I wake up to the sound of a large object hitting the wall in his room. It startles me and I quickly jump up and out of bed hoping to get to him before he wakes his sister. She is asleep on my floor like every night. I open his door in a hurry to find that he has escaped from his crib and is now in the midst of a giant pile of blankets, toys and pillows. He looks up and simply says, "Hi mommy."
He proceeds to hand me every single thing that surrounds him. Every morning I have to carry every single item from his room downstairs, along with him. When we get to the top of the stairs, he hops on my hips and wraps his little legs around me. I smile, every day, because I feel the grip with which he is trying to hold on. He is trying to be strong because he knows I am also carrying about 8 other things. When we reach the bottom of the stairs he says the same thing that he always does,"I'm ready to watch Dora, mommy."
And he does.
I generally eat at this time. And grab a few minutes on the computer. He is consumed with Spanish speaking and talking animals and I am consumed by caffeine. And hunger. Just as I give him his chocolate milk and sit down to eat my bowl of CoCo Wheats, the dog scratches on the bathroom door as if signaling me that she is dying a quick and painful death. The force by which she draws attention to herself is quite excessive for the early morning hour of 8. After all, I was awakened by Nora having nightmares at least twice, having to go the bathroom at least 3 times and the sound of either Daniel or myself coughing at least 10 times.
So I move towards the bathroom. There she is in all of her ridiculous glory. She bolts from the room as if avoiding the inevitable scream I'm about to let out when I notice the fresh pile of poop and huge mess of pee she just accomplished. I used to just clean it up. Day after day, morning after morning. Mumbling under my breath, "They said you were potty trained. That was over a year ago. They are liars and I hate you," as I scrub. Now, however, I gag and cry almost the entire 5 minutes I have to be in the room. I don't have the energy to try and discipline another thing, so Heidi runs free through the house like the true beauty that she is. I put her outside on her leash and walk away to start my breakfast and the second I sit down, she is scratching at the door.
Somewhere between the hours of 9:30 and 10 am, No-Nap-Nora wakes up. She has found her groove. She can sleep until mid morning and go without a nap the entire day. So I'm finishing up some laundry and dishes or sometimes I'm still sitting at the kitchen table when I hear it. The bare feet of a night gowned redhead stomping down the stairs. For some reason she needs to make it known that she is entering the day. Everyday. She rounds the corner at a sprint when she sees me, arms wide. When she wraps her arms around my neck and says, "Hi mommy! I missed you!" I know my day will be a good one. I missed her too, almost always.
At this point she will either join him in the living room for doughnuts and Dora or she'll request her own chocolate milk to be brought directly back upstairs where she will perch like the queen in my bed for the remainder of the morning. It's cold outside and she takes advantage of these long, boring days by making sure she knows how every inch of my bed feels while laying on it a different way. These mornings are uneventful; almost peaceful.
Now if she joins brother in the living room, life is a little more likely to get crazy, loud and exhausting. And usually very early on. Like 2 minutes after she sits on the couch. He stands in front of her view of Dora; she screams. He gets on the table; she tattles. She takes a doughnut; he has a meltdown. He grabs Heidi's tale; he gets bit. She can't see, he won't move, he hits her, she cries in an emotional breakdown kind of way. Oh yes, these are the mornings that I avoid phone calls at all cost and focus solely on remaining stable in my own mind rather that succumbing to the insanity looming in my near future.
Daddy comes home to refill his coffee cup. I want to pull on his pant legs like a toddler myself and beg him just to stay. Deal with it. He doesn't.
I just have to make it until lunch time. Shortly after that he goes back to bed. He will fight me the entire walk up the stairs; he and 10 other things in my arms. "Who needs exercise," I think. I get him in his crib, kiss his forehead, tell him I'll see him when he gets up. He repeats it all back to me and I go out. Shut the door behind me. I'm almost to the stairs when I hear it.
I go back in and start again. On a good day, only once.
And then silence in the house. Quiet. Solace. Peace.
For 2 minutes and 23 seconds.
Braden is asleep; No-Nap-Nora's list of demands begin..........
PART 2 OF MY DAY TOMORROW!
Yesterday Daniel & I took the kids to Subway for lunch after church. Braden acted like, well, Braden from the time we walked in the door until about 20 minutes after we were sitting. He was crying, throwing his body, throwing his fists on the table, crying more, turning red, pounding, pounding, pounding, screaming, crying.
I finally took him to the bathroom just to talk to him away from the table and the situation that was clearly causing him to be upset because nothing in particular set him off. When we came back out and got settled to try to eat (finally) a subway lady came over to our table and gently laid 2 cookies in front of Daniel and I.
She calmly said, "these are for your children" with a smile.
I looked at Daniel and laughed out loud, sweating. We finished eating. When we got in the van to leave, I sighed a huge breath as he climbed in the van. In all of my exhaustion I realized that the sweet subway lady was bribing us to leave...while the world was quiet.
I couldn't blame her.
That's My Boy.