This Wasn’t Supposed to Be Bath Day

Tonight at dinner, as Chica leaned toward her plate of pizza, I noticed something in the part of her blonde little head.  It was orange.  Like spray tan orange.  And since I’m sure she hadn’t found any spray tan in kindergarten or at home, there could be only one other cause for this:  playground dirt.  Lovely.

So together Daddy and I tried to explain the importance of not throwing dirt at school.  I’m pretty sure all of the best grown up reasons for not throwing dirt don’t really translate to a five year old:  Mommy will have to bathe you every day instead of the slacker routine of every other (or more?!?) day.  And that orange tint never really washes out of your clothes.  Or mainly just because you really don’t want to be “that kid.”

So while I was busy bathing both kids on this usual no-bath day, I had a few minutes to think.  Mainly I thought about how many memories I’ve let slip away because I haven’t been writing lately.  As I scrubbed out that orange glow, I made myself promise I’d jot a few recent memories down tonight.  The parent e-mails to compose and Jeopardy game to create and the science quizzes to grade and the guided notes to be typed can all wait.  It will wait.  So in no particular order…

*We bought deck furniture last weekend.  We’ve eaten every dinner since Sunday out there.  And when dinner is done, Chica asks to go play on the front porch.  It’s like she has momentarily forgotten that we own a TV because it is so nice outside.  Perfect.
*Tonight my two little people played together without arguing.  I just sat and watched.  Chica would throw the Frisbee down the hill.  Bubba would chase after it and return it to her.  Over and over and over.  He didn’t seem to care at all that he was essentially playing fetch and the one doing all the work.
*Chica can all of a sudden make paper airplanes on her own.  Daddy’s off the hook now.
*Last night Jay made me go to bed, and he did all the dishes.  That is some real love right there.
*Bubba’s really developing his own little sense of humor these days.  One night during his bedtime story he let out two really good toots in a row.  Without skipping a beat, he says in his low, old man voice, “Funny.”
*The last two nights as we’ve read Good Night Moon, Bubba has insisted on finding the mouse on every single page.  I was just about to write about how annoyed we both were by the fact that there was one page without a mouse, but I just found it!  Ha!  I can’t wait to show him tomorrow now.
*Chica insists on asking me every morning if I’m driving the speed limit.  What’s up with that?  One day when I told her no, she of course asked why.  Stupidly, I said, “Cause we’re late, that’s why.”  To which she replied, “Oh…so if you are late and in a rush, then it’s ok to go faster than the speed limit?”  Well…ummmm…no.  Ok, fine.  I’ll slow down.
*Bubba is nearly two and still not sleeping through the night most nights.  These days he walks himself into our room anywhere from 2 a.m. to 4 a.m., rubs his cold hands on my arm, and says sweetly, “Hi, Mommy.  Up please.”  I don’t have the energy it takes to say no, so there are three of us in the bed at wake up time every morning.  This too shall pass I guess.
*And finally…ever since Chica was really little, we’ve always had prayers as part of our bedtime routine.  I do the same with Bubba now.  At first he would just make whisper noises for a few moments and then give a big, hearty, “Amen!” when he was done.  Later I realized that he was trying to copy some of the same things that I was praying.  So guess how my prayers go these days?  “Dear God, thank you for a good day. Thank you for Bubba.  Please give Mommy peace tonight.  Please give Mommy peace tomorrow.”  So then, without fail, Bubba’s prayers sound like this:

“Pssspspppsss Mommy sspspsssppss peace sssdpssss Bubba  spspssss Mommy peace.  AMEN!”

Amen to that, Bubba!  AMEN!

Horn Beep Beep Beep Town

I feel like I write the same story over and over.   For every one time I write it here, I’ve lived it 20.  Here’s how it goes:

Kids do something annoying.  Mommy gets mad.  Mommy stays mad.  Kids do something beautiful that catapults Mommy from chronos to kairos.  Mommy asks for forgiveness and tries to see the blessings.  Repeat.

So for this morning’s version of the same ol’ story:

Today on the way to church we had to pick up fruit from Kroger for lunch.  Here’s just a sampling of what you may have overheard had you tagged along…

“No, you can’t take the bright orange tie down straps into the store with you.  Why not?  Because that’s just ridiculous, that’s why not.”

“Bubba, sit down.  SIT DOWN!  Sit. Down. Nooooooooooow.

“Chica, puh-lease watch where you are pushing the cart.  No, never mind.  Just stop.”

“Stop talking, I can’t concentrate.”

“Where the heck is my wallet?”

“No.  I already know what you are going to ask.  Just no.”

Yeah.  It wasn’t pretty.  All while I should have been preparing for what has the potential to be my most peaceful hour and a half of the week.  And then we got in the car, and I just wallowed in it, like Templeton wallowing in the muck.

But thankfully, cutting through my annoyance and anger, came the sweetest words from the back seat.

“Horn.  Beep beep beep.  Horn.  Beep beep beep.  Tooooooown.”

Bubba was singing.  Not following along with his sister or me…just singing his own song.  How much was I missing while swimming in the mire?

And somehow his simple words sang to me…

Come awake!  The straps and the cart and the wallet and the begging for gum are just not worth it.  Be thankful.  Be thankful and awake to the gifts around you.  This boy.  His song.  This girl.  Her imagination.  Her freedom.  Her dance in church.  Come awake. 

Sing on, Bubba.  Keep reminding me.  One day I just may get it.

© Shankar S. | Flickr Creative Commons

Three Memories

I promised myself time to write tonight after I answered all of my e-mails and finished planning for school tomorrow.  2.5 hours later, here I am.  Sheesh.  Whatever interesting ideas I did have for a blog post are long gone and clouded with directory edits, make up work for so-and-so that will be absent next week, and figuring out how I might possibly be in three places all at once on Thursday at 8 a.m.

So instead I have just two memories to report.  No, three.

One. Yesterday Chica came home with paint all over a brand new shirt.  Grouchy Mom asked, “What happened to your shirt???” as we were rushing into Kroger for dinner essentials.  Then Amazed Mom listened as Chica retold the magic that is Kindergarten.

“Oh…we painted.  And we didn’t have to use smocks.  We painted the Aurora Borealis.  I used three colors.  It was like dancing lights.”  And on and on she went about the Northern Lights and the poles and the magnets and the sun and the universe and her friends’ guesses.  Magic, I tell you.  Kindergarten is magic.  Who cares about the shirt?

Two.  What day is it?  It’s HUMP DAY!  And everyone at our (brand new, really awesome) dinner table declared that fabulous fact no less than 50 times tonight over dinner.  It just didn’t matter how many times Bubba said, “Hup Daaaaay!”  It’s funny every time.

Three.  Yesterday one of my sweet students found out I didn’t know how to play chess.  (I know, right?  That should totally be a requirement in my current position…I’m a little behind.)  Before the end of the day today, she had asked me at least three times if she could teach me.  While we waited for buses, she did.  The chess set she picked from my closet for us to use had little symbols on the pieces to tell you how you can move.  Apparently fourth graders can teach old dogs new tricks.  I was just about getting it when her bus was called.  I’m already looking forward to a rematch tomorrow.

How about you…collect any memories today?