You have been through a lot with us, over the past four years, albeit unwillingly. You have heard the fights, the joy, the tantrums. Spring and Fall are the hardest seasons for you, I’m sure, because we open our windows. And you have to hear the sounds of our very vocal family. Sorry. But we have to ventilate.
It must be hard, living next to us. Because you? We hardly hear you at all. You are so quiet. Almost mouse-like. Creeping into your house in your car, quickly closing the garage door before we have a chance to make eye contact. And days go by where we are not sure if you are even there. Then we see the garage door open.
Yesterday was interesting, wasn’t it? My girl decided that she was Linda Blair from the Exorcist. She stopped short of the projectile vomiting.
It all started with us sitting down to a normal lunch. I heated up some shrimp chow mein for her in a bowl and she sat down at the table. I got out her bib, like always, and she said: “No bib, mama, no bib.”
I would have let it go, but it was chow mein, with soy sauce that leaves a mean stain, so I said, “No, you have to wear the bib.”
And that, dear neighbors, was the start of it.
Twenty minutes of her screaming her head off, red in the face, rage spewing out of her mouth. Interspersed with my asking if she wanted to eat, her saying yes, my saying she had to wear the bib, her saying no, my saying then no food, her screaming. Repeat.
And you would have been proud of me. Because my new anti-depressants must be working, because I didn’t lose it. I stayed in control. Actually even choked back a laugh. Good thing too, because she was looking at me at that moment, and I have no idea what she would have done if I’d laughed.
I even managed to make Nik his chutney sandwich. And answer him when he asked, very puzzled, “What’s wrong with Anjali?”
I even heated up a bowl of chow mein for myself. Sat down at the table with Nik and took a couple bites. Looked over at her screaming, sweaty little face and asked her: “Do you want to eat?”
And she said: “Yes.”
Me: “Can I put your bib on?”
Anju: “Yes, mama, I want the bib on.”
And I put the bib on, gave her a kiss, sat her at the table, gave her the bowl of food, and she started to eat.
So, dear neighbors, I apologize if you were home yesterday. Around lunch time.