We’ve been busy this week, preparing for the baby’s baptism party to be held this coming Sunday. We had more than the average amount of party prep on our plates this time, given that until just a few days ago, every room in our house looked like it was staged to be photographed for Blythe’s One Hot Mess link-up.
Seriously – It was bad. There was the junk, there was the laundry, there were the boxes upon boxes of my mother-in-law’s things that hadn’t been gone through. There were the heaps of dust gathering on and around said junk, laundry, and boxes.
But! After a week of behaving like a responsible, party-planning mother (read: mostly resisting bloggy temptations), we’re very nearly there on the mess front. Just a couple more boxes and a bit more junk (okay, and a lot more dust) to go, and we’ll only have the “normal” amount of boy-wrought destruction. Which, though offensive to the eyes, doesn’t take much more than a whirlwind picking-up session to remedy. The end is in sight.
So I’m sneaking in a quick blog post. How about some of this week’s scenes from our home?
Yesterday morning I walked into the kitchen to the sound of roars and growls and shrieks of laughter. The boys were half-standing in their seats (a posture that is most definitely not allowed at the table), clawing at each other and at us. I expected to see Brennan looking agitated, but nope! He was cool as a cucumber. “I gave them Muenster cheese,” he said.
Aaahh, yes. Muenster cheese. So easily understood as “Monster cheese” and therefore taken as an opportunity to act like monsters. One bite transforms you into a monster, the next turns you back into a boy. And so on and so forth. You knew that, right?
The other evening I had a far less endearing experience in the kitchen.
We were in the middle of a big thunderstorm, so loud you wouldn’t think anything could be heard over it: Bang! Rumble… CRASH!
Yet I was hearing quite a lot besides the thunder: My eight-week-old son was screaming because… I don’t know why, exactly. He’s eight weeks old. He screams. My two-year-old son was screaming just for the fun of it. (I’m sure of that one. He looked delighted with himself.) And my three-year-old son was yelling about “Did you know that storms can make trees fall down, Mommy? Mommy! DID YOU KNOW THAT SOMETIMES TREES FALL DOWN IN STORMS?”
All of this was going on while I was attempting to assemble a sorry little dinner for the boys. I stood at the counter with my back to the noise-makers, “Rumble… CRASH! Waaahh! Aaaah! TREES FALL DOWN IN STORMS!” and I couldn’t get the stupid dollops of peanut butter onto the stupid crackers without the blasted things crumbling in my hands. “Bang! Waaahh! TREES!”
My brain could no longer take the sensory assault. I yelled something really charitable, like “OH MY GOSH! What in the world do you think you’re doing? I can’t take it any moooore!” I think I even waved my hands in the air to emphasize that I really was losing it.
Loveliness. Pure loveliness.
Later that evening, again in the kitchen (which is pretty much where I live), I was trying to nurse the baby. I should have been sitting in the rocker we keep in there, but par for that day’s course, I was distractedly walking around. (Poor, neglected third baby – he gets far too few peaceful, focused feedings.)
All of a sudden, I noticed it: an ugly-looking bug that I thought maybe could be a wasp.
I had to get it. I wouldn’t be able to rest peacefully knowing that that thing was flitting around the house, capable of terrorizing my boys.
But I had to nurse the baby. The poor little guy was so fed up with interruptions that he’d LOSE IT if I set him down to go hunt a wasp. Hm. I’d have do both.
I scurried to the broom closet, grabbed the fly swatter, and scurried back, eyes darting around looking for the maybe-wasp – nursing the whole while. I half chuckled at myself as I moved around the kitchen while nursing my son and holding a fly swatter in the air, stalking a bug which I wasn’t even sure was a wasp.
Then I saw it. On the floor. Right there.
I hastily set the kid down and then WHAM, got the sucker. It wasn’t a wasp after all. I sighed and wiped up the mess as quickly as I could, then I picked up my son and resumed nursing him. Poor, neglected, third baby…
Okay. Out of the kitchen and back to the sweetness.
Do you know how cute it is to hear this slow, metallic dragging sound, followed by a THWACK and a bunch of little-boy giggles? Very cute. And unnerving at first. What could make that sound? What could cause so much giggling?
Rest assured. It’s just the sound of boys playing with their measuring tape. One boy holds onto the thing while the other pulls the tape out as far as he can, and then – yes – lets go. Drag, drag, drag, THWACK! Furious giggling.
Once I resigned myself to the fact that, yes, they might hurt their fingers and no, that’s not such a big deal, the whole situation was really pretty enjoyable. Go ahead – get your children a tape measure.
Even more sweet, the other evening I came downstairs to find all of my guys putting on a little “parade”. One boy had a kazoo, another had an improvised noise maker, and Brennan held the baby, bouncing him and making a marching tune from silly little noises. They marched around the first floor in time to the tune – the boys very serious about the whole business, Brennan’s eyes dancing with the silliness of it all.
A moment before, I’d been flustered and rushing and… oh, how that little scene did my heart good. I love my guys.
Last night I made a late trip to the grocery store so I could do the party shopping without all three in tow. I took the baby while Brennan put the two bigger boys to bed. At first it all went fine – the baby looked around until he drifted off to sleep. Peaceful. Productive.
Then he woke with a little start and everything went right down that hill. Fast. The poor guy seemed so unhappy to wake up in such an unfamiliar and over-stimulating place that he lost it. Once I realized that some vigorous back-and-forth cart pushing wasn’t going to do it, I took him out of his car seat and carried him. Which still didn’t work. I hurried through the rest of the trip as he continued to scream. When I got up to the check-out lane, I started throwing items onto the belt as quickly as I could. One-handed. I was moving fast, but I’m sure it was obvious to all that I needed help.
And then somebody actually stepped forward and… helped.
The gentleman behind me in line, who had thrown me some sympathetic glances a few minutes earlier in the dairy section, started unloading my cart. My very, very full cart. I almost objected – it’s definitely my nature to want to do things myself. I don’t want to need help.
But I stopped. I let that kind man empty my cart for me while I focused on calming my baby. Soon enough, it was working. I soothed, baby relaxed, and my cart was emptied – then loaded – before my eyes. A few minutes later, the same gentleman handed me my bags while I loaded them into my van (to the background music of baby boy screaming, once again.)
How nice. How nice and helpful in that moment, how nice and sweet in my memory. Thank you, Mr. Kind Gentleman In The Grocery Store. You made my day.