Perfect houseguests

We just had the best house-guests ever: independent, enthusiastic, and perfect. It helps that they enjoy most of what I enjoy: fish tacos, the Sunday New York Times, hiking by the ocean, quirky ethnic food, good conversation, and people-watching in my hippie town. They managed to find touristic pleasure in the playground.

It also helps that they have a terrific sense of direction and their own favorite local spots, so they can go birdwatching in the lagoon or shopping at the Patagonia store without any guidance from me. They noticed we were out of coffee and, without any fuss, went to the organic market, bought coffee and dinner food, cooked us a gourmet meal, and left us leftovers for the week. They are the perfect houseguests.

Sophie is a pretty good hostess, too. She paid attention to what each guest likes. Gammpa, she decided, loves to blow bubbles or stack legos. She led him in long bouts of both. Gamma, on the other hand, excels at adventurous dressing, enthusiastic nonsense-conversation, and creative bathtub doodles. I don’t want to clean up the bathtub-crayon masterpieces that those two created together. It was adorable.

Sophie was just getting over her latest cold and sixth ear-infection, though. With this particular cold, she dropped from 23 pounds to 21 and a half. I think this means she was constantly hungry. Add that to being almost-two, being unable to pefrectly articulate what she wants and incapable of getting her own socks on just so, and we had a lot of tantrums this weekend.

There were fewer tantrums on Sunday than Saturday, because there was more food in her tummy by that time — but still, there were tantrums. And the perfect houseguests didn’t blink. They simply let us parent Sophie, offered her a hug when necessay, laughed at our little jokes (we often respond to a tantrum by advising Sophie to say, “Terrible twos!”), respected naptimes, and lavished praise on her the rest of the time.


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