Monday, August 11, 2008

on sidewalk chalk, cockroaches, and irony

It has been one of those mornings. I didn't walk this morning, and it set me off on the wrong foot (pardon my pun). I wanted to go to the park after breakfast, but Silas wouldn't sleep when he could have (during cartoon/kitchen cleaning time), then was so sad he missed his window he had that silent-kicking-red-faced cry that will always make me drop whatever I'm doing to rock the offended baby. By the time he'd settled down, we had missed our window, and couldn't go to the park and be home before he needed to eat again (and even though I'm bottle feeding, I somehow forgot to request my extra set of arms when we left the hospital with Silas, making it impossible for me to be in public with both kids, alone, and feed him at the same time. IM-possible). So, Plan B. Asher and I dug around in the Fun Box! ("Hooray!" Asher says, whenever you say "Fun Box!") and found sidewalk chalk. That seemed like a good enough way to spend our time, so Asher and I headed out for the driveway while Silas took his nap and Brian, who was home a few minutes later than usual, packed up for work. He did everything he normally does - packed his bag, locked up the house, kissed everyone good-bye - and then headed for his meeting two hours north of here. A few minutes later I put Asher on the front step with his juice, so that I could run inside and make sure Silas was still asleep. Except, Brian had locked the door. The door was locked, and I only had one of my two children with me, and the other was going to need to eat again in fifteen minutes. I felt like I was stuck in a scene from a Lifetime movie.

I knocked on two neighbors' doors, with no luck. Finally a third neighbor drove around the corner, and I waved her down. I used her cell phone (I had no cell phone either, since sidewalk chalking does not typically require one) and was back in the house in about fifteen minutes. Fifteen excruciatingly long minutes for a mother who is separated from her hungry infant. Fifteen minutes of imagining that silent-kicking-red-faced cry, to which I was unable to respond, and picturing him sleeping on his belly, and what if he gets so mad he buries his face in the blanket and DIES while I'm standing on the step waiting for someone to let me in my own damn house?

He never woke up.

With that behind us, I fed Silas, intending (again) to go to the park after he ate. This time, Silas cooperated, Asher didn't. Instead, when I would ask, "Are you ready to go to the park?" Asher would say, "No! Night-night? Please?" It was 10:30 a.m. I wasn't about to put him in bed at 10:30, but I couldn't really see dragging a baby away from his blanket and paci and forcing him into the sandbox, either.

So I was left with time to kill. Killing time with a sleepy toddler is not my idea of a calm morning, but it went okay. Until about 11:15, when he kept hammering all the wrong things with his toy - the wall, his head, the computer. After a few minutes of "Hammer the floor or the pillow, baby, not your head" I took the hammer away. He looked at me and screamed. As you know, screaming is a Punishable Offense in our house. I picked him up, repeated my usual, "When you scream you go to your bed," and turned toward the door. Standing there, directly between myself and the only exit from the room, was the biggest cockroach EVER. I HATE cockroaches. I don't care about spiders or any manner of other outdoor creatures, but cockroaches give me the heebies.

So here I am, holding the boy who is on his way to his bed for screaming, and what did I do? Scream. Then I screamed again. Then I kicked something at the roach, screamed a third time, and ran - hurtling over the general direction of the path the roach might take - out of the room. I screamed so much I scared Asher, who was now using the silent-kicking-red-faced cry himself.


We sat down and rocked, Asher crying while I laughed. "It's okay," I said. "I was just scared. It's over now. But you know what? You don't have to go to your bed for screaming this time."

Maybe this afternoon will be better.


Elizabeth said...

Good Lord, what a day! I've had some of those, although exponentially different with two, I'm sure. I can just imagine the trauma of being locked out with the little guy inside! Sends shivers up my spine just thinking about it.

The Bean said...

I think it's funny that Asher wanted to go to bed and you weren't ready for him to so he started doing things to get him to scream which meant in the end, he could go to his bed. I think you've got a smart one on your hands who knew what he was doing. :)

Stephanie said...

Emily, I think it's fair to say Asher is smart. And that all kids do what it takes to get your attention ...