Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Papa in Mexico, Day One Continued

I spent most of the day getting into arguments online and dealing with varying paperwork and assorted emails and whatnots. Plus I talked to Anna on the phone incessantly, as I always do. The kids ran amok, forcing me to make lots of snacks for them, tearing apart the couch, drawing on their skin with marker, and dumping out vast amounts of toys that they alternated playing with and simply throwing at each other.

I discovered Idle Parenting, which was a nice bolster to my usual laziness. I particularly loved this brief paragraph towards the end of the first article in the series:
There are more worries. Is it mean to deny a child an iPod Nano for his birthday and instead give him a ball of string and The Dangerous Book for Boys? Should I really put a broadband connection in the tree house? Should I work even harder so that they can go skiing and wear expensive trainers? Would I be less grumpy if I drank less alcohol?
That last one is a question I ask myself with some frequency. It is odd, however, how the tendency to drink coincides with both the tendency to be grumpy as well as the tendency to be stressed beyond human endurance. So in that sense, it is an unanswerable question.

*The following paragraph is sorta gross, so feel free to skip it.*

After spinning in circles while eating Cheddar Bunnies, Bastian threw up. Luckily, he was naked and threw up on the hardwood floor instead of on a rug, so it was easy enough to clean up. Unluckily, he had some on his hands and shook them when I asked him what happened. I stuck him in is second bath of the day (that is, if I'm counting correctly - I also had to wash him off in the tub a couple of times, so it's hard to be sure).

More chaos ensued, as well as a few attempts by Aleks to leave the house on his own, which has been our most recent dilemma and which I have almost no solution for. Today I told him that since Papa was gone for eleven days and I would have no help if anything happened to anyone, that we must all stick together at all times and be inside altogether and outside altogether and never alone. I don't like the idea of never being alone for the next many days, but he does need to not go running off down the street infecting all the old Russians at Musicians Tower with chicken pox (we attended a pox party twelve days ago and are in the highly-infectious incubation phase...maybe), just in case some of them never had it as children or have some elderly auto-immune disorder or something. We don't need to accidentally be responsible for anyone's premature death or a horrid case of pox.

Many hours late, I finally took a shower, picked up the house a bit and got us all out the door to prevent any further crazing of the stirred. We were just going to go on a walk, but after reading that our attempts at pox might have been so poorly executed as to be futile, I was very dude-like and decided to just screw it and go to the park. There weren't that many kids there anyway and everyone looked particularly healthy and/or vaxed enough. So we're just gonna hope that no one got it from us. Or pretend that we are not in fact at all contagious currently for anything other than our lousy cold.

The boys spun on the swings while I eavesdropped on the stroller brigade. Bastian did some nice Montessori-style pouring with the sand from bucket to dump truck. Later, Aleks attempted his usual giant hole dig, but when Bastian backed his dump truck to his construction site and let loose, Aleks hit him and gave up hope for digging all the way to New Zealand or the seventh ring of Hell or wherever he was planning on going.
They did play with a bunch of other kids. Aleks sat in the tunnel and told Conner all about Super Sumo something-or-other from Ben Ten, which this poor kid has probably wisely never been exposed to and whose poor sheltering parents would never allow such violent nonsense anyway. Which would of course be the approach I took if we lived in the middle of the English countryside and I was the true idle parent that I long to be. Alas, here we are in the middle of the city, necessitating all manner of electronic gadgets to help us work and be entertained.

After seeing Nicah and her three children and making mud pies with them, we came home and I failed to make a proper dinner because just as I'd predicted, the boys were hungry before I even began and demanded peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with sides of Cheddar Bunnies and super unnaturally healthy juice (in tiny glasses). So I heated myself up a chick patty and ate some corn chips and salsa and cried about my long lost husband, so very very far away both in time and in space.

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