically yelled.

"Reading," I calmly replied.

"Why is the television off? The Olympics are on. Why aren't you watching the Olympics? We have events to watch!"

I tried explaining that I can survive without the television and that sometimes quiet is necessary. I wanted to tell him that I was honestly getting tired of watching the Olympics 24/7 but I knew he would act like I had just stabbed him in the heart so I kept my mouth shut while he ran for the remote and ended the quiet.

Poor Paul. First it was the end of baseball, now the end of the Olympics. He has nothing left to fill his day.

This explains the annoying 5-year-old that has made an appearance throughout the week. He is taking touch time to a whole new level. He is demanding naptime and then poking me when I lie next to him. When I respond, he tells me that pillows don't talk. If I get annoyed, he just laughs, but not in his typical laugh; he uses a new, full-bellied, different pitched laugh that he just made up to be his annoying laugh because he knows that I think it is ridiculous.

Sometimes I can break the laugh by saying or doing something so funny that his real laugh comes out. Sometimes I don't even think what I said or did merits the good laugh but he is already gone so it doesn't matter. Sometimes I can get him laughing so hard (mostly by saying what he says in a satirical voice of my own) that he does the silent laugh that he just breathes through and convulses. Then he wants me to stop making him laugh. He can't have it both ways.

Yesterday I was bored. I was stuck in the house waiting for a delivery that I knew would never come. Our internet was out and Paul was off flying, so I was stuck there. I had things I needed to do and they either involved leaving or the internet - one thing involved leaving in order to get internet somewhere else. But I couldn't leave.

WHAT?! Paul was actually flying?! Yes, Paul had a day trip yesterday. He left the house at 4 a.m. and was back by 2 p.m. Upon his return, he promptly apologized for leaving me for so long and stated that 42 days off between flights was just not enough. Today the 5-year-old is back. 

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