This was actually our day last Thursday; it's been a busy blog weekend in the meantime. Thursdays are our "just us" days. They tend to feel peaceful and easy after three days of caring for another toddler. They are often our days to do errands, make appointments, visit friends, or just stay home and enjoy each other's quiet company. Below is a pretty typical Thursday for us.
I woke up this morning to find the husband gone for the day and the landlord trying to water the garden in front of our open bedroom window. I quickly closed the window before our bed got sprinkled with water (it wouldn't be the first time) and, since the boys were both still asleep, laid back down for a bit more sleep myself.
I woke up an hour later to the sound of the toddler playing cars on the floor, waiting for his brother to wake up. Next time I opened my eyes, the two of them were sitting in bed beside me reading a book together. The older asked for breakfast while the younger informed me he had pooed his diaper. Time to start the day. I felt much better and more well-rested than I had in a while. I was grateful they had given me the chance to sleep in, but now we had to get moving because I had to have my blood taken before lunch.
After cleaning up the toddler's diaper, we headed to the kitchen for breakfast. The boys had yogurt with granola I'd made the previous day. This sounds impressive until I confess that I'd been meaning to make a new batch for months, guiltily buying Mini Wheats and Cheerios in the meantime. Oh well.
My midwife had instructed me to have two eggs, toast, and butter before getting my blood drawn. Unfortunately we were out of bread, so I had a pita and hummus along with my two hard-boiled eggs. The boys finished their breakfast and came to assist me in finishing off my own. They're very helpful that way.
The boy dressed himself while I got the toddler ready. I used a wet comb in a mostly-failed attempt to smooth down the boy's unruly hair, which I had just cut the day before. The boys got their boots on while I quickly washed and dressed myself. I came out to find that they had both put their boots on the wrong feet; we headed outside anyway, grabbing the bag of library books I'd set by the front table the night before.
Got to the lab, found a parking spot, unbuckled both boys, and realized I'd forgotten the blood work form at home. Mentally kicked myself. Buckled the boys back in and drove back home for the paper. Grabbed it, drove back, found a new parking spot, unbuckled both boys, and doubled-checked for form, keys, and phone before locking the doors and heading to the lab. Scooped up the dawdling toddler a moment later, wanting to get a spot at the lab quickly before the lunch crowd started to arrive.
Fortunately, the waiting room was nearly empty when we walked in. The boys went to sit down while I checked in. As soon as I joined them, the toddler's string of "why's" began.
"Why is the mail truck stopped there?"
"So the mail delivery person can take the mail to the people it belongs to."
"So they can get their mail."
"So they can read their letters and pay their bills."
Gratefully, we were soon called back. We talked about the various medical supplies while waiting. I answered a couple dozen more why-questions. A lady came in, asked the boys if they were going to watch, and promptly stuck me with the needle. "See? Didn't hurt at all!" she said to the boys. Hah. It hurt. A lot. The boys watched intently while I kept my eyes resolutely locked in the other direction. Two vials later, she removed the needle and I let out the breath I hadn't realized I'd been holding. Yes, I'm a wimp.
We left the lab and headed to the bank to make a deposit. The boy put the card in and pressed all of the buttons for me (except the PIN; sorry, kid). Next we took a quick walk around the thrift store, where the boy found a small set of miniature block houses, the perfect addition to the extravagant "cities" he makes all over the living room floor most days.
The used book store was right across the street. We hadn't been for a while and I felt like browsing, even though we were planning to head to the library next. The boy settled himself down in front of the children's books. The toddler walked up and down the long aisles and jabbered excitedly about the store's resident cat, a fat old grey thing that was currently asleep next to the cash register. I felt winded after only a few minutes of wandering (a new pregnancy development, whoopee), so I sat myself down on the floor next to the boy to look at the children's books.
A slightly embarrassing fifty-five dollars later, we left the store with a stack of new-to-us books. The boy was no longer interested in going to the library today, and he also turned down my offer for lunch while we were out. He just wanted to go home and read all his new books. The toddler didn't care what we did, just so long as I stopped to let him pick up pinecones along the way. We dropped off the library books, went through the McDonald's drive thru to pick up an iced mocha for me and chocolate milk for them (tsk tsk, I know), and headed home.
The next four hours were spent reading through the new books. The boy had recently discovered The Magic School Bus series and had been thrilled to find a whole stack of them at the bookstore. He'd selected a few of them and was most excited about reading those. I was very disappointed; some of them were newer ones and the quality was terrible compared to the old-style ones written by Joanna Cole. Fortunately, I'd grabbed all of the older ones they'd had, suspecting this would be the case, and we'd only ended up with three of the awful newer ones. Most of the other books were excellent. My favourite was Iva Dunnit and the Big Wind by Carol Purdy; the boy's favourite (aside from the Magic School Bus books) was Extreme Dinosaurs by Robert Mash; the toddler's favourite was Insectlopedia by Douglas Florian.
We paused reading long enough to eat some tacos and homemade guacamole on a towel on the living room floor. The boy loves when we have indoor picnics like that. I said a silent prayer of thanks for the sweet way the toddler sucks the guacamole off his taco chip before eating the chip itself. Those little moments make my day; I paused to breathe in the beauty of the moment, the day, these children, the food.
After more reading, the boy climbed up to his craft area on the counter to experiment with his new "how to draw dinosaurs" book, and I took some time to write down our day thus far.
The husband arrived home at 5:00. He sat down with the kids and spent 20 minutes looking through their new books with them (particularly the Extreme Dinosaurs one, which he thought was pretty cool too) before heading into his office to check his email and whatnot.
5:30, time to get supper going. I did a quick tidy of the kitchen. The husband put the rice on while I made the sauce for the salmon and put it in the oven. I prepped the asparagus and left it waiting there until the rest of the meal was nearly done. I took a shot of my beloved Floradix, without which I can scarcely muster up the energy to even sit up, much less feed the children or do even a minimal amount of housework. I chased the Floradix with a square of chocolate, because hey, why not?
The boys went into the office with Daddy to play "the building game" while dinner cooked. The "building game" is actually Tropico 4. When I asked their very responsible father what the actual name of the game was, he asked if I was blogging about it. "I might make mention of it," I replied. He came out of his office with a slightly guilty look on his face to tell me that I may want some more information on the game before telling the "blog world" (his words) that my toddler and five-year-old play it with him. Turns out you can do some rather not-so-nice-or-ethical things as the dictator in this particular game. Oh yes, and it's rated Teen. Lovely. Just lovely. He assured me he keeps it very child-friendly. I glared at him anyway.
The toddler soon lost interest and came out to join me on the couch, which meant lots of kisses and snuggles for me. He's very affectionate lately, which is heart-melting, of course. He joined me in checking on the fish and turning on the asparagus, blowing more kisses to each part of our meal. We returned to the couch to read some more insect poems from Insectlopedia while supper finished up.
Suppertime! The toddler set the table for the boys while I got everything else ready. Grace had to be followed by "silly grace" ("Rub a dub dub, thanks for the grub. Yay, God!"), introduced by the boys' Opa some years ago. It just never stops being funny, at least not when you're five and two. Dinner time conversation included the day's experiences, electricity (always electricity, thanks to the husband being an electrical engineering student), what happened to their Oma's fish (it died), and the fact that the husband and I would be turning 30 next year. The toddler was having a hungry night and ate as much as I did; other nights we're lucky to get more than a spoonful or two in his mouth. Toddlers are funny creatures.
After dinner, the boys wanted to talk with the above-mentioned Oma and Opa. The boy wanted to ask if his daddy's old Magic School Bus books were still at Oma's house, and the toddler wanted to talk more about the dead fish. After talking with them on Gmail video chat for a while, it was time for the evening's tidy, followed by snack (applesauce and cheese), a bedtime story, and teeth brushing. Since their dad takes care of the bedtime routine, I puttered around on the computer until they were ready, my cue to take over. As happens every night, the boy asked if they could go to bed by themselves. As happens every night, I declined his generous offer, as the rare attempts at letting them put themselves to bed invariably end up with them still chattering away to each other at midnight. So I grabbed my phone, glanced guiltily at the dirty dinner pots I had neglected to take care of while the boys were cleaning their toys, and headed into the bedroom to sit with them until the toddler fell asleep (usually a very short process, unless he's fallen asleep at any point during the day).
Tonight it took 30-40 minutes for him to stop squirming and talking long enough to fall asleep, during which I won several games of Ticket to Ride against my phone. I left the boy with a stack of books, a cup of water, and a dimmed light to read in bed for a while. He's always been our night owl and we've given up trying to change that. He reads until he falls asleep each night.
Back out of the bedroom, I decided to tackle the kitchen before sitting down. Better than having all the dirty pots and such staring at me for the rest of the evening, or worse, still there to greet me in the morning. Then I switched the hermit crabs' food dish with a fresh meal (tonight's crabby menu: avocado, dried cranberry, and asparagus; there would have also been a piece of salmon if I'd remember to save them some, but not a big deal since they just had tuna the night before). With everything taken care of, I sat down to update this post.
After texting back and forth with my sister for a bit, I decided to get comfortable in the bedroom with my laptop and some chocolate chips (tsk tsk again). I intended to spend some time fleshing out my Mother's Day blog post (How Motherhood Changed My View of God), which I had only briefly outlined thus far. First, though, I spent nearly an hour browsing through my feed reader to read other people's blogs. Funny how that always seems to happen. The husband, meanwhile, was busy studying for his next exam (or, more accurately, "studying for his next exam", AKA playing another take-over-the-world style computer game while eating taco chips).
Finally I started writing. An hour later, I had poured out my heart through the keyboard and felt spent, done for the night. I would write a closing paragraph and tidy it up another night. I browsed my favourite websites for a while until the husband came into the bedroom. We watched an episode of Arrested Development, read for a little while, and went to bed far too late. Two half-asleep boys stumbled into our bedroom shortly after.
An unfair combination of pregnancy insomnia, a full bladder, a squirmy baby-in-utero, and a complete inability to shut off my brain eventually kicked me out of bed out of sheer boredom; thus, here I am at 3am finishing off this entry. I hear the toddler stirring and muttering, so back to bed for me. Good night, all. It's been a blast.