Sunday, March 1, 2009

A weekend in esses: sleeping sitting snowing swinging speaking

E woke up at 6:43am and began calling for me, because the Chinese lantern she made in school for Chinese New Year and hung over her bed fell on her face, which I suppose is a reasonable justification for waking up, even if it is 6:anything am on a Sunday.

On the other hand, it probably wouldn't have fallen on her face if she hadn't weakened the structural integrity of its yarn, construction paper and staples hanging system by jumping on her bed, yanking its splendiferous crepe paper tassels at 9:45 last night.

But to be fair, she wouldn't have been jumping on her bed at anyhour:ever last night if the babysitter had been able to come to her and tuck her in and read two stories, as promised, instead of earning her hourly wage rocking the insomniac stubborn younger sister who woke up whenever she was placed in her crib while E amused herself to the letter of the law ("get in your bed and wait for me") if not within its spirit.

But, hey! We left our children for three hours last night in the care of a babysitter we completely trust and have full confidence in, even if we got home to two alert children at 10pm. A victory? A small one. It's not like it's a surprise to us that our children are terrible go-to-sleepers. And there was, after all, that bottle of Syrah...and that chocolate Bourbon frozen souffle with the pear ice cream. It was a real grown-up dinner.

However, just because one child who was still awake at 10 last night is now awake again at 6:43am does not mean that both children who were awake at 10 should be up this early. So I made the pained decision to wake up all the way, and quickly, to shepherd the Loud Instigator Child a floor away from the Child Always Looking For An Excuse To Join The Party.

I whispered in E's ear: "you know what I have to do this morning?" And appropriately curious, she asked, what? And I reminded her that today was the day we were planning to go to the swingset showroom, and I needed to go measure the backyard, and did she want to come outside with me?

[Bracketed interlude: did you know that "swingset" is not a word but is in fact 'correctly' broken into two, a la "swing set?" This has been Not Right to me through a month or more of internet swingset research. It makes my eyes itchy if it's not compounded, and by the way [trotting out nerd cred], I won my middle school spelling bee three years in a row. It's my blog and I can get all Walt Whitman on the English language if I want, so I'm thumbing my nose at Blogger spellcheck and guess what? In my mind (and maybe yours! could I be that subversive?) swingset is officially consecrated as one word.]

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

So it was crackof:dawn am and I was inviting E to run around in the backyard, and she seized on this invitation as intriguingly out of the ordinary, and rushed to capitalize on it by running down the stairs and to the closet to grab her jacket and as I semi-groggily lumbered down behind her I thought it looked unnaturally bright outside and Of Course, for the first time in about six weeks there was snow on the ground and I had already given the green-light to go outside.

Well, in my girl's mind this was The Most EXCITING Turn of Events EVER!!!! and I had envisioned her wandering around for a few minutes while I took a couple of quick measurements, us both having slipped on any old shoes and our puffy vests, instead we needed snowpants! and the purple sweatpants and hooded sweatshirt she wore in the snow last time! and gloves! and hats! and lots of wardrobing exertion! pre:coffee am! And Mommy! Let's go to the garage and get the sled!

[Hmm! Blogger spellcheck thinks "snowpants" should be two words, too. Spellcheck, I override you again. O, how I wield this scepter maniacally.]

The good thing about the snow was that it was easy to drag my feet to mark the measurements. The bad thing is that it's, um, cold. And I don't really like it. But E was euphoric, so we played hide and seek and I pushed her on her saucer sled all over the yard and we even made a little snowman. We played an intensive game of E's invention called Superman football, in which we took turns kicking the ball as far as we could while yelling Superman! at the moment of teal faux pigskin-to-snowboot toe contact. And 75 hours later when the other half of our little family tapped from the dining room window to say good morning, we finally went inside. And then we started our day.

It was a bit of a milestone day not because we ultimately dropped one of M's paychecks on a to-be-delivered swingset but because we were out of the house all day, from our usual Sunday morning breakfast at the bagel shop to a swingset showroom that wasn't supposed to open until noon to another small errand and then back to that swingset showroom at 12:10 pm, when it still wasn't open, to a different swingset showroom in a different county, in which the girls climbed on everything and fell in love with their future backyard, to get gas, dinner at Ruby Tuesday's, Wendy's for Frosty floats, the grocery store for apples, and finally home at almost 6pm. We've been flexible with E's nap before, but we've been diligent about being home for L's and today we winged it. She had several long opportunities to fall asleep while we drove. Of course, she didn't. Neither girl fell asleep until about 4pm, but we've already established that they're not the world's best sleepers (see above). L held up really well all day, though. We kept her bolstered with Cheerios and a diaper bag-ful of those little square lift-the-flap books she's so in love with right now. Her sister mastered the rock-climbing wall today, and L earned high marks for improvement in her animal sounds repertoire.

When we got home both girls were justifiably exhausted. E asked for her comfort (TV), and L asked for hers (by yanking on my shirt). We've made no progress on weaning L, even though there was a point at which we were sure she was self-weaning, so now we're not planning to try to wean her until after her surgery. Still, it's a little disconcerting to have a kid who can speak: who asks for it. I think the word she says when she tugs at my neckline is more, because that would be repeating what I always ask when she goes digging in my outfit yet again. But after listening to her all day with those flap books, I'm not entirely sure she isn't saying MOO. Pin It