Not Too Floppy and Not Too Crunchy

by jkatejohnston

16 December 2013

Dear Max,

Enzo’s room is littered with wadded up Kleenex and an empty Kleenex box. When he blows his nose at night, he doesn’t just drop the tissue beside the bed, he throws it with all his strength and force (as he would put it), so that the floor of his room is a kind of scatter-shot of wadded up tissue, and then the empty box, the last desperate toss.

Meanwhile, I haven’t written in a very long time. Writing seems like a strange thing to do, and my notes are inscrutable and hopeless. However:


Enzo petting Duncan on the couch. “I wish Duncan was a baby so we could make a coat out of him.”

“Why a baby?”

“Because babies can’t even take care of theirselves so they just die.”

Themselves. Babies can’t take care of themselves.”

“And then they just die.”

I see that this makes Enzo look like a sociopath and me look more concerned with grammar than empathy. Well, he’s not—he’s was even nice to Duncan as he was saying all this, petting him gently and sort of regarding him thoughtfully, his mind racing with possibilities. And as for grammar and empathy, I’ll take grammar, Teresa can have empathy.


When Enzo’s green light comes on at 6:15 he calls out “Kate!” and I go in there and he slides off his top bunk and wraps his legs around my waist and I just hold him for a few moments all limp and warm, my almost-sixty-pound baby. He has no patience for this. The other morning, he slapped me softly on the back, “Ya!” I carried him to the couch, plopped him down, took his breakfast order: bacon, “not too floppy and not too crunchy, that’s the way I like it.”