Trying to figure this whole parenting thing out.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Friday, May 10, 2013: Huevos paincheros

Gavin hit himself in the huevos last night. He fell going up the metal ladder on the playground and landed, hard, with one leg on either side of a rung. I've heard rumors that this hurts very much, and judging from the look on my son's face, his tears, and his subsequent wailing of, "I need an ice pack," I believe the rumors are true. I'm happy to report that, post ice pack, he and his huevos are doing fine.

Granted, you don't need to have nuts to feel the pain of getting kicked in the nethers. Which reminds me of a time in junior high gym class when a girl fell on the balance beam and landed crotch first, and, while the girl struggled to hold back tears from the pain, a boy said, "Good thing you're a girl or that would really hurt." And that is when I decided that boys were dumb.

Except I have a boy of my own now and no longer believe that. It's amazing how having a boy has changed my attitude about and my feelings toward males. It's not like I was ever a man-hating feminist. I was simply a feminist who was very cautious and more than a little afraid of boys and men. And understandably so considering that males are the biggest threat on earth to females. I am now a feminist (I've always been a feminist, damn it, and am deeply confused by women who say they are not feminists) who, though still wary when appropriate, can't help but see every male as somebody's son. Hence the warm and fuzzy feelings toward some dudes, especially dudes who spark an idea of what my son might be like some day. And dudes who are adorable.

Speaking of adorable, Gavin made something for us at school for Mothers' Day that is "a surprise and a secret." He hid it somewhere in his room. At first he put it under his pillow, but Stacy reminded him that we would likely find it there when we tuck him in at night. So he put it somewhere else, though I don't know where. I hope he remembers because I really want to know what it is.

For Stacy, Gavin and I are going to give her a [REDACTED] and a [REDACTED] for Mothers' Day. Gavin is very excited about this. He said in the car on the way to school the other day, "Don't forget about Mommy's [REDACTED] because Mothers' Day is very soon." I hope she likes it. I have a feeling that Gavin will be getting a [REDACTED], too. Gavin and Stacy have something up their sleeves for me. I don't know what it is (but I sure hope it's this).

Gavin really likes the whole concept of secrets and is really good at keeping them, which is both adorable and terrifying. He's also become quite the liar. Granted, telling tales is normal for kids, but still. A case in point: Gavin likes to play with the door stopper which is screwed into the back of the bathroom door. This causes it to frequently fall out. This is a new door stopper to replace the one he previously broke. We've asked him not to play with it, but he has not received, from me at least, a decisive "hands off" directive. Or, I suppose, "feet off" is more appropriate since he can reach it with his feet while he's on the toilet. In any case, the other day the door stopper was on the floor behind the toilet, a sure sign that it had been tampered with. So Stacy asked Gavin why the door stopper was on the floor and he claimed that "the wind" had "blowed through the window" and knocked it out. Keep in mind, Stacy and I were not angry when the question was posed, so there wasn't a compelling emotional reason to lie. Still, he did. And we told him that we didn't believe him. I explained that if the wind really did blow through the bathroom window hard enough to unscrew a door stopper then the force of the wind would have wrecked everything in the bathroom, not just that. He insisted on the wind story and I told him that I was disappointed that he wasn't telling the truth and that lying was a much bigger problem than the door stopper being on the floor in the first place and was much more likely to get him in trouble. If I remember correctly, Stacy then told him he couldn't have dessert, which was a total bummer for him. Well, yesterday the same thing happened: Gavin was in the bathroom, Stacy came in and noticed the door stopper on the floor and Gavin said, "I did that. It wasn't the wind," adding, a little cautiously, "And I'm not in trouble." And, indeed, he was not.

Another thing Gavin didn't get in trouble for was what we learned at his parent-teacher conference last night. This is because his teacher basically told us that he is amazing and wonderful and everybody loves him. Which was news to us! Seriously, he got a lot of praise from his teacher. He participates a lot, listens well, is very polite. She's especially impressed with how well he speaks and understands Spanish (he goes to a Spanish immersion Montessori preschool). His language skills really are quite remarkable. In just the last month he has started speaking to me in complete Spanish sentences. Whenever I read him a book in Spanish (which is rare since they have to be the SUPER easy books for me to even have a chance and he is getting too sophisticated for those books) and I don't know a word I ask him and even though he can't read it, he can either tell me from memory or he will explain what the page is about, using complete Spanish sentences that really does not clarify anything at all for me, but it does blow my mind. Granted, I can't take credit for any of this since it is Stacy who is the Spanish teacher and she has been speaking to him in Spanish since he was born. Most of the time I get what they're saying to each other, though not always. And they both politely tolerate my broken Spanglish.

Oh, and behold, Gavin's Official 2013 Preschool Portrait:

Granted, I did take him to JCPenney late last year to have his school photo done because I didn't know if they were doing school photos at his school and I wanted to maintain the shirt and tie motif I had going. But my motto is you can never have too many school photos. :) I should note, that I took him to JCPenney not because I thought they would take really good pictures, but precisely because I knew they would not, which would help capture the utilitarian school photo essence I love so much. This is actually his second preschool photo as his first one was terrible. I have already been berated by Lisa for not taking a photo of this photo for comparison sakes, but I did not. And I had to return the package to the photographer in order to take advantage of "retakes," which I didn't even know were a thing any more since the dawn of digital cameras. But in his previous photo he was grimacing and had 3-4 chins. I'm much happier with this photo, in which he basically looks like he's in a preschool One Direction cover band in the role of Harry Styles. Not that I can even name a single One Direction song, but I'm proud of my son for following his dream and will go to all of his shows. Especially because I will have to drive him.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wednesday, March 20, 2013: Parent trap

On Tuesday morning Gavin woke up and did not come directly into our room to get into bed with us. This is unusual, but not unheard of. When Stacy got up she reported back to me that he was playing with trains or blocks in his room. "Something clicky," she said. No sooner had the words left her mouth Gavin bolted out of his room and into the bathroom where he promptly peed and pooped. As he is not an expert wiper yet (I am looking forward to that day), he asked for some help and I obliged. I then asked him what he was playing with in his room this morning, wanting to know what the something clicky thing was because in my mind Duplo blocks are clickier than a wooden train set and, well, I wanted to know. Also I was just making chit chat. In response Gavin said, "I don't need to cuddle with grown ups any more." I answered, "You don't, huh?" And, with his thinking face on, he said, "No, because I'm not afraid of the dark." Huh, I thought. And I admit I was a little sad because I really dig the early morning family snuggle up but know he will outgrow it eventually. I just didn't think it would be so soon.

Looking back on this morning I see there were several red flags. Staying in his room by himself, for one. Running to go pee on his own without prompting is another ("I don't need to go pee" is basically his catch phrase). Then hurrying to go get dressed, which never happens. Every morning I try to get this kid to hurry the hell up and put on his clothes for school and it is never something that happens without intervention of some kind on my part. I had put all of these things together and concluded that my little boy was growing up.

It turned out he had just peed his bed. While he was pulling on a pair of clean chonies, I noticed his PJ pants and underwear on the floor of his room looked wet. And, indeed, they were. Dude had peed himself in the middle of the night and was trying to keep it on the down low.

When I asked him why he didn't come into our room to tell us he said, "I didn't want to get pee in your bed." Which I can certainly appreciate. I, too, do not want pee in my bed. But I also want my son to ask for help when he needs it.

My guess is that his reluctance to cop to his night peeing was that the day before he'd peed his pants for the first time in a long time, which ended a pretty good streak of him getting to choose when and whether he peed. Our insistance that he pee at certain times (in the morning, before dinner, before bed for example) was becoming a power struggle and so I decided that it was a silly thing to fight about. And so I told him that he could choose when to pee so long as he listened to his body. But should he have an accident because he's not listening to his body, his moms will once again get to do the choosing. And so here we are.

On our way to the gym on Tuesday Gavin and I were talking and he was telling me how to say some word in Spanish. "I'm your teacher," he said. Then he added, "Mommy is my teacher." I reminded him that I was also a teacher, though not of Spanish. "What have I taught you?" I asked. "You taught me how to aim," he said. "When I pee." If it is appropriate to say that my son has incredibly good aim and if he credits me with that ability, well, I'm a proud Mama.

Speaking of life skills presumably taught by fathers, Gavin is very into "Let's play Mommy, Baby, and Daddy" right now. This morning when we were all snuggling in bed he announced that Stacy would be Mommy, he would be Baby, and I would be Daddy. I declined. We had this same conversation yesterday. When he asked me to be the daddy I said, "How about I be a mommy?" He, a little exasperated, kept explaining to me, "We're just pretending!" And I know that. But, well, it's not a role I particularly want to play. Because, no duh, he doesn't have a dad and he never will. Do I feel guilty about this? Not exactly. And even though I know he's got it really good in life with his two moms, it's clear that he realizes that most kids he knows have a mom and a dad and that some day someone is going to give him shit for it. And so by wanting to play Mommy, Daddy, and Baby (mind you, the characters are not always human. Often it's cats or puffins or robots) he's wanting to try on this more traditional family structure and I'm sure that's a normal and healthy thing for a kid with a non-traditional family structure to do, but it's also a reminder that a dad is just not something I can ever give him.

And then tonight when I got home from work Stacy and I were cuddling with Gavin on our bed. He was between us, one of his moms on either side. He flung out his arms similar to how a crossing guard might to keep kids from crossing the street. He said, "No..." followed by a rather dramatic pause. And with one arm over Stacy and the other arm over me he said, "No dads allowed." Then he popped his thumb in his mouth and snuggled back up and we all stayed like that for a nice, though not nearly long enough, while.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Wednesday, March 6, 2013: That's what he said

There are some things that Gavin says that one day he'll say "correctly" and my heart will break a little bit. Like how when he was first starting to talk and he called me "Dirt." I loved it. The first time he called me "Mama D" I was a little crestfallen. I've come up with a list of some of his current Gavinisms:

  • "Mazagine." He really likes to get those free auto trader guides that probably no one with an Internet connection looks at anymore. He calls them his car mazagines. His interest in them once he has them is minimal though. I think he mostly likes opening the paper boxes outside of CVS. 
  • "Affinity," though he's leaning toward infinity now. He is very interested in the concept of infinity. A kid at school told him it was the biggest number and he definitely believes that bigger is better. So much so, in fact, that he tries to make infinity bigger by tacking on the biggest numbers he knows. For example, the other day in the car he told Stacy that he loved her "more than infinity one hundred."
  • "Think so" instead of think. As in, "I think so Norm is going to play soccer." Norm is our neighbor and Gavin enjoys tracking his comings and goings. Norm once informed Gavin that he was leaving to go play soccer and now that's pretty much the only thing Gavin thinks Norm does.
  • "Yawl pie," you know, "where the speed comes out." If you're confused, you can imagine how I felt until I realized he was trying to say "exhaust pipe." He's actually pretty good at saying it now, but every now and again he gets tripped up. And I love that he thinks the exhaust pipe releases speed. He also believes that the numbers on the side of race cars indicates how fast they can go.
  • "Tell me a water tower story." When we're in the car Gavin often requests that we tell him stories -- ones that we make up on the spot. It's a lot of pressure. It started with asking for a ghost story every time we passed a cemetery. And then one day Stacy told him a story about a water tower. (I should mention that my stories are in English, hers are in Spanish). I don't know what prompted this, but now every time we pass a water tower you can put money on Gavin requesting something from the water tower story genre. A genre Stacy and I are inventing, apparently. At first the stories had to do with people needing water and the water tower not working and someone coming to fix it so people could take baths and wash dishes again. A variation of that broken tower story takes place in a zoo since the Detroit Zoo water tower is one we pass a lot. But that story got boring after awhile (for the story tellers, anyway), and I've diversified telling stories of water towers filled with fish, lemonade, apple cider, and even soft serve ice cream. The last water tower story I told the water tower wasn't a water tower at all but a secret space station that launched a rocket ship.  
  • "There's a concert coming on." Gavin is quite the littler performer and when the mood strikes him he likes to sing and play his guitar or drums. When he wants an audience he announces, "There's a concert coming on!" just like when people used to watch TV in the days before DVRs and someone would get up to go to the bathroom during the commercial break and need to be notified immediately when the show was back on because by god you were going to miss something otherwise and the only other way to see the episode again would be to hope for reruns in the summer. 
  • "Kids and girls," a.k.a. boys and girls. I'm not entirely sure why he thinks "kids" are only boys, but it is probably related to the fact that he is a kid and a boy and that's just how it works in his brain. Also maybe because he's a young sexist in training. 
  • Jek ski instead of jet ski. This is largely a mispronunciation rather than a misunderstanding. He knows about jet skis, of course, from watching Eastbound & Down
  • "Paper toilet." No one Gavin speaks English with says "paper toilet" instead of toilet paper. And yet this term adorably persists. He does not even seem to be aware that is not how other people say it in English. It's a translation he's cobbled out of the Spanish papel higiénico.
Speaking of Spanish, as I have mentioned, Gavin goes to a Spanish immersion preschool. Today he brought home a painting of a horse (yesterday he did a painting of a cow. He is a very thorough painter, covering every inch of a picture. He pained the entire cow black to the point where if it didn't say la vaca underneath I wouldn't have known what it was. I asked him if it was a picture of a cow at night and he liked that idea). I said to Gavin, "Oh, today you painted a caballo." And he looked at me with a bit of amazement and said, "You know that word!" And I said that, yes, I did and that I learned it from him. And he said, "This is your Spanish school and I am your teacher." He's right. The Spanish I have learned in the past three years is due to listening to Stacy and Gavin talk to each other and asking a lot of questions. I usually get the gist of their conversations even if I couldn't translate it directly for you. Some words I know especially well because even before Spanish was being bandied about our house Gavin had a hand-me-down Baby Einstein exersaucer when he was little that had buttons with pictures of animals on them. When pressed a voice would say the animal's name in English, then Spanish, and then make the animal's sound. There was cow (vaca), lion (león), dog (perro), cat (gato), and duck (pato), which is the animal I remember most clearly because that button was in the center and so it got pressed a lot. I still sometimes get "Duck, pato, quack quack" said in the weirdly child-like voice of the exersaucer stuck in my head at random moments.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Tuesday, March 5, 2013: We're going on a toilet hunt

Hello. And welcome to the relaunch of my blog. I will now focus not on being a mom, but on raising guinea pigs on a macrobiotic diet. Just kidding. I just haven't updated in forever. Now I've acknowledged that and we can move on.

Gavin is very interested in ice these days. Considering we live in Michigan and it is Winter there is plenty of it to go around. He's fascinated by the idea that he could slip and fall on the ice and he is ready and willing to test this theory. Today after school I told him he could play on the playground for five minutes and what he wanted to do was swing, but under each place on the swing set was a deep icy mud pool and I appealed to his saner nature to do something else. And the something else he chose was walking across the soccer field which was a patchwork of mud, snow, and ice, with a particularly large patch of ice right in the center. He fell twice, once on his butt and once on his side. And had I not made him leave the playground I have no doubt he would have fallen again and again.

Which is what he did on our walk today. Gavin and Henri and I set out for a trek around the block. The slightly warmer weather today made being outdoors tolerable and the sidewalks in our neighborhood are largely snow and ice free (except in front of houses that never bothered to shovel their walks in the past few weeks and have treacherous bumpy, wet, and slippery expanses in front of their homes advertising their abject neglect. And, no, I'm not just talking about foreclosed homes where no one lives. The house I have in mind as I type this has a brand new snow shovel propped up agains the house by the front door. I don't know, maybe it's load bearing and if they move it their house will collapse. Who am I to judge?). While Henri and I were on foot, Gavin rode his scooter, something he's been dying to do all winter, but something we've discouraged since a Razor scooter is no match for snow, sludge, or ice. And Gavin's on a real, two-wheel Razor scooter now. Last year he was riding a three-wheeled one for little kids, but it was slow and cumbersome and he was eager to graduate to two wheels. I was doubtful that he'd be able to pull it off at first, but he's actually quite good at it. He falls a lot, but, like I said, it's almost always on purpose. I make him wear a helmet, too. It's a Nutcase helmet and on the back it says, "I love my brain," and every time I read that I think of how much I do, indeed, love my son's brain.

Take, for example, a conversation he and I had about toilets right before our walk. I was putting a Lowe's circular we'd gotten in the mail into the recycling bin when it opened to a page advertising toilets, something I have never actually had to buy before. The average price of the toilets on the page was 200 bucks. "Do you know how much a toilet costs?" I asked Gavin. He did not. When I told him $200 he asked, "Is that a lot of dollars?" and I said it was, relatively speaking, and he inquired as to whether I was planning on buying a toilet. I said no. He then asked if there were any toilets that could be bought with one dollar. I said probably not because a toilet that costs only a dollar probably wouldn't work and that a broken toilet could be had for free if you got it out of the garbage. Lo and behold, we found just such a toilet on our walk. It was like a miracle. After Gavin eagerly posed beside it (because this mom knows a photo opportunity when she sees one), we dragged it home because, hey, free toilet. I'm kidding. We left it where we found it, but I will always have this photo to remind me of what could have been.

Speaking of toilets, Gavin's love of potty humor seems to have reached a cruising altitude. For awhile there he loved to say all of the potty-related words he could think of anywhere and everywhere. So we instilled a rule that he could say these words with abandon so long as he was actually in the bathroom (I mean, they are called "potty words," so this makes a logical kind of sense). For what seems like months he would sit on the toilet and string together words like "pee pee" and "butt" and "poop" in every conceivable combination with such a fervor you'd think those were the only words he had ever been taught. And soon he was combining them with all of the other words he knew creating gruesome compound words like "peanut butter poop" and other words I can't even remember right now to repeat because I have probably blocked them from my memory in order to protect my brain. But I'll tell you what: we very rarely hear potty words outside of the bathroom, say at the kitchen table or in the car. And when he does slip and say something potty related outside of the potty zone, he realizes it immediately and says, "Oops, sorry." But in the past couple of weeks this pottywordpalooza seems to have lost steam. Instead of Tourette-level outbursts, he now mostly tells stories or sings to himself. Which is nice. Permission can be a great threat to subversion.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013: Mickey meets Gavin

Gavin went to Disney World while in Florida with Stacy so that Mickey Mouse could finally meet his cutest fan in person.
Q29WiK on Make A Gif, Animated Gifs

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013: Bucket list

I was talking to Gavin about how things we like as kids we don't always like as adults and vice versa because people change as they grow up. This list came from that discussion.

Things Gavin says he's going to do with he's 18:

  • Eat lettuce
  • Drive a car
  • Work at Greenfield Village driving the train (but not blowing the whistle)
  • "Eat a bigger piece of brocoli than you."
  • "Drive a bigger car than you."
  • Be "twelveteen" feet tall ("And then I'm gonna stop growing")
  • "I'm gonna wear 11T" (size clothes).
  • "I'm gonna be bigger than you."
  • Live with his moms. "And you're gonna be my family."

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sunday, Dec. 23, 2012: Christmas angel

I'm happy to say that Gavin is cured. He's now a perfect angel. He apparently just wanted to give us a couple months of hell. Maybe he wanted to see us grow as people, and also see us growl as people. But seriously, his behavior is great and it has been ever since shortly after my last post. Which obviously means he reads my blog.

A lot has happened, including Gavin's new school picture, which actually was taken at JC Penney's and not at his school. But since he had his school photo taken when he was in daycare, it was very important to me for there to be no gap in the chronology now that he's in preschool. And because I fucking love school pictures now that I have my own kid (my own school pictures? Not so much). I chose JC Penney because of their embrace of gay and lesbian families. But also, and this is probably not going to sound flattering but I mean it in the best possible way, because I didn't want the photo to look too, well, professional. I wanted it to look like a school photo, not a Glamour Shot. I am very happy with the result. I don't even mind that you can see his fading black eye (he tripped and fell on the playground while he was wearing sunglasses which dug into his face. This happened a day after tripping and falling and busting his lip (which we just noticed has caused one of his front teeth to start turning grey). So he looked pretty rough for awhile. Cue the child abuse jokes, which I know I am not supposed to take personally but I can't help it, I do to an extent. Because I can't really think of anything I'd hate myself more for than intentionally hurting my child. And knowing how so many fucked up people hurt kids in so many ways. In any case, Project 2012 School Photo has been completed and I could look at this picture all day.

Gavin also took week-long trip to Florida by himself. Well, he flew down there with his Granny Marilyn and stayed at her house and Stacy flew down there to get him a week later. So it's not like we dropped him off at the airport with a note that said, "Please help me get to Florida." While Gavin was gone he got a terrible ear infection and spent a good amount of time there feeling crummy, but was a very sweet, and very cuddly, boy. But he also had a good deal of fun (Gavin and Granny took a golf car ride to Wal-Mart and came back with a new bike and helmet, for example). Before he left for Florida I gave him a hug and told him I was going to miss him and he looked into my eyes with one hand on my shoulder and said, "You'll be okay, Mama D. You'll be here with Mommy. Have some fun."

Also while he was gone the beyond horrible shooting happened in Newtown, CT and all I wanted to do was hug my son and never let him leave the house again, but since he was far away I had to settle for pacing the house and fighting back tears. My heart goes out to those families who lost those little kids. I still have moments every day where I look at Gavin and have this flush of fear and sadness at the thought of him being taken from me like that.

But he is home. And he is safe. And when I picked Stacy and Gavin up from the airport he ran to me with the biggest smile on his face and gave me the biggest hug. I told him I missed him and he said he'd missed me, too. "I didn't miss you on the airplane, though," he said. When I asked him why not he said, "Because I knew you were going to be right here." He is a very smart boy. He also seemed two inches taller and had grown out of his shoes. And he came home with a penchant for "spectacular" holiday light displays.

Gavin is very excited for Christmas. This is the first year where he believes the whole Santa thing, which I at first felt weird about, because lying, but I've accepted it. In fact, I even thought to myself the other day that if it snows I could use the roof rake to make a sleigh track. And then I knew I was a lost cause.

Gavin's Christmas song of choice is "Jingle Bells." Last week he was on the toilet singing it but he didn't know all of the words so he was making them up: "Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingle all the way. Oh what fun it is to... one, two, (inaudible) HEY!" and repeat." He's gotten better with the lyrics (instead of "(inaudible) HEY" he now sings "sleigh" as two syllables with a big accent on the second syllable so that it sounds like "slay-EH"). But that's because he has a lot of practice. He sings it a lot. Especially when he plays Santa, a game that involves him sitting in the chair in the living room with the ottoman pushed up against it (his sleigh) with a couple of rocking horse ornaments he likes to take off the tree (his reindeer) set down in front, and all of the presents under the tree stacked on the ottoman. It is my job to pretend to be asleep on the couch (I am good at this) while Santa arrives and delivers the gifts under the tree. Then when Santa is done I am to wake up and pretend to look out the window at Santa as he flies off. I can tell when he's coming and going because he sings "Jingle Bells" en route.

There are five wrapped presents under our Christmas tree right now, all for Stacy. Gavin helped me wrap them. He has been surprisingly good at keeping what's in them a secret. Although he did spill the beans about one of the gifts. While Stacy was buckling him into his car seat he noticed that the tip of one finger of her glove is torn up and he told her that we got her new gloves that she can wear while talking on the phone (Stacy and I got new phones, which means her olden days flip phone has been officially retired). Which is true. But she'll still have to wait until Christmas.

Yesterday Stacy and Gavin went shopping to buy me a present (Gavin blabbed the plan) and I went out to do some shopping myself. When I got home they were eating dinner and Gavin ran to me saying, "I'm not going to tell you anything!" It is not easy a kid his age (or, any age really) to keep secrets, so I've been impressed with his resolve. Though I also know it would be really easy to make him crack. Not that I want to. I have no desire to know what my present is ahead of time. Nor do I want to exploit the top secret intelligence capabilities of a three and a half year old. Honestly, a hug and a kiss from both Gavin and Stacy would be plenty for me.

By the way, it's totally fucking weird to have a tree in your house that you decorate for a month out of the year. Especially a plastic tree, like ours. I told Stacy I wanted a real one this year because the idea of storing a fake plastic tree in our tiny house year round is a dumb one, but then Stacy started talking about some Christmas tree farm near her dad's house that's a couple of hours away and how we'd have to chop it down ourselves and I'm all, "I thought it'd be more like going to the tree lot on Woodward" and the fake tree in our basement started to look pretty damn good. I really can't complain because Stacy took care of all the holiday decorating stuff while I graded essays. Gavin helped her decorate the tree a little bit, though he was much more interested in playing with the ornaments than he was in putting them on the tree. Now that the tree is up, he's a big fan of taking the ornaments off the tree and playing with them. There have been some casualties. But it is the War on Christmas, after all.