Saturday, October 16, 2010

Cold chicken

Today was an average day.

Josh had guitar practice before school which means that I had to leave by 7am (instead of the usual 7:30am) to get him there on time. Only today, I didn't just have Josh to contend with -- I had Drew because Andy had to take his car into the shop (yet again).

Drew is my kiddo that is hard to wake up. He has no problem waking up before everyone else, but wake him up before he is ready to get up and you're in for a battle. I'm generally concerned he's going to tumble down the stairs as he tends to just fall out of bed and stumble to the stairs in a half-awake stupor. I try to make sure I wake Joshua before Drew so that I can walk down the stairs with him and hold his hand -- just to be sure of him.

We carpool with a neighbor so she was gracious enough to agree to keep Drew from 7am to 7:30am when they were leaving for school while I took Joshua and then went to pick up Andy from the service department at the dealership and run him to work. Doing all this threw Ben's little schedule (and therefore my attempt at sanity) completely out of whack.

We get home and Ben, obviously, isn't tired since he's been sacked out in the car seat for our little errand filled morning. So, we play. We bounce in the Jump-a-Roo. We play under the play mat. We scootch around the floor in the playroom. We crumble up paper. We bang blocks. I lay on the floor next to him and start to doze off. He starts to whine. I am almost grateful as that means I can go get a nap too. Off to the bedroom. We nap until noon.

Whoops. I remember Andy saying something about wanting to go meet the boys for lunch at school and take my car for a car wash. Yeah, forget all that. It's noon. I jump up, feed Ben and grab a shower while he's in the bouncy chair smiling at me.

I remember the other three errands I needed to do: pick up a costume that had been Freecycled, drop off a check to my MOPS friend Taryn for some Butter Braid Bread and stop by the attorney's office to sign some papers. Then I thought of Andy and him not having a car so I called. "Have you eaten?" "Not yet." "Want me to come take you to lunch?" His office was on the same side of town as two of my errands so it was only convenient for me to think of him. I ran one errand and then picked us both up some Arby's. I love their Market Fresh Ham & Swiss sandwiches. It's made with mayo and spicy Dijon mustard along with green leave lettuce, purple onions and tomatoes (and obviously, ham and Swiss, duh). The bread is SO GOOD! I'm sure it's equally fattening but at this point, I'm okay with it. I was hungry. It was there. It was good.

So, I run my last two errands and soon the boys will be getting home from school. Ben has been in various states of sleep/awake during this journey. His day and nap schedule was all messed up. Poor kid.

The boys come home... we go through backpacks. We look at their Friday folders. We talk about their day. I start thinking toward dinner. Andy comes home. It's the first night of the playoffs with the Texas Rangers vs. New York Yankees. First time in franchise history they've made it this far. Andy, obviously wants to watch the game. I had set out chicken to cook on the grill. Silly me.

He goes and get the chicken going. We raid the freezer for quick to prepare, steamable sides (brown rice, broccoli and a bag of mixed veggies--my favorite). I get our dinners plated up. We sit at the table. Ben is placed in his high chair and given an apple to chew on. I eat my broccoli. He starts to whine. I eat a few bites of my mixed veggies. He starts to fuss. I take one bite of rice. He starts to cry. I realize at that point... he's beyond saving. It's time. I push my plate up some and scoop up the little guy and head to the closet. It was bath time.

There are lots of books that suggest that you not heed to what the baby's want rather, you make them adapt to your schedule. While this may sound good -- in theory -- the reality is that it's really hard to enjoy your meal when your child who has had his whole schedule turned upside down with errands, having only one good nap, lots of noise and little else... wasn't going to make it pleasant for anyone at all. I appreciate the input of these so called "experts" but each child is different. Each little tummy is different. Everyone doesn't fit into the same utopian mold that they tend to think exists.

So, we run a bath, he splashes and plays and this lasts a good ten minutes. I hear water running in the kitchen. I know dinnertime is over for the boys and the clean-up has begun. I hope that they don't just assume I'm finished and clean my plate because I haven't made a trip to the store to get myself anything else to really snack on and fill up if my dinner is trashed.

I towel him off...
I watch his little smiles as the terrycloth tickles his legs and toes...
I diaper him... Size 3... Elmo is on the front...
I dress him in the cutest pair of fitted, snap up Gymboree jammies covered with earth toned jungle animals.
He starts the "mmmm.... mmmm.... mmmmm" noises that means he's needing something.
I carry him to the wall. Press the light switch. In a slight click, it is dark.
We lay on the bed... he is placed closer to "my" side so that if he were to roll.. he rolls into his co-sleeper. I prefer him next to me, however.
I pop in a "mute button" and his eyes immediately close as he turns to the right with his back facing me and falls asleep.
It happens that fast.
I lay there for about 15-20 minutes to make sure he's good and out and then get up to find the big boys in the playroom watching "The Game" and my dinner, now cold, still sitting where I left it.

I pick it up and head to the computer to read a few blog entries of my friends while I enjoy the few bites of dinner I had left.

Then it hit me... although it can be rather annoying that I'm generally the one who misses out on warm meals simply because I know these cues that my babies exhibit. It's a blessing and a gift that God has given me to know these cues.

When you know that you're able to recognize these signals and KNOW what they mean you've evolved. Even though, sometimes you have to realize, you'll be eating cold chicken for dinner.


brandt! said...

once again ... love, love your post! love being evolved .. don't care about the cold chicken .. i would rather know that i can read my kids needs than eat chicken that's warm!!!

ModernMom said...

Love :) This is the kind of thing that lets you know you are where you are supposed to be:)

Frugal Vicki said...

Awww, I love this post. Though when I first read cold chicken, I got hungry AGAIN (you are killing me today) because I think there is nothing better than left over fried chicken straight from the fridge!