Some items in the dress up suitcase have had some, um, interesting uses.
Today has been an unseasonably warm day in November. I overdressed the children before heading out, trowel in hand. They stripped off the unnecessary layers, losing hats and (in Nathan's case) socks for gloves. Amidst the backdrop of Jason hanging the Christmas lights, we played spring, pulling up the earth and tucking bulbs inside. All bets are off. We are following suite, building our days from the weather, the fevers, and circumstances that come. And, taking advantage of those days of unexpected warmth (both inside and out) every chance we get.
We're hoping Nathan's fever has finally broken after holding tight all week. Most days, as I work in the kitchen, Nathan crawls over and head butts my leg when he wants picked up. I'll feel the bump against my leg and then watch as he sits back, waiting patiently. This week, he followed each bump with a tug on my jeans, as if to let me know that this week he was serious. He needed picked up right away. So I did, happy to see the little guy had this persistent side to him.
Audrey, as always, spent the week showing us another side as well: the four-year-old analytical side.
On Sunday, Audrey was playing a computer game that teaches phonics and how to trace letters. She was asked to make a "ph" sound. She made the sound by blowing air through her nose rather than using her mouth. "That's hard!" she said.
Monday, Audrey asked why a little boy wasn't playing with her. I explained that he was shy. "Boys aren't supposed to be shy," she said.
"Why not?" I asked.
"Because they're too silly."
Later that afternoon, she told me, "Sometimes, Rebecca (a friend of hers) tells me to do things I don't want to do."
"Like what?" I asked.
"She tells me to stop being crazy and I like to be crazy."
Tuesday, while leaving school, one of Audrey's friends gave her a hug, linebacker-style, that brought her head to the floor with a smack. That night, she asked Jason if he knew what "Bubby" had done to her at school. Jason rattled off a series of creative answers, each receiving a unique response. The end of the conversation went a little like this:
"Did he did a hole to China with a spoon?"
"No, that's silly. The floor is too hard."
"Did he teleport you?"
"No. What is teleport? I don't even know what that is."
Friday after lunch, I was trying to get both kids cleaned up and in coats to head out to the doctor's office following another spike of Nathan's fever. I buttoned Audrey's coat and told her I needed her to put her shoes on.
"I need you to go fast as fast can be, little one."
"Okay, big one," she said.
Saturday morning, the whole family was snuggled together in bed after each child had found their way into our bed at some point during the night. Nate crawled over to Jason. "Someone smells like pee," Jason said.
"Why did you call me smokin' pee?" Audrey said.
Saturday afternoon, Audrey and Jason were playing hide n' seek. It was Jason's turn to hide. He chose to hide under a sheet. Audrey quickly found him.
"I saw a big bump," she said.
"Are you calling me a big bump?"
"No, you're not a big bump. You just make a big bump."
After a week of Audrey running around at full speed while the rest of us kept putting on the brakes, we began to feel a bit bad for our girl. She was bored to tears, almost literally. In an attempt to do something special for her and recognize her lack of one-on-one time with any of us, we called in reinforcements to watch Nathan (in the form of Mamaw) and took Audrey to see her first musical, a middle school production of The Wizard of Oz. We sat away from the rest of the crowd, keeping our germs at bay, and let Audrey pull her chair into the center aisle so she could see all the action taking place on stage. She was fascinated by the songs, the changing set designs, and the characters. At one point she began to ask questions about characters in the play. "It's all pretend," we informed her.
"Is she real?" Audrey asked, pointing to Dorothy.
This week we've been a bit short on energy, and plans. We're taking the days as they come, throat drops and infant Tylenol in hand, making up the days as we go. But, come what may, there's a few things we've come to expect: to be surprised by the spontaneous laughs, awed by each stage of growth, and comforted by warmth in unexpected places.
Sorry for those of you who may have already read part of this in an incomplete form, Nate published it before I was ready. Oops.