Visitation Plights


We started last week with a little lite shoplifting. The boys and I joined a friend and her son at a large mall. First, we perused some children’s clothing stores. After ambling halfway to the end of the mall, then cruising back to the start for the “pahhtee,” I discovered two unpurchased pairs of sun glasses in my jumbo stroller. I happened to be directly in front of the store whence they came. I walked them back to the rack, remarking to myself that stealing is apparently remarkably easy if one plays the role of an overwhelmed mother of three. Next, we rode the pricey mall train, engineered by a blonde immigrant who knew the English words “cash” and “sit.” We then visited the Lego store, where I purchased some bricks we “needed,” before heading into a department store. My friend was pushing Elijah in her umbrella stroller, and I noticed his hot little hands were clutching three or four Legos. Seriously?! I started to turn back, but was informed that the store clerk had let Elijah keep the pieces. Ironically, we left the mall rather empty-handed that day.

Craving adventure, a couple days later I had Brian put Nystatin butt cream on Ian’s face. He had a rash on his cheeks. Nystatin had just cured a similar-looking rash on his other cheeks. I wasn’t thinking. The next morning, in our darkened room, Ian groans all the way down his bunk bed ladder, saying, “Owww, Mom, my lips are chapped.” He brings me some chap stick from the bathroom and presents his face. In the dark, with my 20/3000 vision, I had no trouble finding his lips. If he had been munching a piece of turkey, I would have thought someone was handing me an oven-toasted sub. His lips were huge and his cheeks were crusty, all of which reminded me that it was cortisone I had actually intended to use.

The next evening, Brian asked me where the teething gel was. I replied that I thought I remembered seeing it by the globe. Soon after, as we were falling asleep, Ian begins his usual scientific inquiry. It’s a wonder and a shame that Brian misses this every night, but when the lights go out, so does he, even if mid-sentence. Ian’s query proceeded as follows:

Ian: What are globes made of?
Me: Paper, mostly
Ian: What is paper made of?
Me: Trees
Ian: What are trees made of?
Me: Mostly cellulose, I think.
Ian: What is cellulose made of?
Me: Molecules
Ian: What are molecules made of?
Me: Atoms
Ian: What are atoms made of?
Me: Protons, neutrons and electrons
Ian: What are protons, neutrons and ‘lectrons made of?
Me: *sigh* I don’t know – quarks I think.
Ian: Mom, maybe a science person would remember.

We had a little more discussion, so the next day at the store, I gave him a pop quiz and asked him how how electricity works. He said, “That fing that it’s called jumps from atom to atom.” “Electrons?” I offer. “Yes. ‘Lectrons jump from atom to atom and that makes a ‘lectricity.” Not bad, for four.

Brian, having banished himself to sleeping in “Grandma’s room” (our guest room) for most of the week, decided his cough was well enough to rejoin us the other night. Elijah was crammed fairly snuggly between us, nursing to sleep. After a bit, he pops his head up with a suspiciously victorious grin. I smile back at him and wrap an arm around his body to roll him to my other side. I knew Brian was a toasty snuggler, but I remarked out loud to Elijah, “my goodness, you sure do get sweaty…” as my hand explored his back, “…and…naked!? How’d you get your…oh man! That’s not sweat! You peed on my bed!” I’ve now come to regard Onesies, not as apparel, but as diaper locks.

Yesterday, Brian came home to an unusually pleasant greeting from Ian. For some reason, the bigger two boys get a bit huffy when Brian comes home from work. The guys joined me in the kitchen, where I was cooking up a not-so-gourmet dinner of creamy dreamy grits and Textured Vegetable Protein “meatballs.” [Hush, we like ’em, okay?] Ian pleasantly inquires, “Why does dad always come to our house?” He has also frequently suggested that Brian “get another house just like ours, so I can come visit you.” I’m not sure why he can’t seem to figure out his father’s role in his life. Yes, Brian has a long commute, but when he’s home, he’s very interactive with the boys, and supplies a major portion of their bed time routine.

Moments later, Isaac wakes up from his nap, cranky as usual to his dad. He explains that he is feeling “nerbus” about the storm we are having. Brian turns on the weather channel, and Isaac grumps at Brian that it’s a “scary” show. Brian tries to explain how interesting it is to know what is happening with the weather. “See that green patch? It means clouds are coming through.” Isaac sneers back, “See that yellow line? That means stop talking.”

Isaac is going to be three at the end of next month. Unlike Ian, Isaac is very clear on how old he is. He enjoys talking about having his friends come to his party and how his friends are going to sing “Happy Birthday” to him. While we were getting ready for bed the other night, I asked Isaac what he wanted for his birthday. He said, “A froggy and a blue race car.” Ian, sounding almost snarky, blurts from the bathroom, “Do you also want a wind-up crabby?” I found that hysterically random.

On a side note, I lament that my postings are so feast-or-faminy. Sometimes I simply haven’t neglected my kids enough for them to do anything interesting. I’ve been trying to be off the computer more, and in their face and out the door more. We’ve been having a blast outside with our Indian Summer. Other times, like today, the house has experienced its weekend fall-apart, so I’m not in scramble-mode to keep it in a state of shininess. But, I am in a bit of a scramble mode to record for posterity all the things I’ve been holding in my head, since the last post. When I move into my Utopian Lego palace (see yesterday’s post), maybe I’ll generate something special to read every day. That may or may not be before I build my cookie factory.

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