One September Day
The alarm rang at 5:30 this morning, but I had already been awake for a half hour feeding a restless five month-old and waiting to hear the alarm ring.
A short while later, showered and dressed, Joel perked a pot of coffee and made us Toads-in-the-Hole for breakfast.
I coaxed Adelaide out of her warm bed, into her clothes, and down to the breakfast table by using her black-and-white dog, Puppy, as a puppet: “I want some dog cereal!” Puppy barked. Adelaide picked at her Life cereal.
The four of us trudged out the door and into the garage where our Taurus stood ready to convey us to our varied appointments when we spotted our neighbors’ yard.
Tp-ing: this old school expression of juvenile high spirits made us all smile as we headed down the road.
I arrived at work to find that I was to be pulled (re-assigned to cover a staffing shortage on another unit) to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit [NICU], Bay 5 (i.e., Feeders and Growers) today. Hooray! Although being pulled to another unit is always disorienting, I really liked my last pull to Bay 5; although the last time I was pulled there was my first day of being sick with Swine Flu! The nurses are super helpful and friendly, all the nurses always get a lunch, and basically one passes a fairly benign shift holding and snuggling newborns (something that I rarely get to do in my Mother-Baby job). As a bonus, I attended a NICU staff meeting entitled “Facebook at Work: A Good Use of Your Time?”
After work on the drive to pick-up Henry, Joel informed me that he also had an excellent day, one of his last on this blissed-out elective rotation. His advisor approved off all of Joel’s research efforts and thinks that there’s publishable material somewhere in all of the head and neck cancer that Joel’s been engrossed in.
We picked up Henry, who had made good use of all of the extra provisions we sent along to daycare. He’d eaten 14 ounces of bottled breastmilk and soiled the spare duds we had packed. Also, his charming care providers used his footprint to stamp a white ghost on a little Halloween display in his classroom. Cute!
With Henry securely fastened into his car seat, we were off to snag Adelaide before heading home. On my way to the backyard, where I knew Adelaide would be (covered in sand, head-to-toe), Jill, one of the school’s directors, approached me and said in her ever-cheerful voice, “I just want you to know that Adelaide bit Fiona today.” And, according to a couple of eye-witnesses, Adelaide announced that she didn’t want to be Fiona’s friend in front of Fiona, Fiona’s mom, and everybody this morning at breakfast. As Jill and I discussed possible reasons for and solutions to curb this behavior, Fiona’s mom walked in and together the three of us gently talked about the matter, laughing and joking (somewhat), but I was utterly disappointed. How can my kid be the mean kid? I am flummoxed about the biting and the unfriendly announcement, because Adelaide has been talking non-stop about the new girl Fiona and how she wants to have Fiona over and Fiona this and Fiona that.
Joel and I quietly chewed on this new, unpleasant development in Adelaide’s behavior as we made supper (grilled sausages and a yummy new salad with garbanzo beans, zucchini and corn). Adelaide was given a Take Five for sneaking out of the garage door and running across the street to play with the neighbors’ Tp. Do you know how fast the bus drives up our street?? I shuddered to think, and then I slurped down two T&Ts (TGIF! Oh wait, TGIT!).
We headed out into the night air, bound for Dane’s Dairy. We spied a Blue Heron in our murky neighborhood pond en route, but missed the snapshot of the bird flying away above the pond by a long shot.
We made it to Dane’s and indulged.
Adelaide fell off the yellow horse and bumped her chin. Despite the fact that she cheerfully obeyed our urgings to “Get back on the horse what threw ya!”, it was tears all the way home about sore chins, bug bites, lost flowers, and being hungry. Henry coo’d and smiled, happy to be outside. We spied Venus in the fading light, or at least, we thought it was Venus.
I popped a snorfly Adelaide into the shower and scrubbed away the sand, while Joel and Henry tidied up the kitchen. Adelaide screamed as I brushed her hair, but was soothed by the Calamine treatment I gave her multiple bug bites. Joel lotioned Henry’s dry skin, put him in comfy p.j.s, and we switched. As I nursed Henry to sleep, I heard Joel reading Elmo Can Use the Potty and Madeline and the Bad Hat and then, mercifully, it was lights out for both the Peep and the Squeak.
Now it’s 8:55 and I’m blogging and Joel’s stretched out on the couch, reading Eclipse, but is using his expensive English Major to pretend it’s Ulysses. The dishwasher is running. The crickets are chirping. Faintly, I can hear cars zooming.
Ah, a good, long day in the life.