Monday, June 06, 2022

Caos e complimenti

Until it came time to get on our jammies, today was the polar opposite of yesterday. 

When it was time to get on our jammies, Alexander needed help unbuttoning his shirt, so Andrew called to him to come down the stairs for some help. Alexander had lifted his shirt up over his head (bottom up, so his belly was exposed and his head was covered because the button by his neck was still done up) but decided to make his way down the stairs anyway. 

When he was about three-quarters of the way down the stairs he peeked out at Andrew and then—just as Andrew said, "Alexander, that's a really dumb way to come down the stairs..."—launched himself at down the stairs full of hope that Andrew would catch him. 

Andrew did, more or less. By the time Alexander reached a decent-but-still-make-sure-your-catcher-is-ready spot to jump from, he was already upside down. Andrew managed to prevent him from landing completely on his head and then they tumbled down the rest of the way together, landing on a heap at the bottom of the stairs and exacerbating Andrew's surgery site. 

Because—fun story—Andrew had surgery last week.

In the name of transparency, it was a vasectomy. Andrew's been hobbling around ever since. While his right side has healed without any problems, his left side is...having a hard time. This is ironic because he might not even have a left side. That's right—they couldn't even find his left vas deferens, which is actually why it's taking so long to heal. They were poking around trying to locate it for quite a while, so he's been rather sore and the incision site is a bit larger than the wound on the right side (it was supposed to be a "scalpel-free" surgery, but Andrew had a less-than-routine surgery). 

When he was "out" of surgery (his dad drove him—thanks, Reid!) he texted me to say that he was only kind of finished because he has to go in again for either a second vasectomy (assuming they can find the left vas this time) and/or an ultrasound to count his kidneys because there's a chance that, if he's missing his left vas deferens he's also missing his left kidney. 

We'll see what the case is in a couple of months. In the mean time, we hope Andrew's incision will heal up (something that would happen a lot quicker if his children would stop doing things like jumping off the stairs and landing on top of him). 


Yesterday was quite the ride. 

The kids spent most of the day outside, which was lovely...except for when it wasn't. While they were outside playing on the swing set, they got in a little argument over whose swing was whose. It was a ridiculous argument because there were three kids outside and there were three swings to be swung on. Zoë, however, wanted the middle swing and her little friend E kept touching it. So Zoë climbed to the top of the play set with the swing in hand—to keep it away from her friend. And then she accidentally (so I'm told) dropped it and it swung from that great height, gathering plenty of velocity, directly into Alexander's face.

We heard him crying, but it was Zoë who came into the house. 

"Oh, hi!" she said, stumbling in through the back door. "I’m just coming inside because…ummm…I let go of my swing, and…ummmm…it hit…ummm…Alexander in the...ummm...face."

"Is he okay?" I asked.

"Well…yeeeeeeah. I mean, his nose is bleeding a little bit but he’s fine. I’m just going to grab a Kleenex for him and…yeah…take care of that…so…bye."

And with that she slammed the door and darted down the deck stairs. A few minutes later, Alexander came stumbling into the house and it was very clear that a Kleenex was not going to solve this issue. He had blood running down his face and he'd been wiping his nose with his sleeves, so both sleeves were saturated with blood. He had a little goose egg on the side of his head (not sure how or why that ended up there) and was overall quite miserable.

That solitary Kleenex wasn't doing a thing!

He'd been under punishment due to having pooped at the pool (without telling anyone he needed to go)—no video games and no visits to the pool until he takes the initiative to poop in the toilet ten times. I don't know if he's regressing because of Phoebe or what but...he's just, like...not been very proactive about pooping on the toilet recently. So, those were the terms of his punishment—hone in on his body's signals and act on his very natural urges rather than pointedly ignoring them until he can't possibly make it to the toilet and he's free of all limitation. 

He...hasn't voluntarily pooped ten times since pooping at the pool (though he has been noticeably more proactive about these things) but Andrew suggested that we could, perhaps, end his ban on screen time. 

"We're fresh out of bubble wrap," I said. "So I agree. He can sit on the couch and play Minecraft for a while."

So Andrew told him the good news, set him up with an iPad and sent him downstairs to hang out on the couch. Alexander, however, didn't want to go down the stairs one at a time like a normal person (this is...yes...kind of a running theme in his life); he wanted to go down the stairs the "fast way." That is, he wanted to "penguin glide" on his belly, feet first, a method he's been using since he learned how to walk. I only recently overheard him whisper, "PENGUIN GLIDE!" before launching himself down the stairs and that's how I know that's what he calls this...method.

Anyway, he launched himself down the basement stairs in a "penguin glide" but found out halfway down that this was not the best way to get down the stairs while holding an iPad, so in the middle of sliding down the stairs he turned himself over onto his backside (thinking, perhaps, that he could better protect the iPad, hold it on his lap or something). Unfortunately, turning over mid-slide was more difficult than he imagined and he ended up tumbling the rest of the way down the stairs. 


"I fell down the stairs!" he wailed. 

And everyone came running because he'd just been bleeding all over creation. Fortunately his new wounds were less extensive than his old wounds. Just a little carpet burn on his back where his shirt had lifted up as he was falling/gliding/sliding/tumbling down the stairs.


Soon after, the front door burst open and Zoë bellowed, "I GOT STUNG BY A BEE!!!!"

We looked for a stinger, but didn't see one. I did see two sting marks, though, so I'm fairly certain she was actually stung by a wasp. That, coupled with her description of "a large-ish ant, but with wings" leads me to believe that I'm correct.

We put some hydrocortisone on her sting(s), gave her a dose of ibuprofen (which just happened to be sitting out because Phoebe had been running a fever the last few days due to her shots), and slapped and ice pack on there. 

Today her shoulder is a little bit red, but there's virtually no swelling, so our fast treatment may have helped her avoid more serious symptoms (unlike that time Benjamin told me he had been stung by a bee and I told him to go to bed already and then he woke up in the morning with a huge swollen neck). 


It was a wild day on top of what was already quite an exhausting week and so I was not feeling like a very good parent. That's why I won't hesitate to share that while we were out walking, my children were complimented by neighbours multiple times.

The three older kids went to Grandpa's house after dinner, so I only had the three little kids with me. Andrew stayed home because he's not ready for a walk around the block yet (doctor's orders). Zoë and Alexander both decided to ride their bikes, which is fine...except they can be difficult to keep up with when I have the baby (which I did). Sometimes it makes neighbours nervous when they get far ahead of me and people stop me to chide me about how they shouldn't be on their own...even though they know their way around the block quite well. 

I was doing a little bit of jogging to catch up with them, but could see that they were stopped at the crosswalk at the next intersection, so I slowed down a bit. A car turned out of a neighbourhood, passing those two little kids on their bikes, who were patiently waiting for the intersection to be clear before crossing. The car slowed down as it approached me and I thought to myself, "Here it comes, another lecture..."

But no!

"They're so adorable!" the driver crooned. "And even though I had my signal on, they still waited to make sure I wasn't going to go straight through the intersection before they started going. Such good little bikers. Good job, Momma!"

So nice to hear!

And then when we were just about home we ran into Ms. Jan, the Christmas Tree Lady. She wanted to take a peek at Phoebe, who she hadn't seen in person yet. As it turns out, they share a birthday...93 years apart! She tied us up in conversation for quite a while, in part because I had moved away from the handle of the stroller to let her peek at Phoebe (who was taking a little pre-bedtime nap) and Ms. Jan took the opportunity to lean on the stroller handle...

So we chatted until Ms. Jan decided she needed to go inside to sit down again and gave me back the stroller.

But she said that she often remarks to the neighbours how well Ms. Nancy seems to manage all her many children "so I might as well tell you to your face—you're doing a wonderful job! Your children are all so well-behaved and respectful! And beautiful, to boot! And you just have so many of them, it's anybody's wonder! But they're all of them so well-behaved! You make it look so easy, but I know it's not!"

"You should have seen us yesterday!" I joked. 

We were a hot, steamy mess yesterday.

But today was much better.


This evening, while I was sitting outside with the little kids—reading stories, chatting with my parents on a video call, catching fireflies, and so forth—I happened to pull up a video of the Platinum Jubilee, where Prince Louis was being a bit of a stinker to the Duchess of Cambridge (Kate Middleton). He put his hand over her mouth while she was trying to speak to him and then made rude faces at four-year-olds are wont to do (not that I know anything about typical four-year-old behaviour). 

"Is that you?!" Alexander wondered. 

"No!" I laughed. "It's not. But I'll take that as a compliment!"

I've never been as put together as the Duchess of Cambridge—I don't think I own a single outfit that coordinates with my hat down to my shoes and handbag!—but I have a feeling that even Kate Middleton has days like...ugh...yesterday.

No matter one's station in life, kids are pretty determined to keep life interesting for their parents!

1 comment:

  1. I loved this post. And actually, you and Kate Middleton do have a similar look, though a different wardrobe.