Tuesday, November 16, 2010
For Posterity's Sake: Week in Review 95
Lately, our days have been much like this morning. I leave the house with a nearly empty gas tank, a feverish boy, and a deadline. We make it to our destination on time and then to a gas station just minutes after the "check gauge" light has flicked on (I swear, a few weeks ago - or months, who can be sure - I was doing a brilliant job at filling my tank when it reached the halfway level). I reach for my purse and fiddle around in every pocket before remembering I consolidated my belongings to one bag the day before at the art museum in an attempt to make my load lighter. I have no wallet, which means, I should have no money and a certain little feverish boy and I are going to, most likely, end up walking or hitching a ride home when our car does indeed run out of gas. This is what our morning would have looked like, had it not been for the most fortunate incident of having to, unfortunately, use a port-a-potty last week.
Last week, upon leaving school, the kids and I were invited to an impromptu play date at a park. It's a fairly new space with no bathrooms, except for two lonely green port-a-potties at the end of a long gravel parking lot. As soon as I pulled into the park, Audrey announced she had to potty. Were I to compose a list of things I attempt to avoid using, port-a-potties would be on it. But when a four-year-old has to go, I book it to the little green boxes. Sadly, I'm not one of those together mothers who stocks her car with wet wipes and antibacterial hand sanitizer (although, after returning to the car with Audrey, I double-checked on the off-chance there's a fairy cleansing God mother who does go about stocking one's car with such items). I also use cloth wipes for Nate, which means that there weren't any wet wipes in my purse, either. But, I do have a first aid kit stashed in my car, and first aid kits contain sterile wipes. Yahtzee! I unzipped the kit and was surprised to stumble upon ten dollars that I forgot I had tossed inside, just in case. I put the ten dollars back, retrieved the sterile wipe (said a silent thank you to my mom's group for putting me in charge of giving the safety/emergency presentation last April - seriously, you thought I wasn't together enough to carry wet wipes but somehow on top of my game enough to have a first aid kit hanging around without some outside influence?), and wiped my daughter's hands.
We went about our week, and right into the next one until I found myself at a gas station with a tease of gas and no wallet. Normally, this is when I'd begin having visions of drudging my sick boy home through the rain (did I mention it had started sprinkling?). But not today. Today, I had visions of a lucky spur-of-the-moment play date and a pair of beautiful kelly green port-a-potties. I grabbed that first aid kit, rummaged for my ten bucks, and got us home with gas to spare.
Our days have been like that lately, we're not running on full tanks, but magically, there always seems to be a port-a-potty standing by when we need one. And, of course, there are these, the moments of last week:
Nathan is a boy of few words, but his actions are building his story. Last week, I caught him picking something off the floor and popping it into his mouth. "No, Nathan," I said, "what do you have?" He responded by taking the object out of his mouth, crawling the five feet to get to me, and holding it out to me. I took it, right after I picked my jaw up from the floor. He's continued this unique behavior (and yes, yes I should probably vacuum my floor).
Tuesday, we were packing to return to Indiana. Audrey came downstairs in her pajamas and stood next to one of the suitcases. "Look Dad, if I stand really still, I look like a suitcase."
One of Audrey's favorite pastimes is listening to stories. Almost daily, she asks me to make up stories for her (most involving Franklin and Bear). I have begun to ask for her help in creating the stories (she refuses to tell me stories) to get her more involved. Tuesday morning, while driving to the airport, she asked for a story. We asked her what it should be about and she began spinning the yarn. By the time she finished, we were almost at the airport. "I didn't know I could say it that long!" she said.
Wednesday, while feeding the dog, she dropped some of the food on the floor. As she gathered it, she said, "I just need to grab a handfew."
I hadn't been feeling well much of the week. Audrey knew my stomach had been bothering me. Wednesday, during dinner, she asked, " Do you think the baby growing in your belly's tummy hurts when your tummy hurts?" (Ahem, I have a little explaining to do. More on that later this week.)
Friday, Audrey put her debate skills to work. I was her first challenge. Upon pulling out of the grocery store parking lot, I didn't see a van pull up behind me. I pulled back into my spot, waving and saying "sorry." "Why did you say 'sorry'? Audrey asked. I began to explain when she continued, "Why did you say you're sorry? Your window is up. Her window is up. She can't hear you. Why did you say you're sorry?" Seeing her logic defeated mine, I quickly dropped out of the debate.
She didn't fare so well with Jason. That evening, he put her stuffed dog on his head and asked how she liked his hat.
"That's not a hat," she said.
"Yes it is," he countered.
She ran to the closet and pulled out one of her winter hats.
"See, this is a hat. That is not a hat."
"Why isn't it a hat," he asked.
"Because it has a tail. Hats don't have tails."
Unfortunately, the hat she had chosen from her collection was a bunny hat, with a tail. Jason pointed this out. The debate turned ugly. Neither would concede their point (of course, Jason was laughing during his portion while Audrey was yelling and growing close to tears, she was so passionate about proving that dog was not a hat). The high school debate team better watch out, this one's getting in some early practice.
I'm not much of a planner. I've found that the biggest gifts of my life and best moments of my days are those I couldn't have planned. I've found that some of the most frustrating moments are those that I try to control only to realize I can't. Luckily, someone seems to be looking out for me, creating good from the bad and moments of laughter when we most need them. I'm taking these busy days of November and counting my blessings (that, and replacing that ten dollars with a twenty - just in case).