The weekend was a tiring march from one required task to the next: dishes, laundry, clean house for party to which I’m not invited and must hide with the children in the kitchen and bedrooms, smear food off the floor with teary futility, and trim back dead clumps of lavender that was flowering just three months ago.
Okay, it wasn’t all misery but it felt like all chores and no relaxation time, possibly exacerbated by Number Two’s cold/general unhappiness. I should say my 18-month old son is mostly happy and patient so after getting some required vaccinations last week we were sorry to see he’d caught a cold and was grumpy and tired. For several days he took two two-hour naps then went to bed early after being miserable and tired all afternoon. This weekend I chased him around trying to wipe his nose, at one point resorting to a leaf torn from a tree to try and stem the tide of goop coming from the front of his face. Gah. And because he’s a boy and a toddler he gets into everything. Not content with emptying the lower cabinets and pantry of all the contents, he now picks up objects and delivers them to unpredictable places. I found a dirty diaper in the shower, yogurt cups from the recycling bin scattered across the couch, and my dental floss is nowhere to be found. I’m thinking someone will discover it in thirty years when they switch on the bathroom shin-heater and a billow of trickle of toxic smoke snakes out the vent. “Now who would put floss in a heater?”
I spend most of my time chasing the Boy around saying whiny and hopeless things like, “Please don’t pull that lamp down…leave the mop alone…get out of the trash…watch your head on the—[THUNK]” All small slights, disturbances, or stumbles were amplified by his mystery illness, meaning we got to the Everything Tears ™ checkmate earlier and earlier in the day until breakfast was an explosion of hurled yogurt, rejected toast, and snotty tears. Poor kid. I mean me.
So it was with great satisfaction that Child Harbat decided to read a book to her younger brother, unbidden, and both sat calmly while I tried to scrape ossified banana mush out of the carpet with my fingernails. Sometimes it’s what’s out of frame in the picture that tells the real story.