I am sitting on the sofa looking over my PowerPoint presentation on the second half of Robinson Crusoe.
I hang my head and, although it’s a mock-sob I let out, the feeling of deep reluctance it expresses is quite real.
“Huh-huh-huh-huh-huh-I really don’t want to give this lecture today!”
The younger looks up from The Guinness Book of World Records, which she has been perusing as she sits next to me on the sofa, and fixes me with a hard stare.
“Do you need therapy again?” she enquires incredulously. “Already?”
It’s a rhetorical question. She gives a long-suffering sigh. “Fine,” she says, “I’ll get the sloth book.”
“I need to print out my notes,” I mutter to myself and walk into the bedroom to coax and soothe the testy printer.
I sit cross-legged on the carpet as the printer grudgingly spits out my notes. She sits on the bed and holds up the “sloth book,” (which is actually a sloth calendar, and also possibly the best present any human has ever given another, from SJ) like a kindergarten teacher reading to the class. She slowly turns the pages and shows me the sloths.
“Look at this one!” she exclaims, pausing on May. “He looks human!”
“Awww!” I say, “I love his nose!”
She keeps turning. “This one is talented!” she exclaims, of August.
“Is he?” I ask doubtfully (this sloth is holding a flower).
“Yes!” she says. “He knows what to do with a flower! He’s smelling it!”
“I suppose that’s true …. I’m not sure smelling is a talent, exactly, but … ” I trail off.
I grab the papers from the printer.
“Did you see this one holding a carrot?” she asks, of the December sloth.
“No, let me see.” She shows me. He is indeed holding a carrot.
“That’s the last one,” she says. “Do you feel better?”
“Yes,” I say.
And I really do.