Thursday, September 12, 2013

"That Family"

After dinner last night we went to the park to get some wiggles out before bedtime. On the way there, the girls were showing me how they could walk backwards, an innocent enough game even if there are no sidewalks in our neighbourhood. Our girls know they're supposed to stay in the gutter.

"Can you run backwards?" Rachel asked, increasing her speed.

"I can," I said, jutting out into the street to avoid a truck that was parked along the curb before breaking into a backward run.

Rachel started laughing and picked up her pace. So there we were, jogging backwards alongside each other when *BANG!* Rachel crashed into the truck. It wasn't like she just bumped into it, either. She rammed into it at top speed. It was a pretty tall truck, too, so she hit her head on its hood. Fortunately, she didn't leave a dent, so she just walked away rubbing the back of her head.

We were all laughing so hard—Rachel almost threw up. I don't know why we didn't see this coming! I had moved out of the way of the truck before I started running, yet I didn't tell Rachel to move. Andrew was watching us run while he pushed Benjamin in the stroller, yet he didn't warn Rachel either. Clearly we need to review the laws of physics.


Fortunately, she was alright and we made it to the park without further incident.

My children quickly claimed all the swings. Rachel and Andrew (admittedly not my child, but close enough) got the "big kid" swings and started practicing pumping and jumping. Miriam and Benjamin took over the baby swings.

When we saw another family with a baby making their way over, Miriam got down and started pushing Benjamin. When he was finished swinging we went over to the slides to play. By the time the other family was getting ready to leave, Miriam and I had started a chasing game. She was doing a lot more running than I was doing. I would just have to say, "I'm going to get you!" and she'd run off screaming.

At one point, she left the fenced area of the playground to run on the hills outside the fence. I stayed inside the park, holding Benjamin, and watching Rachel pump. Just as the other little family was leaving the park, Miriam came running back to the playground at full speed, her little arms stretched in front of her to push the gate open.

Unfortunately, while the gate opens a few inches inward, it's technically hinged to pull outward so in order to come into the park you have to pull, not push, the gate. Miriam ran at the gate and pushed it with all her might, which of course was the wrong directions for the hinges to go. So while Miriam was running forward at full force, the gate meanly sprang back at her and hit her in the face.

There was a sickening crack.

Everyone (including that family of passersby and excepting Miriam who began to hyperventilate) sharply inhaled.

Miriam panicked and started blindly running toward me. Unfortunately, I was on the other side of the swing set where Rachel and Andrew had been swinging and while Andrew can stop swinging on a dime, Rachel can't. She was stuck swinging high.

"Don't run in front of your sister!" I yelled.

It was a near-miss. Everyone (including that family of passersby and excepting Miriam who still hadn't managed to catch her breath) let out a sigh of relief. I caught Miriam in my arms and tried to keep my balance while trying to convince Benjamin not to hit Miriam in the head (he doesn't like sharing me).

If you're wondering why we waited for Miriam to come to us instead of going to her it's because this all happened in just a few short seconds and she already had all the momentum. She was running as fast as she could when she hit that gate and continued using her momentum to run around like a crazy person.

Andrew ran over to take her from me while the family of passersby discretely exited the playground. He sat her on his lap and started swinging with her "to make her feel better."

"Stop," I said. "We have to go home. Stop swinging now. We have to go home. We have to get ice on her head. We have to do it now. Please stop swinging. We have to go home. Really. We need to go."

"I'm just trying to make her feel better," he said.

"Honey, I can see a goose egg growing on her forehead. We have to go home. We have to ice her forehead."

He stopped swinging and looked at her face.

"Yes, wow. Let's go get some ice on that." He announced, "We're leaving Rachel, come on."

Miriam got to ride in the stroller while I carried Benjamin and Rachel jogged along beside us. Andrew was walking fast. We were gaining on that family of passersby.

Unfortunately, Rachel's had a bit of a cough this week and walking so fast for so long caused her phlegm to act up. She started coughing. And then she started throwing up. She threw up, and threw up, and threw up. She threw up for several minutes. Just right there in the gutter, while cars drove by and stared. That family that was with us at the park looked behind them to see what was going on and decided to just keep on going.

Rachel's legs were covered in throw up. She had throw up in her hair. She'd used her hands to wipe the throw up from her mouth. She was one big mess.

"Water," she croaked.

"We just have to get home," I said. "You can hop in the shower and change your clothes and get a drink at home. But we can't do any of that right here on the side of the road. We have to just keep going."

So left the puddle of vomit behind us ("Dogs or something will take care of it," Andrew rationalized) and finished our walk home, with one child sobbing in the stroller and another one whimpering while walking along. We were a sorry sight but after a shower (for Rachel) and a few minutes with an ice pack (for Miriam) everyone was feeling much better. Miriam even managed a smile when I asked to take a picture of her goose egg.


Those sores on her nose and lip aren't from yesterday. They're from the day before when she did a face-plant off the couch. She's a little bit accident prone.


Eventually we got all our kids to bed and settled down for some quiet evening activities. Andrew was making a lesson plan and I was making a photo book when we heard a thud.

I ran into the girls' room and found Miriam crumpled in a heap on the floor.

"I fell off the bed," she sobbed, "And I hit my head right on my owie!"

We cuddled for a few minutes before I suggested she go potty.

"I can hold it," she said.

"Oh, but you're up. Why don't we just go so you don't have to hold it all night?"

She agreed and I helped her onto the potty (because when you're three years old and half asleep staying balanced on the potty is quite the trick) and she hugged my legs.

"Know what, Mom?" she asked.

"What?" I asked.

"I've got to tell you something," she said.

"Alright," I said.

"Today when Rachie and I were playing in the yard I had to go potty really bad but Rachel wouldn't open the door because she was climbing the tree so I just peed in the grass."

"Oh, really?" I asked. "Where did you go?"

"You know," she said, holding her hands in a circle. "Just right in the middle."

"Just right in the middle?" I echoed.

"Yup," she said. "I'm done. Can I go back to bed now?"

I tucked her in and told Andrew what she told me. We had a good laugh about it.

This morning when she got up I asked her for some more details.

"Where did you go, exactly?" I asked.

"I told you—right in the middle," she explained, holding her hands in a circle again.

"Yes, but where?"

"Just right by the tree Rachel was in," she told me.

That's basically in the middle of our front lawn.

"Right in front of everybody?" I asked.

"No, Rachie turned her head and didn't look at me."

"But what about the neighbours?"

"They didn't see," she assured me. "They were all inside."

I'm still not sure why she didn't just come inside to go potty. I thought peeing in the yard was only something little boys did! *sigh* Between running into things headlong, vomiting in the street, and peeing in the yard, I'm pretty sure that yesterday qualified our family as "that family."

1 comment:

  1. That's so sad and hilarious all at the same time. Ya just gotta love those humbling days that bring you right to the edge and back! Hang in there, I'm right there with ya!

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