I came thumping in the door after a church neighborhood group meeting (it’s a thing I just don’t have time to explain right now or maybe ever because so I don’t know why I didn’t just say that I was someplace that I go once a week, like Zumba) with Penelope with me, even though I don’t usually take her to Zumba, but I took her this week because Phil has been doing a lot of stuff for me recently in the thankless supportive kind of category, though it’s more just supportive, not thankless, because I do thank him a lot of times, but I kind of cancel it out with bitching and then apologizing about the bitching, and apologizing doesn’t cancel out bitching as much as bitching erases thanking right out of the heads of the people you thanked, making them feel like what they’ve done is thankless, even if it’s not technically so, but “technically thankless and supportive” required way too much explanation, which is why I just went with “thankless and supportive” as a descriptor for the kinds of things he’s been doing lately that lead me to take Penelope along to my Zumba class to give him a little time to himself, even if it wasn’t a lot of time, because if you have a small child who isn’t yet in any kind of school, maybe you get time to yourself at work, and maybe you get time to yourself when you run some errands here and there, but time to yourself IN YOUR OWN HOUSE is a thing that is suddenly no longer a thing that YOU DIDN’T EVEN REALIZE YOU MISSED until you recognized that one, it’s a thing, and two, you’re no longer getting it, and once you realize you’re not having any of that and haven’t for a VERY long time, it becomes a really excellent kind of gift to give or receive if you’re doing or are the receiver of behaviors that fall into the category of thankless and supportive, or maybe technically thankless and supportive, which really might as well be the same thing for all intents and purposes.

And it’s not that Penelope was bad at Zumba, it’s just that I don’t usually take her there, so she doesn’t really get what she’s supposed to be doing, so she needed a lot more attention than one might usually want to give to one’s child when trying to focus on the head of Zum, and there was also a situation that necessitated an outfit change, and I hadn’t slept except for two hours last night, and I only slept those two hours because Phil kept watch to make sure I didn’t die in the night, which is a whole other thing that I’m not getting into but might shed some light on an earlier conversation on Twitter about whether or not it’s appropriate to dial the emergency number to report a dead person who has clearly been dead for quiet some time, like maybe died in the night and is certainly not exactly going to benefit from any sort of emergency medical services or anyone really rushing over, and I will tell you right now that while you’re free, of course, to venture on over to Twitter and check out that  conversation for yourself, the Internet did not exactly find in my favor which put me in a pretty bad mood, pre-Zumba, especially since the topic of… Zumba-ing… centered a bit around pride and how it comes in to play in disagreements with spouses and admitting when one may be wrong and as a couple that generally agrees to go with the popular opinion of the Internet, it really gives me the red ass when the Internet turns out to be a bunch of PHILLIPS about a particular topic, so I won’t be continuing that discussion in the comments here, especially since so much good stuff has already been said on Twitter, the best stuff, of course, being the stuff that got where I was coming from and the essential correctness of my logicitude, and you can feel free to jump in there if you want to add any experience on that.

So that’s how, wronged by the Internet and totally Zumba’d out, running on two hours of sleep that I was pretty sure – AT THE TIME – might, possibly, end in death but turned out not to (I was actually woken up this morning by with the words, “Hey, you’re not dead,” so that was nice), I came home and wanted to just crash directly into my bed.


“So go to bed.”




“Just post a picture and go to bed.”




14 thoughts on “And I said, SO THERE WAS A FOUR NEWTON CHALLENGE.

  1. Linnea

    Ugh. Jeremy & I have had actual fights about who gets to apologize first because it’s so frustrating when he gets over stuff super fast and is half way to making up while I’m still 85% pissed off, even if I know I’m wrong and I’ve behaved poorly & plan on apologizing I get mad all over again if he apologizes first… Which is maybe the most ridiculous part. But sometimes I want to be the one who gets to be humble & magnanimous & other words that sound virtuous. But I’m not any of those things.

    Sarah Anne Reply:

    I SO get you.

  2. Curly Girl

    Time alone in your own house is one of the best gifts EVAR.

    TJ Reply:

    I’ve been alone in my house a few times since Penny was born, but I’ve always missed most of it. It’s almost always been when Phil has decided to take Pen to the park on a weekend morning, early, before I’ve woken up. Now, don’t get me wrong – I’m not asking to be WOKEN UP to appreciate the time, but… when am I ever going to be alone in my own house!

  3. Sarah Anne

    You both have THE BEST expressions. Penny will be a master of the side eye.

    TJ Reply:

    Pen already tries so hard to copy expressions, but she has no idea what any part of her face does. It’s absolutely hilarious.

  4. april

    No death is (almost) always a good thing. Never say never, never say always? We were talking at work yesterday about being put into a home and I mentioned that my mom asked to be killed before that happens.

  5. Melissa

    Wait Wait wait…you’re taking a Zumba class? Will we get to hear more about that? Opinions and stuff? I kinda want to try it, but I’m afraid I’m not…rhythmic enough…to keep up.

    Chris Reply:

    Sorry, she’s not actually taking Zumba. She started out with “church neighborhood group meeting” and then decided that needed an explanation that somehow she managed to avoid talking about and changed the name to Zumba because everyone understands that.

  6. Lawyerish

    I am NEVER in my home alone. NEVER. Well, except for a couple of very brief hours on Fridays when Felicity is at school, but during that time I ALWAYS have to work, so it doesn’t count. I suppose I should more accurately say, I am NEVER in my home alone WITH NOTHING TO DO. That’s even better.

    Remember having HOURS AND HOURS of time at home on the weekends, with NOTHING to do? I used to nap and do the crossword puzzle or sort out my closet or just sit and watch TV or blog for HOURS. Alone. Alooooooooone.

    TJ Reply:

    I hesitate to go down the “OH PEOPLE WITHOUT KIDS HAVE IT SO GOOD THEY DON’T EVEN KNOW” road, because that’s not what I mean at all. But BEFORE Penny, oh man, I spent all day long just doing… whatever. However I wanted. But I was also YOUNGER with less responsibilities in GENERAL, too, so it’s not a sole factor of a kid that did it. I eventually had to start shopping for all my food at once, as an ERRAND, instead of just… picking up dinner from wherever. And, I don’t know, just… things. Things that just had to be done and fit in around other things. It’s obviously largely Penny who is IN THIS HOUSE and not leaving me alone in it, but also, even if she wasn’t here, it’s not like I’d be just SITTING HERE ALL THE TIME like I used to. It’s KIDS THESE DAYS who don’t know how good they have it, that’s what it is. Just wandering around in their houses. WANTING to go out or have someone COME IN. Because they’re BORED. NO. NO. STAY IN THERE. STAY IN THERE ALONE AND SOAK IT UP. ADULTHOOD AND DEMANDS ARE COMING.

  7. Rosa

    I just realised that Penny gets her pretty eyes with the long lashes from Phil! You can see it so clearly in the picture :)

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