This week, I’ve been taking the homeopathic remedy “Oscillo”, at the recommendation of a friend, because I was feeling a bit crummy. I’ve had, at minimum, a fantastic placebo effect from it. Or it could be the probiotics, the green juice, the vitamins, chugging warm tea or possibly it was a mild bug. Regardless, it was pretty short. Just when I thought I was done, the gunk flew south for the winter and I started talking like the zombie stunt double of Dr. Claw (Go, go Gadget cough drops).
Getting side tracked for a minute, I actually think God is being funny. This week, I was lamenting to Brian my frustrations with my self-control, regarding the tone of voice with which I speak to the boys sometimes. I smarted off a little about why God doesn’t stop me from barking at the boys, even though He knows I want Him to. Insert comedic snatching of mom’s voice.
I sound funny, but not quite as amusing as Elijah’s desperate mommy call. He gets mom in his sight, flings out his arms and with a pained look on his face, machine-guns this noise that sounds part grunt, part cough, part laugh. His personality is about three times his size. I adore his little interactions. He leans his head away and whips it back with a huge grin and a playful “a doo!” for peek-a-boo. He plays “catch” by handing a ball back and forth, celebrating like he made a diving outfield catch. Yesterday in the car, we hear this argument in the back seat. Ian is singing a butchered version of “Old Macdonald” and Isaac is insisting he use the correct lyrics. Then, Elijah jumps in.
Ian: Oinky oinky oiiiink!
Isaac: It’s E-I!
My favorite part of their arguments is how they escalate. I want the car! No, I want the car! I want the car now! I want the car now! I want the car… forever!
Car rides are a great opportunity for us to display our “powers.” Isaac starts whining, “Daaaad! The sun is in my eyes!” Brian, seeing the road curve ahead, graciously suggests, “Would you like me to move the sun?” Isaac says, “yes.” Brian outstretches his arm, saying, “Ok, here it goes,” and slides the sun a few degrees across the sky, and out of Isaac’s grateful and amazed eyes.
We had a colorful week. The boys got to enjoy an overnight dusting of snow, early last week. I slammed their clothes on and sent them out the back door, before the day warmed. Ian paused to remark that his fluffy sweater felt like a life jacket, and then did a remarkable, cartoonish impersonation of an emergency flotation vest blasting full of air and then he bobbed around a bit. They ran and kicked and rolled in the barely-snowy yard. Ian wanted to make a snow man. I put some exam gloves on over my fingerless gloves to help roll a few snow balls before getting breakfast started. Ian came in and wanted some exam gloves too. I buried his fists into a pair, and as he struggled to get his fingers into the right holes, he wailed, “I don’t have as many fingers as these have!” I know the feeling, little buddy.
As the week rolled on, and I started feeling crummy, I decided to pop over to Michael’s for some cheap kids’ projects, so I could play with the boys in a more calm, controlled setting. I think my viral fog had me a little out of touch with reality. I grabbed various bead projects, and after the bigger boys each strung one necklace, they wanted to watch me do the rest. Minutes later, I’m in the glider, stringing beads,when I hear Elijah wake up from his nap. By the time I return with said baby, Isaac has tossed the entire bag of carpet-colored beads all over the living room.
The next day, Isaac begs me to make his pirate. This is one of those crafts that requires 20/10 vision, a resume of championship wins at the Operation game, and an uncanny ability to read tiny patterns. There is a miniature peg board,on which tiny colorful beads are placed to form a picture. That is the first challenge. The second is transporting the whole contraption to an ironing board, covering it with waxed paper, and ironing the beads just long enough to fuse them together. I completed 3/4 of that first challenge, before the boys wanted a snack. I set them up with a tray of veggies and a bowl of Ranch dressing. Then I made the rookie mistake of thinking this was a great opportunity to use the restroom. Moms, it’s irresistibly tempting, and rarely possible, but please, please don’t attempt pooping alone for the first 6 years, at least. It’s disastrous. I returned, less than one magazine page later, to two preschoolers, overcome with artistic expression, painting everything in sight with Ranch dressing. One table, two chairs, two boys, three square feet of floor, and random spatterings of house were thoroughly decorated. They are little spring-loaded pistons, and me breaking visual contact detonates the scene, hence, the aforementioned frenzied barking at children. My first deviant thought was to toss them straight into a cold shower. Then I decided they might find that funny. And, that would surely be an additional wet mess, even though bath splashes make it convenient to mop up their day’s dancing-at-the-potty aiming blunders. I got the kitchen “undressed” in time for Elijah to wake up from his nap (is there a pattern forming here?). As I lifted Elijah from the bed, my ears heard a distressingly familiar plink plink plink. I dashed to the kitchen to see my painstakingly-assembled pirate plink-plinking to the floor, as Isaac swept beads off of the table, with the carefree vim of one who clearly has a delinquent short-term memory. I will not take his fingers. I will not take his fingers.
I’ve decided part of the reason Isaac has been such a sprite is that maybe he needs more individual attention. Maybe I take too much advantage of the fact that he will go upstairs and play trains by himself, or will happily play with his brothers. He can’t yet dominate a conversation like his older brother, and doesn’t seemingly have the urgent needs of his baby brother. I considered all this and I asked Isaac if he’d like to go on a date with me soon. Without hesitation, he replied, “Yes!” After a thoughtful pause, he continued, “I like to eat dates. I bet they are slippery to be on.”