Friday, June 25, 2010

Diseased Fantasies

Whenever I am sick enough to really, really not want to get up or take care of my children or house or even get myself food I start to think about Jane Austen stories like Pride and Predjudice or Sense and Sensibility where someone is taken gravely ill with a peutrid fever, or whatever it is called, and they just lay in bed day after day while they are tenderly nursed and they don't have to do anything. And I fantasize and calculate just how sick I have to be before I can expect this to happen to me. What if I just didn't get out of bed in the morning? Would people come to take care of my children? What if I just laid down on the floor and didn't get up? Would people believe (as I sooo do) that I shouldn't have to get up? Would someone carry me to bed? Could I ever faint? Would that be enough? And I pine to be sick enough not only to not get up, but for someone to bathe my brow with cool cloths and bring me food without asking them to and cry because they love me so much and don't want me to die. But mostly I want to not cook and do the dishes and watch children change diapers and clean up potty training accidents.

At some point reality steps in and reminds me that this only happened in these stories because they didn't have modern hospitals and they were rich anyway so they didn't actually have anything they had to do in the first place--servants did it. When the servants got sick, they mostly died. That would be more along the lines of my lot, probably. Or sometimes, like in Emma, the benevolent wealthy person may visit a sick person and feed her, or bathe her baby, but only once a week. The rest of the week she has to get up and feed her own family anyway.

But I guess I really don't have anything to complain about, because I know that I have visiting teachers I could call if I was really desperate. And I've never even gotten to the point of calling them because my Neoma is here and, like Monday, when I'm feeling really bad, she will send me to bed and let me sleep all morning with no children. I like her. Even if she didn't come bathe my fevered brow, she did change all my children's diapers. Even if she didn't bring me any food in bed, she did feed my children so I didn't have to get out of bed. She's a good one. I guess I'll keep her for now and the fantasies can keep Jane Austen. Thanks, Neoma.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Mr. Self-Sufficiency

I should have taken a picture, but I didn't before I cleaned it up.

This morning the Goulds got going before our family and had to leave. They make more eggs for breakfast than they could eat, so I told them they could just leave everything on the table and we would finish it up when my kids got up. I got Rhys up and dressed because he was awake. Then I got Willow up and started helping her get dressed, during which time I left Rhys to his own devices (Um, Danger Will Robinson!). I started thinking this was a bad idea about halfway through Willow going to the bathroom, but I persisted until she was through then ran upstairs to find Rhys. He had climbed on a chair and helped himself to almost all of the egg that was left (probably about 3 eggs worth) and had the jam jar (which was 90% empty) tipped over in front of him with some on the table and lots on his hands, sleeves, and face. I think he may have found a half full glass of milk that he had polished off, too. But the milk jug was too full for him to tip over and get himself some more. I'm glad, because he was pretty tidy with what he had. It could have been much, much worse. I love my little man that just takes care of himself (even when I am pulling out my hair over him).

Monday, June 7, 2010

In which there is entirely too much poop.

(adapted from a Skype chat with Kevin earlier today. Please forgive resulting typos)

It was a very long morning.

I was going to go to the YMCA for the 8:30 Pilates class and be done in time to give the kids a snack at 10:00 and get to the Sifuentes to do some gardening before nap time (between 1 and 2 ish).

I got up pretty easily (I went to bed at 11 last night! woo-hoo! I've been really bad--12:30, 2 am recently), but I decided I needed to read scriptures and write in my journal first thing, which I did. But then it was already 7:30--when I wanted to start getting the kids in the bike trailer. Willow got up and I helped her get dressed (and took care of a poopy diaper). I made breakfast of peanutbutter on graham crackers, raisins, and water for the kids to eat in the trailer on the way and some lunch/snack for afterward to save time.

Then I got Rhys up and changed a poopy diaper, got him dressed, the food in the lunchbox, the water bottles filled, socks, shoes, coats (on a not entirely co-operative Willow), hunted for the headphones so I could listen to the TV while I did cardio if I missed my class (I didn't find them), helmets, packed the kids in blankets in the trailer to protect them from the rain, belted them in, and we were off--at 8:30.

I knew I would miss 2/3 of the class I wanted to go to, so I toyed with just going for a long bike ride for excersize instead of working out, but I had already told Willow that we were going to the YMCA, so I asked her permission. She said no.
We went on to the Y and as it was so rainy I decided perhaps I would just skip gardening today, so I might as well go to the 9:30 class. We got to the Y at a little after 9, so I was feeling pretty good about my timing. The room the class was in fills up pretty fast, so we went there first to put down a mat and reserve a spot--but the class wasn't on the schedule. What? I checked a different room to see if I might have had it wrong and finally figured out it was really in one of the gyms, so I didn't have to worry about not getting a spot. So we went on to the locker room so I could change into dry clothes (I had planned ahead for getting soaked in the rain).

I changed, went to the bathroom, weighed myself (160 for the first time, woot, woot! I made my goal! Glorious celebrations!) Willow chose to go to the bathroom down by the family lobby instead of in the locker room, so I packed everything into the locker, stacking all the helmets on the bag in the bottom, and headed down the long halls.

I got to the bathroom, coaxed Willow to go then started to take Rhys' diaper off so he sit on the potty, too. He was poopy. And I had left the diaper pouch in the diaper bag in the locker room. I finished with Willow, packed the kids back together, hustled them back down to the locker room, unpacked the helmets, the diaper bag, the pouch with diapers, changed Rhys then brought the kids down to the childcare centers, got them checked in, and make it to my class just a few minutes after it started. This was the class that was starting an hour after I wanted to be there already.

I had a great class. I liked the instructor's style a lot. At the end I still had 45 minutes before I had to get the kids, so I stretched some more on my own then liesurely went back to the locker room. I went to the bathroom, weighed myself again just to check--still 160--changed back into my wet clothes, packed all the things back in the bag, clipped all 3 helmets onto the strap of my bag and headed off.

I made it almost all the way to the Adventure Zone (Big Kid's Child Care) when I realized I didn't have my lock. I trekked back to the locker room, collected my lock, and headed back to the Adventure Zone. It was very crowed with parents collecting children and there were parents waiting outside for a spot to open up so they could drop their kids off. I waited in line to sign Willow out and called to her, because I couldn't see her. She quickly popped her head out, grinned and came running to me. But as she was running, her face suddenly started falling and by the time she got to me she was sobbing. I finally decifered her words, "I didn't have much friends!" The workers there looked suprized to see Willow so sad and assured me that she had been happily playing the whole time.

I finallly figured out that there was a particular child that had refused to play with her, I don't know at what point, but she finally got to the point of being upset about it when she saw me. I had to comfort her, then cajole her into putting her shoes on. Finally we just picked up the shoes and took them to the lobby so as not to take up space where everyone was trying to sign in and out.

We got her shoes on and I took Willow to the bathroom. She was dry (woot!), but no luck trying to go, so we washed hands and went to get Rhys.

We checked him out with 5 minutes to spare on his 90 minute limit--woot! I felt very good about that. We grabbed a table in the family lobby and sat down for our snack, now proabably lunch, as it was 11:00 (remember how I was going to be at the Sifuentes' gardening by 11:00?)

I unloaded my stuff onto the table, took off my coat, pulled Rhys onto my lap to have the blessing and ... He was poopy.

I put Willow in charge of watching all of our things at the table while I changed Rhys in the bathroom around the corner. I hope I wasn't breaking any rules too badly by leaving her technically alone even though I was just on the other side of the wall. I got Rhys' diaper changed and washed both our hands since he was so intent on helping.

I came back out to see Willow zipping up the lunch bag. Nothing was a mess, so far so good. We all sat down, had our blessing, and I opened up the bag to eat. No problems. Things were good. I did notice a little bit of yogurt on the inside lid of the lunch bag, which prompted me to check the yogurt cups--one had popped open, or so I thought, until Willow told me she had opened it while I was in the bathroom, so could she eat it now? Sigh. OK.

I gave Rhys the other cup and tucked a napkin into his collar because we had no bibs. I gave him a spoon and let him help himself to the yogurt. He actually did really, really well. The first few spoonfulls he would very carefully dip the spoon into the cup and then whip it up to his mouth as fast as he could like he was afraid there wouldn't be anything left on it if he delayed (which is not altogether an unjustified fear, considering his luck with spooning so far). This caused some initial spatters, but we got things under control and I kept the wet wipes handy. We went through 3 or 4, ripped in halves.

Eating just took a typically long time. As we were winding down (and Rhys had finished his yougrt), I realized I had to go potty (I'd be pounding the water), so I left Willow in charge of Rhys--making sure he didn't move from his chair. (Willow loves being put in charge of things.) I went to the bathroom uneventfully, we got everything the rest of the way cleaned and packed up and suddenly Willow looked up at me, grabed her rear end and said "I pooped!"

"OK, run to the bathroom and I will be there as soon as I can." She had a horrible time trying to run. It looked like she was trying to hold everything in with her hands. I finished the last little cleanup, grabbed Rhys, and ran to the bathroom. I droped off bags in the corner and went to help Willow who was just standing next to a toilet. I hoped that she hadn't actually pooped yet, but that she had just felt the need, so I checked and nope, it was there, but not a lot.

We got her on the pot, cleaned up the tiny poo, and instructed her to let the rest out. I juggled Rhys, who just wanted to go pat the potty saying, "Pot! Pot! Pot!" and reach his hand in behind Willow's bottom to point at the poopoo there. Willow finished as best she could (no more poo) and I tried to wipe her clean, but ended up neading to unpack the wetwipes again. We got her clean and I instructed her to put on her panties and pants again (this is the new rule when she has an accident--no help getting dressed afterward.) She spent some time flopping on the floor about it, but I left the stall and started putting Rhys' shoes, coat, helmet on (his shoes kept falling off. I think he would kick them).

Willow finally came hopping halfway out of the stall with a sheepish grin and her legs both in one pantleg. I laughed at her then asked her please to put them on the right way. People were beginning to come in to use the restroom at this point and our things were sprawled out across half the floor. Willow fussed and dawdled about her pants, so I told her that she could leave them that way if she wanted to.

I helped her put her shoes on and she washed her hands while I got my helmet and coat. Then she decided that it was too hard to do the single leg thing (she fell over a couple of times first) I took her shoes back off and people are stepping around her trying to get to the potty. She stood right in front of the door and started to try to pull her pants back down. She got them part way when I noticed where she was (I'm continually pulling rhys back out of the stalls where he is headed to the potty again) and I suggest she should move toward me when someone opens the door, and she gets bumped onto the ground with her pants down. The person stands in the doorway for a moment a little confused, then I helped Willow out of the way and she came in. Willow was fine about it, but my patience is wearing thin. We get the pants on right, shoes on the right feet (she puts them on all by herself, even though it has been impossibly difficult all day long) and we get on the sweater and helmet.

We are off.

We uneventfully make it back to the bike, pack them all in and head off. I made it up the hill in 1-6! Both kids fell asleep in the trailer. We got home at about 1:00 and I left the kids in the trailer with the back door open and Neoma upstairs while I took a shower. It was lovely.

Then I came up here and turned on the computer and decided to put the kids in their beds while it booted up. It was a somewhat rocky transfer, but I just made them do it (although I did read Willow the requested story and I held rhys a little bit longer after I tucked her in--bad idea, he just started crying as soon as I put him down any way).

(It was at this point that I got online with Kevin)

And then you were here. I can't hear Rhys crying anymore, so this is a good thing, right?

Saturday, June 5, 2010

An Excercise in Silence

About once or twice a year I get laryngitis. Usually my voice never completely stops working, (though occasionally that has happened) but over-using it makes it hurt (I don't know how your voice can hurt, but that is the best way to describe it--it's not a sore throat) and it will not get better until I stop using it for a while. Often there will be several days where I can use my voice when I get up in the morning, but by halfway through the day, it's shot.

I think I've turned the corner on my laryngitis today. It's not so tired I have to stop talking yet and it's already 2:30, and we went to a parade this morning, so I know it has had a good workout.

But this being a very regular occurance, I think the Lord is telling me something. Like that there is no other way he can get me to shut up for two minutes together. I find I somewhat enjoy the days and times when I just have to be quiet. I can whisper, but whispering loudly enough to be heard at any distance is very taxing on your voice, too (just try it all day long sometime), and whispering in a way that doesn't tax the voice at all means you have to be murmuring practically in the person's ear. I think this is the first time I have had children big enough to require constant discipline without a voice. It is very interesting. I am getting very adept at the "look," hand signals, clapping, and delaying discussion until I am very close to them. Also it makes me think twice (or thrice, or quadrice?) about everything I have to say. Is it really important? Is it really worth it? Suprisingly often, the answer is no. This is a good little retreat for me. It's harder to claim the center of attention (which I am forever trying to do) when you can't speak. I get to play background for a while. And it helps me to appreciate that role.

That all being said, it will be nice to have my voice back again someday.