Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Upstairs Downstairs

What have I learned recently?

1) I am very independent and can handle James being gone for TEN FRIGGIN DAYS in a row. (His one night stop-over this weekend does not count. I am only giving him credit for it because he surprised me with a mocha Frappucino).

What have I also learned?

2) All independence and solidarity is shot to shit when your toddler has the croup, combined with toilet training.

Telling your kid "There there now" after he vomits does not couple well with "I know you have your insides on your Elmo shirt, but don't forget to use the potty!"

I thought today was better. I willed it to be so.

It sucked.

The positive thinking: I will bring the kids to Ruby's for a kids eat free night where I will stuff stuff them silly with greasy chicken fingers while I eat a healthy cobb salad.

The reality of the situation: Nick was so cranky he wouldn't sit still or eat. Sophie would only stop screaming if I straw fed her iced tea (not helping her sleeping situation).

The positive thinking: I will take the kids to the play yard to run off their energy so they can crash on the way home in the car.

The reality of the situation: We only made it half way there before Nick peed all over an unsuspecting photo booth. I threw Sophie at my mother to grab Nick, in the process setting my diaper bag in a puddle of urine (officially changing the name from "Petunia Picklebottom" to "Pee-uuuuu-nia Pee Pee Bottom".)

The positive thinking: Nick will learn from this experience that his almighty pink and purple Dora panties won't save him from using the toilet. Maybe he'll think next time before he takes a whiz in a booth designed for teens to make out and hide from their parents. Luckily, I have a pair of 3T jeans and a Huggie with me. I will clean him up and set him loose to play once again.

The reality of the situation: Not five minutes into the play area he shoved Sophie twice and dry heaved, freaking out the perfect Valley moms and all Pottery barn robot children named Madison, Cole or anything else resembling a shoe-line or street.

The positive thinking: Both kids will crash in the car, and at least I ate well.

The reality of the situation: Both rugrats wailed the whole way down Owensmouth. I then downed Nick's left over fries and chicken nuggets quicker than John Travolta cries on Oprah.

I finally got both babies home, silently bemoaning the screams from Sophie that lay ahead of me after I, horror of horrors, lay her in the crib. But to my surprise, despite me talking on the phone to James while I rocked her upstairs, she fell asleep the moment I set her down. Side note: She shares a room with Dominic... Side note 2: Her crib shares a room with Nick. For the past year, she has taken all siestas in the Pack 'N Play which is elegantly located in our dining room. Nothing says warm and cozy dining nook like a howling infant. Side note three/defense/useless info but important to me so just read it and move on: We had her in the dining room because she's such a light sleeper, and since she goes down before Nick, there was no point in waking her up an hour later when Nick went to sleep. However, being the solo parent this week, and fearful of how I'd grab two kids and a coffee pot if a 7.6 quake hit, I resigned myself to my baby sleeping near me on the second story.

The irony of this? Nick was so exhausted from his mall excursion and a big bout of Tylenol (which I man handled into him when he was strapped into the car seat), he crashed on the couch watching "Thomas the Train". Whistles blaring, smoke stack humming... he was blissfully gone.

I couldn't believe it! I was finally able to relax! I could watch tv without a little girl screaming or reading fourteen books about bugs, dump trucks and anything by Eric Carle. I smiled as I flipped on "According to Jim", curiously noting that the only person in the universe with a head bigger than Dora is Jim Bellushi. I settled in for a premiere night of Geena Davis's new show and "Boston Legal".

A half hour later, I heard this little voice next to me: "Mommy, I can't sleep. Turn that off."

Now Sophie is asleep upstairs, Nick is once again sleeping downstairs, which leaves a very confused mommy. Where do I sleep? Maybe the coffee pot and I will make our way into the SUV.

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