Once your kids can repeat after you, you (are supposed to) stop swearing. Once their receptive vocabulary and demands grow to where they can understand that you are talking about ice cream, you are reduced to spelling. In our house, the mere mention of the word FAN can trigger an endless annoy-a-thon of ceiling fan demands, so “when the S hits the F” has become a trademark expression here, and the S does hit the F rather often these days.
Yesterday in the evening I was home alone with the kids. There’s always that weird lull before bedtime when you are letting all activity dwindle but not ready to actually start the bedtime routine, and you just kind of mill about preventing new toys from being dragged out but mostly doing nothing, even though you know that S is about to get hectic.
So there we were, having a calm evening, and moments later I was here:
Baby is on the changing table, naked but for a diaper. Baby can now roll onto his side so he must not be left unattended there.
Stupidly I seize a moment of proximity and inactivity to remove Miles’s diaper. In the time it takes me to reach for a clean overnighter, he pees allll over the floor, his hands, and his feet. In slow motion I say with maniacal cheeriness, “DO YOU WANT TO PEE ON THE POTTY?!?!?!?” and swoop him onto the potty to finish, trailing pee across the room (Julius is still on the changing table), and Miles FUH-REAKS out and is screaming and jumping violently up and down on the potty until he hurts his A. If you know what I mean.
So I lay him on the floor. There is a puddle of pee about two feet in diameter right smack in the doorway. I look at the linen closet in the hallway. I look back at Miles. He is depositing the rest of the pee, that he held on the potty, onto himself/the floor. I have pee on my arm where his pee hands grabbed me when I picked him up. The baby is still on the changing table.
I wipe the screaming Miles off with a baby wipe, ditto my arms and hands, put Julius in the pack and play for safety, and I LEAP over the pee puddle and get supplies to clean it up. Miles has been screaming his head off this entire time and now Julius is crying too.
I get a diaper on Miles but he is kicking me so he goes into time out and continues to scream.
I realize that Russell is outside in the 95* heat so I call him in. No Russell. I yell and yell. I step out into the yard. Someone left the side gate open.
I run around the side of the house, and Russell is waiting patiently at the front door. But I locked the front door already because I THOUGHT WE WERE GOING TO BED and so I have to get him to follow me back around the house and inside.
Inside, both kids are still crying.
I get a washcloth to give Miles a lazy sponge bath really quick but I know he hates this, and just knowing he’s going to flip out makes me preemptively angry. I give him a fast, rough (too rough, and then I feel like an A hole) rubdown. I get the baby into pajamas. I bring them upstairs. I read a book while nursing Julius.
Miles falls asleep.
I bring a sleepy Julius downstairs, put him in the swing to fall asleep or at least chill while I collect myself. I sit down at the computer and eat three chocolate chip cookies.
And the power goes out.
I call the power company and learn this is a “known outage” that won’t be fixed for at least three more hours. It’s 8 pm. We’re losing daylight. It’s 78* on the main floor which means the upstairs bedroom is hot, and getting hotter with no air conditioning. The only thing I can do is move us all down to the basement for the night, where we luckily have a sofa bed and it stays nice and cool. But Julius is still up and he will cry (and wake up Miles) if I leave him alone.
So first I bring Julius up and nurse him to sleep on the bed. It’s 8:30 pm and getting pretty dim. I get a sheet and pillows and make up the bed downstairs, where it’s so dark that I have to work by book light. I carry Miles down, and he starts flipping out as I bring him down there, but luckily he falls right back to sleep on the bed. I then carry Julius down, who does not fall right back to sleep. I have to nurse and hold him for two more hours before I can leave to grab blankets (because actually it is VERY cool down there).
Meanwhile, the neighborhood is alight with fireworks. Without the white noise of air conditioning and the refrigerator – no white noise at all – it sounds like the fireworks are up in my living room, and I have trouble sleeping. Also, the sofa bed mattress feels like a bed of metal springs loosely covered by a thin cotton sheet.
But we sleep. I sleep poorly, but the boys actually do pretty well.
Today I am just holding down the fort until Mike gets home. Already looking forward to sleeping in my own bed again.