Day 6: it’s just the relief talking

8 08 2008

I’ve gotten into a very bad habit this past week. With my sister-in-law staying here (in the living room; we seriously have a small apartment), and little children who prefer to rise when it’s still dark out, I’ve been barely waking in the morning, just enough to get Oliver and bring him into bed with me, and then to get Ethan when he wakes a little later. Then I turn on the tv in my room to PBS and spend the next hour or two in and out of sleep, waking just enough to break up fights and retrieve fallen toys. Because my sister-in-law is only 18 and has no children, she has the unique ability to sleep the day away, and while I haven’t exactly let her do that, I haven’t wanted the boys out in the living room jumping on her bed too early, either ; she is, after all, our guest.

This new morning routine has totally messed up my schedule. I feel like I’ve been sleeping till 10 or 11 in the morning, and then don’t feel sleepy till midnight or 1. We didn’t eat breakfast today until ten. TEN! And we didn’t leave the house to run a few errands until about 2:30. Needless to say, there was no nap for Ethan today. And thanks to that, he treated us to a lovely little temper tantrum in T.J. Maxx. (I didn’t buy a purse because of him and his tantrum.) I had wanted to go to the farmer’s market as the last thing before we went home. Unfortunately, it wasn’t there. Apparently the county of Fairfax changed the date and/or time of the market without consulting me first? I guess it’s for the best though. I can totally see Ethan flinging tomatoes during one of his fits. It was time to go home.

Speaking of T.J. Maxx: I had the stroller with me, and we were attempting to navigate the section with purses and bags, which is comprised of approximately 7 aisles, which just so happens to be 4 more aisles than comfortably fit in this little area. It was difficult. But not nearly as difficult as it was about to get, when a little boy, who spoke no English, made friends with Ethan, and proceeded to join Ethan in hanging off of the stroller. The same stroller that was currently lodged between a fugly stripey thing and my precious, precious caramel Michael Kors (that, at $139, I will surely never be able to call mine).

At first it was cute, the way they were all giggley at each other. It was really neat to see two children, strangers who did not even speak the same language, playing together among the racks of bags. But then I was ready to move along and could not, what with all the children and bags blocking my way. I said ‘excuse me’ and ‘I need to go over this way, hon’ and etc. to the little boy, but he had no idea what I was saying. His mother and his grandmother were standing right there and could clearly see their son climbing my stroller, and did nothing to contain him. I made it clear to them (with gestures!) that I was trying to move, and they did nothing. Minutes went by like this, and finally I just started to push the stroller, with the kid still hanging from it. I mean, come on! The two women were totally ignoring me, I don’t care if they technically could not understand what I was saying. And I wasn’t about to just stand there until they’d finished their shopping and were ready to leave. When I pushed the stroller away with their kid on it, the mother shot me a Look, and the grandmother just laughed.

Ooh! I have a question. Yesterday at the playground, I was holding Oliver when I realized that off toward the trees a ways were three kids, between the ages of 8 and 10. They were picking up basketball-sized mini-boulders and heaving them the little wooden edge that surrounded the play area. The rocks would hit the edge and then head off in another direction altogether, sometimes at the feet of the kids doing the throwing. At the time, there were no other children within the danger zone. If someone was going to get hurt, it would have been the children doing the throwing. I saw what they were doing, and immediately moved further away, to protect Oliver and to make sure Ethan stayed away. As soon as I’d gotten myself safe, though, I felt guilty. Should I have said something to the hooligans throwing the rocks? Not only were they risking hurting themselves, but what about the little toddlers who could have wandered over to them? There were none in any danger, or I’m sure I would have said something then. But toddlers are fast. And where were the parents of these stone-throwers? Shouldn’t THEY have been the ones to say something? What would you have done? Would you have run for your life as I did? Yelled at the kids? I’m a loser for not yelling at the kids, huh?

Jeff is slated to arrive back in DC tomorrow night. So, yay! for my last night of solo bedtime duty, solo disciplinarian, solo poop-wiper. Big fat yay, to be exact. It was nice to see that I can do it, though. I survived the week. And it was also nice to have my sister-in-law around to help (when she wasn’t sleeping, that is). I think I’ll be able to handle it next time Jeff goes away, since that’s what his new job is all about. Or it could just be my immense relief at Jeff’s impending return talking. Probably it’s that.

Motherliness exhibited today:

-whipped out my travel-size Purell faster than you can say “DEATH BY GERMS” after I noticed Ethan picking up pieces of chewed up and spit out gum off the sidewalk and proceeded to bathe him in it

-stole some of Ethan’s chicken nuggets when he wasn’t looking; told him he must have eaten really fast when he asked where they went

-started a load of laundry about 3 hours ago that I JUST NOW remembered is still sitting in the washer

And fatherliness:

-got into a name-calling “fight” with Ethan (“You’re Barbie.” “No, YOU’RE Barbie.” “You’re Hannah Montana.” “No fair! I look nothing like her!”)

-gagged loudly and over-dramatically at the smell/sight/accidental contact with Oliver’s poopy diaper in hopes that someone else would come do the dirty work for me


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3 responses

9 08 2008
curlywurlygurly

hang in there–you’ll make it through. (said from the safety of the sidelines!) 🙂

9 08 2008
Hallie

I would totally do that with laundry. We remedied that by setting the kitchen timer. Good job making it through it!

10 08 2008
Caley

Hallie: Ooh, good idea! Although knowing me I’d just start forgetting to set the timer instead of forgetting about the laundry.

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