Saturday, February 12, 2011

For Posterity's Sake: Week in Review 108

The yard and I are in a thaw. As good as the week has been (any week in which you are recovering rather than getting worse is a good week, right?), it's felt like a long time coming. It's been a salt-and-pepper sort of week as I tried to regain strength and catch up on the things we let slide during the days I didn't feel so well. For each day of progress, there seemed to be a setback day: adjusting-to-having-no-food-in-my-stomach day, up-late-with-a-teething-baby night, or the glucose test-induced afternoon slump once I had finally regained (or thought I regained) my strength. But today, the sun came out and Audrey and Jason went out to meet it, clad in snow pants with sled, shovel, and, ahem, butterfly net. (I did look out to see Audrey use the net to gather snow.) They spent hours out there, culminating in the building of the snowman above, named Bob. I have to laugh at the sight of Bob, constructed with plastic parts, a snowman-making kit gifted to Audrey by her grandparents. I remember having to search for our own sticks and rocks as kids (no, I didn't walk to school uphill both ways, I braved the bus and Mr. Sandy's driving skills, which occasionally found you bumping into a parked car or chipping a front tooth on the windowpane in the seat across from you). But some weeks, especially those salt-and-pepper, fumbling for balance ones, you take convenience where you can find it. This afternoon, with the sun casting bright color blocks across the floorboards, I began to tackle the remnants of a week off-kilter and took a little time to reflect on the convenience and laughter the kids helped provide this week:

Tuesday, Audrey was unloading the silverware drawer for me. She called Nathan over, fists full of spoons and forks, which she began to hand to him. I intervened, telling her he was too little to hold so much silverware. But she insisted, handing him one piece at a time. "I'm teaching him how to do service," she said, as she trained him to carry each piece over to her at the silverware drawer. "He needs to learn." Once I got over the possibility of rewashing every piece of just-cleaned silverware (after barely mustering the energy to load it the first time), I had to admit that her logic was more sound than mine. I let her continue, and watched him smile as he tried to dump spoons into the silverware drawer, which she took and put in their proper place. Once finished, she let him choose the sticker for her "completed acts of service" chart and praised his efforts.

Acting like the salt of the earth took a backseat toward the end of the week, as Audrey took a little (albeit, funny) peppery turn. Thursday morning, as we got ready for the day, Audrey said, "My stomach hurts, but I don't want it to look like yours."

And, just in case I didn't get the hint the day before, she reminded me why a pregnant woman shouldn't dress for the day in front of a four-year-old, when she walked in on me in my closet Friday morning. "Your bottom is getting big!" she said, laughing and trying to pat it.

Not one to leave a person out, Audrey showed her equal-opportunity ways Friday afternoon as she watched Jason clean out his wallet. She picked up a decade-old photo of Jason and me, one in which he had hair - lots of hair. "You look silly," she said.

"Thanks," he said, sarcastically.

"You're welcome."

Apparently, karma is never far behind. Today, while coloring a picture, the pen Audrey was using got caught in her hair. "Crap!" she said. Jason and I froze. We'd never heard her use the term, let alone appropriately or with such gusto. I tried to act nonchalant, until I saw Jason's face, at which point I started laughing uncontrollably. I would love to say I regained my composure and feel that my, "Audrey, you're okay, next time just say something else like 'oh no, Mom, I need help,'" was effective. What can I say? You win some, and some make you laugh, whether you should or not.

Nathan has helped in his own little ways this week, taking a few long naps and making me laugh at his dramatic throws of his pacifier each time he sees a full sippy cup, his newly acquired peek-a-boo skills, and his penchant to randomly take off running.

Of course, not to be outdone by his big sister, he found one way to get over on his mama this week. Tonight, while playing with the kids, I quickly ran out of the room when it dawned on me that I needed to defrost something for dinner (right that instant) so that we could eat on time. I left my phone in the playroom with the kids. When I returned, I found that Nate had managed to crawl up into the chair in which I'd been sitting. I picked him up. Audrey brought over a piece of pizza she had "baked" in her kitchen. I was just telling her how yummy it was when I heard an automated voice say, "if you would like to replay your message press one." I realized that the phone had been recording for several minutes. I assumed Nate had managed to fumble with the phone's settings and reset my voicemail message. I quickly pressed the button to record a new message, made up a new brief one, and got back to playing. Later, while making dinner, I relayed the story to Jason. He said he was going to check my new message. He called my phone. My old voicemail message played back. A second scenario entered my mind. I checked my recent calls. Sure enough, Nate had managed to call someone with my phone and I had left my "newly recorded voicemail message" on their machine.

As we prepare for the sun's (and heat's) return tomorrow, it is hard to not feel gratitude for this simple weekend. For warmth. For health. For a husband sore from shoveling a backyard snow playground of hills and tunnels. For helping hands, big and small. For the youngest who reside here, grow into their own here, and unselfishly share the ride. It's going to be a good thaw.

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