Monday, July 19, 2010

Here's what we're doing today...

We've eaten cheeseburgers and ice cream sundaes. We've walked the dog around the block. Twice.

There is a lot of fighting. When I hear a loud thump or scream or bump, I say "is everything okay?"

My son says, "It's fine, that's just the sound of a sister being tortured by her big brother."

Today, my daughter coined the term "nipple pit," as in "you are such a nipple pit."

Today the paper says it is not as hot as yesterday, but I'm not sure I believe it to be true.

It's summer. And both of these kids are as bright as the sun.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Because we recently found PhotoBooth. And because the weekend is over. And because the kids are going to camp. And because shouldn't we all look at ourselves like this sometimes?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

And, so I was wrong.

Wrong headed yesterday and wrong about Theo being alright.

Though he seemed fine when we went to the movies, just before the show started, my phone buzzed in my pocket.

"He's pretty red. And breathing funny," our babysitter said.

We were already standing, already moving our way through the darkened theater.

My husband and I, in times of urgency, move together easily, both cruising toward a solution. Day to day, when our movements are not so synchronized, I forget we have this skill. It is as satisfying as the crisis is alarming to find that we are, indeed, both level headed.

Home to find our boy the color of a beet. His eyes were wide with worry. He held a tissue clamped to his nose.

We piled in the car and headed to the E/R. We've been there before with my son. A febrile seizure, a split forehead, stitches to mend the spot hit by a thrown chair (kindergarten can, apparently be a bit wild.) Theo was sent back right away and he asked for my husband to accompany him.

I stayed in the waiting room with my daughter. She sat on my lap and we watched other people and their children. A mother and grandmother rushed to inquire about a boy who had been brought in by helicopter. Another mother tried to explain in broken english that her daughter had a pain in her "private place." A toddler with a fever drank Sprite poured from a McDonald's cup into his bottle and another boy cried and cried. Through it all, the intake nurse, a tall, man with a kind voice said again and again, "tell me what's wrong, Mom, tell me what hurts."

"What are you thinking?" I asked my daughter.
"I'm thinking nothing," she said. "I am listening to everything."

My husband sent cheerful text messages from inside which calmed me only a little.

Finally, we were allowed to join Theo and his dad and it was a great relief to see my boy sitting up, red faced, but smiling.

"You carry an Epi-Pen, don't you?" the doctor asked. His son, the same age as mine, had a peanut allergy, too.

"When we are camping," I said. "But not all the time."

I felt sheepish. Why didn't I carry it all the time?

Have I grown complacent? My kids are usually healthy. We are all blessed by this health. I don't have to think about their health every day and for this I am grateful. But I worry that Theo's allergy is like the bad news in the paper. It is something so scary to me that I ignore it entirely. I am not going to panic, but I am going to be mindful of this thing. David and I are calm in the face of crisis, but it would do us more good to be calm on a regular old day, too.

Yesterday was not my best day of parenting, but I am trying not to beat myself up. I am watchful. My boy is okay and I have an Epi-Pen next to the lipgloss in my pocketbook.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Today, I told my son to "stop behaving like an idiot." When he looked at me in shock, I immediately followed that with "I didn't say you were an idiot."

So wrong in so many ways.

It's been a tough day. Too much time, too little structure. I'm worn out and worn down and worn in. Like an old shoe.

The kids bickered constantly. When they weren't bickering, they were asking for stuff. They want Legos and ice cream and popsicles and plastic ponies. They want toys and more toys. I pointed out that they already have lots of toys. Lots of toys they don't even play with. We made a plan to sort these toys and send some to live with other children. But the sorting didn't go that well. Even a kid without any toys isn't going to want the sad and broken assortment my kids were willing to pass on. Unless that kid was planning on building his own version of Watts Towers, I'm afraid the three stray marbles, broken plastic dinosaur, tangle of beads on lanyard, head of Batman and a few mishapen plastic cowboys aren't going to be that useful.

So, I got overwhelmed by all the trash we have accumulated under the guise of entertaining the kids. Educational or not, it all turns into a big mismatched hodgepodge mess. Oh, Melissa and Doug, you purveyors of wholesome wooden toys, damn you.

At any rate, when things got tough, I snapped the leash on the dog and led the troops on a walk. Our first trek took us to the Griffith Park pony rides and then second, much longer walk ended at the new frozen yogurt store. (Yes, I am not all evil parent.)

At the frozen yogurt store, the kids filled cups with crazy flavored yogurt (red velvet?!) and piled candy on top. Marshmallows, frosted animal crackers, gummy bears and sprinkles. As they spooned their way through this sweetness, my son thought he tasted peanut. He's allergic to nuts of all kinds and peanuts especially (though they aren't a tree nut.) His face went white and I tried to maintain my cool.

"How do you feel?" I asked.

"I feel like something is weird," he said.

He wheezed a little and my heart felt a little smashed.

We tossed the yogurt and started our walk home. I'd left my cell phone on the kitchen counter and I had only a few dollars in my pocket and my kid had possibly eaten a nut. For the millionth time today, I wondered what the heck kind of mom I was.

"Are you sick or are you worried?" I asked.

"More worried," he said.

"I'm here," I said. "It's okay."

And it was. We got home. He took some Benedryl as a precaution. He felt better.

I'm crazy about him. I'm crazy about both of my kids.

I think I was the one behaving like an idiot.