One day Anni was twirling and singing one of her original compositions.
"It's my gift!" she declared.
Dizzy, she fell with spectacular gracelessness.
Laying on her back on the tile floor she began flapping her arms and legs
as if she were making a snow angel.
"Falling down is also a gift!" says she.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005



Here it is, the first week of October and the girls and I went and frolicked in sunshine-y heat this morning at a local park. We got so sweaty that we decided to go home and play in the Mt. Tiki-Soki Water Volcano, which we bought a few weeks ago at the ToysRUs summer clearance. Well worth the $7. Probably even worth its original price tag, given the maniacal abandon of both girls' laughter. I half-expected Frankie to fall to the ground and start pounding her fist as tears streamed from her eyes from too much mirth. Annika kept the hilarity coming with her experiments in physics, which mainly consisted of seeing which object would fly the highest when placed on the mouth of the volcano just before it squirts (answer: a handful of grass, nicely clumped together with some root system intact so it didn't just explode when the water hit it). Then Annika raced her Big Wheel down the driveway along a chalk racetrack she had drawn herself while Frankie went in a very earnest search around the yard for dog poop. Annika found some one time, and Frankie has been a bit jealous of that Big Find ever since. After that, Annika used her chalk to draw two circles, declared "dance circles." So, for a treat, I put the ridiculous Euro pop musical confection*, which Annika discovered and promptly fell in love with during our recent trip to Germany, in our car CD player and opened all the doors so that the girls could boogie in the driveway. In their chalk dance circles. Then again to the backyard, where the girls made and destroyed a century's worth of sand castles while I swayed in the hammock chair, head back investigating clouds to the soundtrack of their unbearably cute but oh-so-serious play negotiations. In the interest of full disclosure, I will confess that getting both inside involved tears, screams, and an unfortunate peeing accident. But then we had dinner and the girls snuggled with Jörg on the couch watching Bruce Springsteen videos. Frankie did some naked dancing due to some indecision concerning the state of her bladder. Annika, always interested in the finer points of geography, questioned Jörg relentlessly during Springsteen's cover of Diddy Wah Diddy("She don't come from no town. She don't come from no city. She lives right here in Diddy Wah Diddy"): "So, Daddy...Is Diddy Wah Diddy a country?" Then we tucked two exquisitely sweet-smelling girls into bed, where many stories were read. Annika proudly "read" three of the stories herself, with the most amazing ear for indicating voices and the sort of masterly intonation that leaves kids breathless in the hands of a great storyteller.

and not so much

Last night Jörg and I had a big fight over whose nightmare scenario is the most likely to happen. He keeps pushing to schedule the surgery for Annika because he is afraid that she will have a catastrophic bleed if we wait too long to relieve the pressure in her portal vein. I keep dragging my feet and asking him not to push because I have this inescapable fear that the surgery is going to fail and leave her sick and desperately in need of a transplant. In the end he successfully convinced me that even if the Rex shunt does not work, they will be able to do a different shunt that should ward off catastrophe. I'm not sure if I convinced him of anything, but at least tensions between us had eased by the time we went off to bed. It's Love, Crisis-Style. Lordy. Have I mentioned that Jörg is in the middle of preparing his tenure case? Yup. It's due very soon. And although I can't imagine that they could possibly turn him down, it's also true that his department has not had a successful tenure case in something like, oh, fifteen years. And the guys who fixed our leaky roof just told us that the roof needs to be replaced. Um, can that wait until we know if Jörg will still be employed, please? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ * If anyone is interested in hearing the rest of that song (and who wouldn't be?), it's called "Dubi Dam Dam" (pronounced "dooby dum dum," although I would love it if I could sing "damn" over and over again while dancing), and it's by a group called Banaroo (I give you the ever delightful google translation of the German Amazon page: "Welcomely in the Dubi country..."). I played this song for Norma's husband, who was there doing some sort of MRI research thingamajig, in Germany. He asked, after hearing the first 30 seconds or so, "Are there any meaningful lyrics?" And I told him, "It depends upon your definition of meaningful. There's some sort of alien visitation involved." (Complete lyrics here) But I'm not giving him the high road here. He busted out some Wiggle Tunes during his daughter's birthday party. "Fruit Salad. Yummy, yummy. (6X)"


Anonymous Rowan said...

I do believe that Diddy Wah Diddy is in fact a country.

I absolutely loved the first part of your post. I want that day, every day.

The latter part...well isn't it just that way sometimes?
You put it perfectly...Love, Crisis Style.

10/05/2005 2:04 AM  
Blogger Phantom Scribbler said...

Moreena, you have such a gift as a writer. The way you can make us all feel the whiplash...

10/05/2005 10:09 AM  
Blogger Running2Ks said...

I'm so sorry about the fighting part--but it just comes down to so much love for Anni. I know you will both come to a decision soon.

Dance circles--I wanted pictures!

10/05/2005 12:48 PM  
Blogger liz said...

Your writing is so beautiful. I love living your days with you. Even when it's love...crises style.


10/05/2005 12:55 PM  
Blogger Moreena said...

Updated to add an amusing link to Banaroo's translated German Amazon page. I love automatic translation.

10/05/2005 1:08 PM  
Blogger Yankee T said...

So sorry about the "lash" part of whiplash, but I'm glad you have an outlet for all the stuff-good and bad. I love to read you! The girls are so adorable.

10/05/2005 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Rowan said...

"He told me stories about his planet
Across the universe
With lots of fun we talked for hours
But later on he had to leave
Now he is gone but I can still hear
His little melody"

So just to clear up:

Diddy wah Diddy is a country.

And Dubi Dam Dam - Da Dubi Dibi Dam is a planet.


10/05/2005 11:50 PM  
Anonymous peripateticpolarbear said...

Aw.....I can't believe how much stuff y'all are dealing with right now. Take care.

10/06/2005 7:10 PM  
Blogger Elle said...

I bought two of those volcano things this summer. I think I paid $20 bucks each!

10/06/2005 7:44 PM  
Blogger Moreena said...

Rowan - You are too too funny!

R2K - Thank you, and you're right...the stress and fighting does come down to loving Annika and our own uncertainty about what's best. Of course, we don't really have to make a decision. We know the surgery has to be done. It's just a matter of *how* we approach it, I guess. It sounds kind of crazy when I put it that way, now that I look at it.

Elle - Yes, that's what they were normally around here, too. Luckily, though, our ToysRUs does some insanely deep discounts on summer stuff around early August, when there is, in fact, usually quite a lot of warm weather left. I usually convince the girls to wait until then. Sometimes I just pack it away in the garage unopened, so it feels like they're getting new stuff at the beginning of the next summer. But in case you hadn't noticed, I'm incredibly cheap and love bragging about my "deals." Annoying sometimes, I know.

10/07/2005 2:31 PM  

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