Sunday, March 09, 2008

Animal House and the Husband of Memory, Husband of Forgetfulness

I was supposed to be posting about Andrew's first swimming lessons. He is a member of the Ducks and Guppies class where, every Saturday morning, he and I risk hypothermia with all the other Ducks and Guppies and their fathers under the instruction of a woman who has been working at Tuckahoe since I was a very little girl. As will make more sense later, I will let you know now that she is a jaguar.

For reasons I will later explain, I have decided to instead reveal the obvious: like most people on earth, my children resemble certain animals. So, though Andrew is technically a Guppie for purposes of the class, he is in reality a duck and has been since his little round head was covered in soft yellow fluff and his baby shoulders and back in a downy fuzz.

Brigham, for example, is a very nice and friendly Gorilla.

(notice that brig is placing Andrew on the back of a gorilla statue. very revealing.)
Will used to be a duck, but now I see that he is really a tiny monkey.

I have known all sorts of animal people in my life. I even knew a 6 foot 5 inch rubber duck. He was an AP in my mission.

(this is elder a.p. i don't know why he is wearing glasses)

The attractiveness of the animal has nothing to do with the attractiveness of the person resembling the animal, so no offense should ever be taken. I know a very pretty woman rat. (Brig showed me Jim Rome's archive of athletes that look like rats. He eventually took it down but somebody else archived it at

Anyway, I have no photos of Andrew's swimming lesson because Brigham decided that he would instead sit in the car (or really, drive the car around, or really, drive the car to a drive through and buy an enormous soda) so baby Will could sleep a little longer. I guess he forgot that Will's carseat removes easily from the carseat base. And that I really wanted photos / video of the lesson. And that I would be very mad if I didn't get them. About 15 minutes after the lesson ended, Brig strolled inside the pool area with Will in his arms and no camera. Brigham of Forgetfulness.

But I can be a Wife of Forgetfulness, too. Being too cheap and dumb to buy a baby bathtub, I used to just get in the tub with Andrew to bathe him. We lived in a drafty little house in Salt Lake and one of the biggest trials in my life at this time was the Brig would wander away to find a towel while leaving the bathroom door open. No amount of nagging, usually a helpful marital communication skill, fixed this oversight.

When we moved back to Va and were staying with my parents, Brigham had taken over this duty on occassion. While they were in the tub one evening, it was my turn to wander off, and I left the bathroom door open in my parents' notoriously drafty house. When I returned, Brigham was annoyed. "Now you know how it feels; it gets pretty cold!" I scolded. "Its not about me being cold, Alexandra. It is about me being naked."
Wife of Forgetfulness.

I know I must forgive Brigham for his forgetfulness of things like the importance of memorializing Andrew's first swim lesson because oftentimes his forgetfulness touches on things that bless my life. On Friday I became suddenly ill and miserable. Brigham forgot about work and came home early (5pm) to help me out. At night, Brigham forgets that he has to work the next day and changes Will's diapers when he can see that I am really struggling. He then forgets which side of the bed is really his and sleeps on the side closest to the crib so he can get up and soothe the baby when he stirs. He also forgets that I made us so late to church that we missed the sacrament (meeting) again, that I haven't touch the dishes in days, and that dinner really wasn't very good. He also forgets most of the bratty things that come out of my mouth.

Actually, though, when I think about it, Brigham really is a Husband of Memory more than one of Forgetfulness. He remembers the things that really matter--things I am likely to forget. He is the one to ensure we pray every night and that we have church every Sunday (and even what time it starts!). He remembers that a lot of forgetting and overlooking so that mistakes and lapses of judgment don't spoil a day is essential to having a lifetime of memories worth looking back on. I am lucky to have such a husband to help me remember to forget. That is just the way of the gorilla. If I wanted someone to remember everything, I should have married one of these

What kind of animal are you?


Jenny said...

Alexandra, I really enjoyed this post! I love the little pictures in it too. That tiny monkey is adorable. It's so true that people often resemble animals. Early in our married life M started calling me his little goat. I never really thought of myself as a goat, and he's never been able to explain why "goat" seemed like the appropriate pet name for me--maybe it's because I love to eat??

Tat said...

All I have to say is that I know who that six-foot rubber duck is.

Alexandra said...

Yes you do, Tat, yes you do. And if you say his first name quickly, it soundslike you are saying ducks, too. His parents saw it for sure, obviously. Its totally ok to say all of this on the internet bc he is a confident and 'cool guy' sort of person. right?

Allie said...

What an awesome post. I enjoy your wit. The pictures were hilarious as well. When my Andrew was a couple of months old, I set his infant seat down in front of our apartment door as I unlocked it. Maddie, who was 2 and a half at the time noticed something unusual on the doorstep. "EEEWWWWW, what is that disgusting creature?" she squealed. I looked down and spotted what she was referring to and informed her, "That is a slug." I opened the door and told her to go in. She stepped through the door, turned and looked right at Andrew in his three month old blob phase and said, "You come in too, Andrew, you big slug!"

Lauren said...

This post is great - the bathing stories made me laugh! I missed sacrament last week too - D. was on a ski trip... it happens:)

Ashley said...

The part about what Brigham forgets was sweet. I love "downy" babies!

Tara, Doug, and Isaac said...

Um, maybe a lot of us are hoping that we aren't the "Very pretty Rat" in your life:).

Alexandra said...

Tara, don't worry. The very pretty rat is not in the readership. I knew her in a professional capacity. But that comment made me laugh for several minutes.

Lyndsay said...

Are we permitted to ask your designated animal?
I too have noted different people's animal likeness, and you're right, it's very rarely insulting. It feels so satisfying to figure out a person's animal!
p.s. How fortunate that on the very day you happened to mention showering in my comments section, we get a pic of Brigham doing just that. (platonic-ness noted)

Alexandra said...

Pinkish skin, round nose, big mouth. I am a pig! My sisters called me Wilbur when I was littler, so I prefer to imagine myself the cartoon pig rather than a real one.

I am glad that you don't think I have a crush on you Lyndsay! You are beautiful, but I say it as a friend. :) Oh, Brig allowed, but with much reluctance, that photo to be posted. It is just so hilarious he had to finally agree.

woobers_mom said...

I wanted to attend Andrew's first swimming class(to take photos with my new camera) but due to a series of unfortunate bits of minutia life interfered with my best intentions.

Q: Why should this day be any different from any other? Hmmm.

Anyway, this was the day we celebrated Missy's birthday * in Reston *at Rio Grande * for LUNCH, not dinner * because your dad & I HAD--HAD! under penalty of law, no doubt--to attend the HP Group dinner--an evening meeting meeting of 30 minutes crammed into 3 hours.Thus no photos with new camera of Fuzzy Duckling Andrew in wet suit.

Andrew's next class is Sat., 15 March, but--

the 1st day of my 1st seminar class @ RPV in Richmond, which I agreed, in writing, to attend (under penalty of law, though?? Hmm.)

So goes my life.

I love you guys and miss each of you terribly when you are not here. And this comment has nothing to do with the fact that Brigham had to perform a quasi-Himlich manuver on me on Sunday as I heaved & yacked to no effect on a raw broccoli stem as your father sat, unconcerned, unaware, calmly reading The Washington Times, Sunday editiorial page. And as my futile life flashed past my eyes I had to decide which was more humilating: to die of raw broccoli (Headline, Washington Post,[below the fold; "D" section, near Classified] "Elderly McLean Woman Croaks on Broccoli"; or to expose my flacid self to an in-law. Having little illusion about my life I decided upon the latter.

Thanks, Brigham.

Michelle said...

What a fun post. You crack me up. Do I tell you that every time that I leave you a comment...I feel like I do. I hope you're feeling better! I'll see you tomorrow.

Sister Abigail Cannon said...

How very sweet, Alexandra. We love you, Momo

Jacqueline Auna & family said...

You really post about the best, most random, and delightful things! Loved this one... I think I may be a pug, endlessly trying to please besides the obvious flat-nose resemblance. : ) Elijah would be a baby gorilla! and Elise a kitten, cautious of people. I've not yet decided about Aaron! I was going to ask your permission to do a post in response to this... : )

Carolina said...

I like the water, but I have some reptilian tendencies and like to stay out of sight. I think I'm a salamander.

But a lot of people are more like fruits. Alexander came into this world much like a coconut. Very hairy on the outside, hard to crack (you have to try really really hard to make him laugh), quite round (20 lbs at 4 months), but soft and tasty on the inside.

Rachael said...

Oh! I so wish I could have actually met you before we departed the East so that I could put a face with the wit and eloquence. Beautiful post. Also, do you know the Casillas? They and Kory Brown are Tuckahoe JUNKIES.

Jessica and Matt said...

Well, I was releived that Tara, Doug and Isaac were able to get clarification on the rat point. You may recall that Charlotte's Web provided another self-confidence-boosting nickname in our family: the all-too flattering Templeton. I still feel a little uncomfortable when I hear the (my) name mentioned -- frantically looking around the room as I anxiously wonder, "Does anyone else here realize that that is me?"

Audrey said...

I love this post. Lucky for my Scott forgets everything that I do wrong. Unlucky for him I'm not so forgetful!