As the kids go to sleep I tell them stories designed to be relaxing, and by relaxing I mean boring. Sometimes it’s a quick story about an outdoor family adventure followed by the family eating warm soup, lying down by the fire, letting their heads sink into their pillows, feeling their shoulders getting heavy and relaxed, noticing their foreheads growing smooth, feeling their calves and their ankles growing still, their jaws loosening, their breathing getting slower and deeper, etc. It’s hard for me to stay awake during these stories. Other times, I just drone on about the day’s minutia and tomorrow’s weather. It was during one of these stories that I murmured, “I love you, Frida,” to a kid who was almost asleep, and she, in a terrifically bored, inattentive voice, said, “Good.”
“I love you, Frida.”
We thought it was hilarious. Now, weeks later, about a third of the time that I tell Max I love him, he will drop his eyes to half-mast, slacken his cheeks, drone, “Good,” and then start cackling.
Family in-jokes make my heart sing.
Dear parents of new babies,
It will get better. And then it will get great.