Kids, man. They're not so perceptive at times.
Anyway, since we've settled in, I've been making a concerted effort is all I'm saying. And in all seriousness, I really thought it would help with the kids' transition. They're missing NY and my mom hardcore, so, the way I see it, having fun is kind of like a bribe that I'm hoping suggests, SEE? TEXAS IS WAY MORE FUN THAN GRANDMA! So far, we've gone to the park a few times (Texas! Has parks! That you don't have to pay for! To get in! Like they have in New York!) And I've even met several (okay, like three...that's a lot, right?) of my neighbors. So, we're out there! Interacting! Loving life! And, you know, sweating a bit. Because there's definitely a little bit of the All Summer in a Day vibe going on, too, stuffing in as much outside activity as I can before the temperatures reach HELLFIRE.
One friend (whom I know through Husband) has been especially awesome, and even invited us to a friend's neighbor's son's birthday party. (Catch all that? I think it's called a party that you've been THREE TIMES REMOVED from the invite list.)
Me: Ahh, but...like, will they mind? That I'm a stranger?
Her: Oh, no. Not at all.
Me: [Nervous farts.] Ehhh....okayyy then.
So, suppressing every firing electron in my brain that screamed ABORT! ABORT!, we go to this party that I've been invited to only indirectly, and I decide to just try to act like I've not crashed the thing. The boys promptly make themselves at home, and I introduce myself to the homeowner after he eyeballed me suspiciously on the stairway. In a nice way, of course. (Texans are friendly, you see.) Plus One was happy enough to watch the older kids play Mario Brothers, so he settled in on the couch and remained there so motionless and captivated, that I occasionally went over and poked him to verify life. T9, on the other hand, presented more of a challenge, finding stray toys and using them for mortal combat.
Me: [Crouching on the floor, picking up stray pizza from dinner.] Whatchay got there, kiddo? Are those SWORDS, buddy?
T9: [With a sudden furrowed brow and squatting, combative stance.] YETS. SOHD.
Me: Play nice with those, okay?
T9: Ohhh-tayyy. [Easing posture, and approaching me, sword aimed at my eyeball.] Saahhey, Mommy. Saahhey. Cut you, Mommy. Cut you.
Then? Then my cute, little toddler mock-sliced my scalp clear off my head. And then he cackled. I went to grab the swords, but he gave me a Macauley-Culkin-O face and ran off. So there I was, dashing after my cackling ancient-weapon-yielding child through a stranger's home while a young boy opened presents in the corner, and all the while whisper shouting that he STOPIT! STOPIT T9! GETOVERHERE! ISAIDSTOPIT!
Me: He's just been acting out a lot more, you know?
Them: Oh, suuuure. Those boys process their emotions---
Me: [Resisting the urge to turn toward the sound, as everyone else runs to the scene.]
T9: [Shouting dramatically from the scene of the crime.] OHHH NOOO! BOH-KIN, MOMMY. FALL DOWN! GROUND!
GUYS. On motherloving CUE, the boy started trashing the place. First it was a vase of flowers that was scattered about the floor. Next came the candlestick, which did not survive the fracas. Third was like the biggest, most intimidating boy in the place, whom T9 decided to tackle with wild abandon. Fortunately for T9, the boy was a lover and not a fighter. Or, more of a shrugger, I suppose, as he simply nudged the toddler off him so as not to disturb his video-gaming.
This all happened Saturday night. Yesterday? On Mother's Day? I celebrated by keeping the family quarantined to the house.
But the very fact that *I* wasn't the one breaking the vase, the candlestick, and the oversized young boy? I think I'm gong to call that progress.