(Belated) Feliz Cumpleaños, Señor P!

Steak and Hysteria

Today (when written) is the dashingly well-dressed Mr. P’s birthday, and a great man deserves a great dinner. We discovered our new favorite way of eating steak several weeks ago via Epicurious, and having served the slices over beds of spring mix or arugula several times, I’m ready to plate this bad Larry up piping hot. There’s a fifty per cent chance I’ll be laying the strips over Puerto Rican white rice, but if that fails miserably, which it does every other time I make it, I’ll pull out a box of Near East pilaf. I anticipate that the combination of glazed shallots over white rice will be silencingly delicious, and I know of three little mouths that simply must stop making noises simultaneously for a full ten minutes at some point soon, lest our family be spotlit during local news.

Logic suggests that twin one-year-olds would experience less separation anxiety than singletons, but my girls are determined to defy everything from sleep to the laws of physics, so it fits that I can’t cross a threshold without triggering a complex dual alarm system. Aside from the dimensional portal that clearly opens when I walk away from them into the kitchen, I have no idea what exactly they think I’m doing during my tiny increments out of their sight. I can run a stack of laundry up the stairs, calling to them for the entire twenty seconds, but their wails start even before I’ve opened the door to the hall. Lately the tone of their reproach has been more wrathful than fearsome, so I suspect they picture some sort of flash party takes place, with a drop-down disco ball, anonymous dancers, and my top drawer pulled out and spilling over with candy. Most baffling, they aren’t even confined most of the time they spend screaming at me to stay; all they need do to avoid theoretical abandonment is follow me. Alas, my children appear to be wealthy estate owners trapped in a middle-class household, but they refuse to accept they don’t get a paid staff.

Normally I try to tie everything up neatly in the third paragraph, but I have a cake to frost, a table to set, and Sally the Slugger’s hitting someone with her mallet while loudly working on her first phrase: “bring it me.”

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