Tuesday, August 4, 2009
As if the Universe knew I needed a break, today was the complete opposite of yesterday. My daughter didn't spend the entire day in time out. My son didn't project life sucking cries in my direction for hours. The house wasn't cluttered with dirty dishes and to do lists. I wasn't downing over the counter pain killers like candy...
Today somehow, was the complete opposite of yesterday.
Right after I made a nice pot of home cooked oatmeal, I took the kids outside to play. I layed out a big pink fluffy blanket in the shade, sprinkled it with vintage McDonald's actions figures, and sat back and enjoyed my mug of (still) hot, stevia sweetened coffee. As soon as the toddler started acting up, and I mean the very second, I gave her the options of playing nice with her baby brother, or going inside and sitting in an empty room all alone, with nothing to do. The calmness in my voice bought me an additional 20 minutes of freedom, and I got to enjoy the breeze on my skin as I continued sipping caffinated sips from my favorite zombie mug.
When it was time to go back inside, it wasn't because the kids were being bad (for once), it was because they needed nourishment. Applesauce and bananas, for the little man, and some watered down juice, for the little lady.
What... no fight about how the juice "doesn't taste right" today? Well that's funny.
I didn't want to press my luck, so I threw in a DVD and quickly got to work cleaning my many areas of household disaster. Charlie seemed to be interested in being near his big sister, and his eyes seemed to narrow in on Shrek and Donkey's conversation, so... maybe he'd like to watch the movie too? I first set him up in his green Bumbo, which was working, but he kept dropping his binky. With no bink holder in sight, I searched high and low, I wheeled the high chair from the dining room to the living room (its the same room, really) hoping that the seated transition wouldn't phase him too much, and I'd actually get a chance to finish the dishes.
After the kitchen was sparkly clean, I looked over and noticed that Charlie's arm had fallen limp. It was dangling over the edge of his highchair, almost as if he had fallen asleep. But no, he couldn't have. Neither of my children ever fall asleep anywhere other than their beds. Or if the exhaustion is severe enough, maybe their car seat. I quickly grabbed the camera, knowing that this would be another good one for the Herman family history book, and literally ran around to face my sleeping beauty front the front. His head was bobbing up and down, pulling itself back up every time it realized that there was no soft pillow to catch its fall. My heart started dancing my chest, my lips mouthed a great big "awwww", and then my hands flew up to snap pictures before his eyes popped open and he the screaming began.
But no, there was no screaming. ...??? I kept bracing myself. I knew it was coming. I unlocked the tray from his high chair, slowly picked him up, pulled him to my chest and let his head rest on my shoulder.
Screaming... any minute now... wait for it... wait for it... ??? Nothing.
I walked slowly over to the pack n play, lowered him down onto the mattress pad, handed him a pillow doll to snuggle, covered him with a light blanket, and backed away with my hands in the air. Really? Did I just successfully move my sleeping baby from his high chair to his bed without waking him up?
While Charlie slept, Eleanore's movie came to and end. And even though it was the trigger for yesterdays nightmare, I offered up some craft time. It could only go one of two ways. At its worst, we would repeat yesterday dramatic scene from "life of a three year old", or it would go smoothly and we'd have a beautiful new peice of art to add to the collection.
I gave her the choice of heart crafts, or Dora crafts. She chose Dora, the same ones that she had done yesterday. I said OK. After I got out the supplies and set them on the table, she quickly changed her mind to heart crafts. I grumbled, but because we hadn't yet started, I agreed to her change of mind, and told her that this was her final decision, that the heart crafts was it. No tears, no tantrum. We were really doing this without a fight? We peeled and stuck soft foam sticker hearts all over a nice clean sheet of red construction paper, and then smothered them in trails of crayola markers, mostly green. And when we were done, we were done. Again, there was no fight.
Charlie woke up. And he woke up happy.
Since both of the kids were in such amazing moods, and I knew a day like this wouldn't roll around again for another century, out of nowhere I said "Eleanore do you want to help me make some cookies for Daddy?".
Jumping. Laughing. Fits of giggles and squeals.
"YESSA PLEASE!", she shouted back at me.
So we got out all of the supplies, and made Daddy a double batch of gluten free peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. I let her lick the beater, raw eggs and all, and just before the firmly pressed balls of dough were on their way into the oven, Christopher came home and occupied her enough to not notice how horrible it was that all of the dough for tasting had disappeared.
Lunch time came and went.
Potty breaks came and went.
Baby feedings came and went.
Not a single fight. No crying. No hitting, no kicking. Angels. Both of my babies were being Angels. I got the dishes the done, the laundry started, the house picked up, ate lunch, drank water, baked cookies, and came out alive.
Yes. Today was the complete opposite, of yesterday.