We received a visit from a dear friend who recently moved back to Chicago and her ten-day old baby. I held him for 10.2 seconds, staring at his tiny perfect face and little hands and fuzzy hair, until the tears started and I thought, "Oh dear Lord, I'm getting THE URGE." I shoved him back into my friend's arms saying, "I can't do this. Something is getting triggered and I cannot want a baby right now." She appeared startled but took him back graciously.
Caleb was scheduled to have his first classroom visit for the school year so I hauled both kids in Big Red, our minivan. Spencer only climbed around the back for one minute before agreeing to buckle himself into his car seat. We only had to listen to Vinnie Vito, the Laurie Berkner song that Spencer calls Vinnie Burrito, three times on repeat. We arrived on time. Caleb looked at the camera and almost hinted at a smile for a photo with his teacher.
At home the kids let me write while they did flips on the couch and nobody got hurt. Spencer didn't try to pound on the computer keys or close the laptop while I was typing.
The kids spent half an hour splashing around in the bath tub and called out cheerfully to let me know they were ready to get out. When I brought the towels they climbed out willingly and let me dry them off. They both chose pajamas, then they both put them on.
For dinner I made pasta with meat sauce. Both kids ate it and carried the plates to the sink when they were done. Caleb asked if we could go to the park after dinner and I said they would have to change from their pajamas back into outside clothes. They changed clothes and put their shoes on themselves.
We walked to the park and Spencer didn't fall and skin his knee. He sat calmly on my knee when I switched his shoes to the correct feet. Nobody yelled at me or pulled away when I held their hands to cross the street. I took a phone call while the kids played on the playground and nobody fell off the monkey bars. The kids invented a game involving tennis balls, a bat, and the slide, and nobody got hurt. When I said it was time to head home, nobody yelled at me. We walked home and nobody got hurt.
At home, they sat together on the railing of our backyard gazebo, eating fruit and yogurt popsicles while I cleaned up the paint and the easel and their sun-dried paintings. Inside they put their pajamas back on themselves while I cleaned up the kitchen. Caleb threw a pile of clothes around the kitchen singing, "I never put away my laundry!" and Spencer, inspired, scattered fifteen pairs of shoes across the floor. I shouted their names once then stomped out of the room singing, "I never read books before bedtime! I never play with trains!" Caleb asked me to read a book and I yelled, "NO!" His manic grin froze and I grimaced. I found my way into the kitchen and sank to the floor. Caleb started picking up clothes and Spencer came over to tickle my head. We put the clothes and shoes away together.
We brushed teeth and used the potty and laid down to read books. Caleb held my pinkie and Spencer laid his cheek on my belly button as they drifted off to sleep.
It was a full day.