Monday, October 09, 2006

Good Day, Bad Night

It was a good day. The weather here was GORGEOUS. Almost too hot for long pants! The kids and I headed over to the nearby playground this morning. Jamie ran around like a loon, and Clare took some trips down the slide and went in the swing. Then we took a walk around the pond next to the playground. It's about a mile through the woods and stunning this time of year with the leaves turning colors. We often walked this trail as a family in the evenings this past summer, but this was the first time I did it by myself with Jamie and Clare. In the double stroller. Jamie claimed he needed a break from running around and wanted to have a snack, so I agreed to pull out the double stroller. Besides, I have been so off my feet with everyday, all day, no matter what time it is pregnancy sickness that I could stand to get the exercise. What I didn't figure was how much exercise I was going to get. With a toddler, preschooler, and a 20-pound stroller, I was soon pushing 80 pounds up and down hills, around curves, over leaves, twigs, and rocks. Needless to say, I definitely got a work-out! But we are savoring every last minute of fine weather around here, so I won't complain too much!

This afternoon continued our idyllic day. Clare took a nap, Jamie did his quiet time, I got my nap. Jamie and I made cookies before Clare woke up. We had one blip in that when Shawn went to get Clare out of her crib, suddenly I heard shouts of, "Tree, come up here!" Running upstairs into her room, there was blood all over Clare's crib. I am sure you can imagine how that makes your heart stop. Clare's hands were covered with dried blood as well. After I washed it off, I saw that she had a little cut on one of her fingers. I don't know how she did it, but a cut plus blood thinners makes a whole lot of blood from one little girl. Since it wasn't a medical emergency (just a laundry emergency), my heart started beating again. We had to throw all of Clare's sheets plus some of her stuffed animals in the washer. After that was accomplished, we played outside on our swingset, then took a walk on our street with Jamie riding his tricycle. Shawn had a business meeting that night, so he cut out of work for the rest of the afternoon.

We have a funny-looking tree in our front yard right next to our driveway. All summer it grew this weird-looking fruit. They looked kind of like peaches, but weren't. My sister's fiance is a.... landscape architect, horticulturist, guy who knows a lot about trees and plants?? (Sorry, Tee, drawing a blank here.) We had previously asked him what the tree was and even he was stumped. Since the tree is now dumping the fruit all over our driveway, we have been running over it with the cars. I noticed that inside the fruit was what looked like a nut. It looked like one of those nuts you get in a bag of mixed nuts still in their shells that you need a nutcracker to open. Not being a big nut expert, I couldn't figure out what it was. After unsuccessfully stomping on the nuts with our feet (even Jamie wanted a try), Shawn had the brilliant idea to take a huge rock and crack it with that. Sure enough, there was an edible nut inside. Well, we hope they were edible because we all tried it. Sweet, with a very familiar taste at the end. After our walk, we ate our cookies and Shawn searched online to see what the nut was. Lo and behold, we have an almond tree growing in our yard! And Shawn's research explained that the almond is in the same category as a peach or plum tree, which explains the appearance. Now I just have to find out if the tree is sweet almond or bitter almond (which is used to make cyanide) before we go trying any more nuts!

All good things come to an end, though. Shawn went off to his meeting, and I made dinner for Jamie and Clare. No dinner for me because the thought of eating was very unappetizing (I will be so happy to move on from this stage of pregnancy!). Clare and Jamie actually were very funny and cute during dinner. They were feeding off each other's crazy antics and laughing so hard, it was making me laugh. After dinner, though, was another story. Jamie is at a challenging age in many ways (I know all ages have their challenges, but parenting an extremely smart 3 1/2-year old has its moments). Now that Clare is getting older, she obviously wants to play with toys, too. Jamie is having a hard time sharing with her, especially sharing HER toys. My mom came to visit yesterday and gave them each some money to buy a treat. We took them to Target, and Jamie picked out a big Spiderman action figure. Clare chose a stacking animal bathtub toy (consisted of Shawn holding up three toys we thought she would like, and bought the one she reached for first). During Clare's bath, she got her first opportunity to play with her new toy. However, it was a big battle with Jamie over it first because he wanted to play with it. Sometimes it just makes me want to scream. I get caught up in the rationalizing with him, then come to my senses that he is 3 and I am the mom, and no means no. This usually leads to some kind of outburst or temper tantrum (from him usually, sometimes from me!), which it did tonight. So I was already a little peeved at him. I quickly finished bathing Clare, then got Jamie's bath ready. Now that Jamie is older, I don't sit with him in the bathroom during his bath. The door is open, and he is a loud bather, so I can always hear him singing and playing in the tub. Since I was solo tonight, I used the time to get Clare ready for bed and down in her crib. I checked on Jamie, and he was playing, but making a huge mess with splashing. Midnight was sitting by the sink watching him. I told him to cut down on the splashing and watch out for Midnight, so she didn't get wet. Then I went in his room to get his pj's and books ready for bed. Next thing I hear is yeowling and a streak of wet, black fur running out of the bathroom. I went in there, and there were three soaking wet washcloths on the bathroom floor. I asked Jamie if he threw them at Midnight, and he admitted that he did. I was so mad. One of those moments when I fought not to lose my temper. I didn't scream at him (but I wanted to), but I did tell him how displeased I was, took him right out of the tub, right into pj's, and right into bed. I told him no books and certainly no cats sleeping in his room tonight (which he loves, and Midnight sleeping with him is a new event). It was one of those moments when Jamie knew that he had crossed the line. I explained that putting water on the cats was not a nice thing to do, especially throwing wet washcloths at them. That his cats loved him and trusted him to always take care of them and treat them right. He cried, was sad about losing the cats for the night, but didn't put up one fuss when I turned off the light and left the room. I did give him a goodnight kiss (I could never be THAT mad at him), and told him that we would talk about this with Daddy in the morning.

So there's my long, venting post. At the end of the day, I have to look back and remember that it really was a good day. Yet one incident can sour my mood on the day. Probably because that taste is left in my mouth at the end of the day. Probably because my little boy went to bed knowing his mommy was upset with him. Probably because my last mental picture of him is him looking up at me with his big, sad, brown eyes and saying, "okay, Mommy, good night" in a little voice. Probably because I wish I could go back up to his room and give him a hug and tell him that I love him even when he does something he shouldn't. I think I'll just go do that.


Lisa R said...

Sorry Tree I have to laugh a little...I feel your pain Emma drives me crazy too...Terrible two's no way it is three that is killing me. I am glad you got to enjoy your day it sounded so fun:)

nichole said...

i'll trade for a day - 190 18 year olds for Jamie and Clare :) just kidding. i feel the same way sometimes - I'll have a great day and then 5 minutes before I leave for the night I get a call from security or facilities and my good mood is totally shot. but i don't have little hugs and big brown eyes to make me feel better! just an occasional snuggle from my jack sparrow. sounds like Clare and Jamie (and mom and dad) had a very eventful columbus weekend. Congrats to Jamie on his jackolantern prize!

Aunt Joan said...

What a wonderful Autumn day you all had. I am glad that you went back to Jamie. They do not understand their actions any more than we do sometimes. Love to all, Joan