I feel as though the keeper of an overgrown bee colony decided to address her problem by stuffing her overpopulated bees into a mason jar, shaking them up, and depositing the now infuriated bees into the cavity between my eyes. My head (freakishly small as it is), is undoubtedly, smaller than her beehive in the first place. Those bees want out! They've been ramming my temples and forehead all evening trying to dig a tunnel.
This headache would be distracting if it weren't for the game of medical "Who's coming to dinner?" we've been playing today. Does Nate have a cough? Yes, yes he does. A fever? Yes - 101.1. Is he agitated? Yes. Upset stomach? Could be. So who is our dinner guest? The same guy who came to visit his sister a week ago? An extremely early tooth? The croup? Hmm. Sounds like a full table.
So, I sit - left hand cradling a sick little one who seems most content sleeping right here, and right hand slowly, slowly pecking the keys. It's hard not to be distracted, to steal glimpses of the little guy (even if it does increase the pounding of bees against my forehead each time) who looks so peaceful (finally) and so much like his Daddy.
Distraction is, sometimes, exactly what we need. And, around here, most times comes in the form of a vibrant little blond:
I woke up at 5:45 on Monday and sensed that something was off. I noticed that Audrey's bedroom light was shining into the hallway and got up to find her sprawled, belly down, asleep on her chair. Afraid to move her, I left her until she woke just a little while later.
"When did you get up?" I asked (really meaning to ask what had woken her up).
"Um. Seven o' clock," she said.
Still congested this week, on Tuesday she told me she had "squirmies" in her nose.
That night while playing with Jason, she said, "Daddy, you're a good guy, except when you put me in time out. You're not nice when you put me in time out."
Wednesday, while outside, she looked at the playground near our house. "Someone is at my park and that's okay. I'll share my park."
That evening, Jason asked, "What did you do at school?"
"I cleaned up. But I didn't clean up fast enough, but they gave me a sticker already," she said (let that be a lesson to the teachers - don't give a sticker to this one until she's done cleaning).
Friday, we took our chances at the zoo in the drizzly weather. While at the zoo, Audrey wanted to know where the Lorax was and just why the zoo didn't have one.
No Lorax to be found, and the rain finding us an easy target, I decided to steer us toward home. Audrey, game for more animals, wasn't too sure about my choice. As I buckled everyone into their seats, she rattled off a chorus of "Dang it. Dang it. Dang it." When I didn't respond, she asked, "What is dang it?"
"Dang it is something people say when they are frustrated."
"Frustrated means upset."
"Dang it. Dang it. Dang it. Dang it. Dang it. Dang it."
"Audrey, are you frustrated or upset?" I asked.
"I'm frustrated because I'm cold."
"Sometimes, when I'm frustrated, I ask God to help."
"To help you not say dang it?"
"No, Audrey, to help me with whatever I'm frustrated about."
When Audrey is doing something we would prefer her not to, we give her a choice, something like, "Audrey, you can stop smashing your brother or you can go to your room. What is your choice?"
Tonight, Jason was about to leave the playroom when she said, "No, stay up here. You have a choice."
Jason told her that she hadn't given him a choice, that a choice meant he had another option. "What's my other choice?" he asked.
"To do something bad," she answered.
Shortly after Jason and I were engaged, someone told us we would have beautiful children. I remember thinking that that was quite possibly the weirdest thing I'd ever heard. When genetics and probabilities come into play, all bets are off. (Okay, I'm sure that geneticists could come up with some pretty accurate bets, but I'm no geneticist). But, this person was right. I caught myself staring at Audrey this Friday as she ran toward me en route to the dolphin show. She was laughing. I found myself transfixed, thinking, this is who Jason and I became - this striking girl who loves the rain, caterpillars, and her brother. The very best of both of us. More beautiful than I could have ever imagined, and growing too fast for me to keep up.