Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Some Kind Of "Therapy"

It was one of those days where the kids decided early on in the day that when one had a heart ache, they'd all shed a tear. They all seemed very devoted to the mutual commitment they made to bear in each other's burdens.

Alex had a high fever and diarrhea. He cried a lot and quiet often and it seemed pretty frequently too. Now that I think of it, he hardly quit crying all day.

Janae was having girl issues. Serious ones. She left for 2 minutes this morning and disappeared completely. It left me believing that she had been raptured. I almost ran down to the Baptist Church to see if anyone was there. But, then I realized that I was still here so obviously, the rapture didn't take place. Rapture or not, she was gone none the less. It was quiet while she was gone, except for Alex crying, which quiet is always nice around here. Rare too. I should've taken advantage of it and gotten something done -- especially since that 2 minutes felt longer than just 2 minutes. Actually, now that I think of it, I think it was more like 20 minutes... or was it 2 hours???

I spent all the time she was gone searching the entire house, front yard, back yard, bathroom, her favorite hiding place in the house and even up and down the street and back in the ally. I was about ready to notify Amber Alert when she climbed out of the van (I had already looked in) with a big smile.

Landon had also thoughtfully committed to tears today and if he wasn't causing tears for others, he was making them himself. Which is actually rare since he is not a cry-baby type, unlike the other kids that live with us. But today was "National Cry Day" at our house so I can understand the exception he made to participate.

After telling the kids that they were both going to take a nap if I heard anymore crying, I heard crying. Wow. Can you believe that? I heard more crying.

Landon denied that he was crying and I could see plainly and clearly that he was not crying. Which is always good and commendable and what we like to see in a child that lives with us. But between Janae's deafening wails, I learned that Landon had spit on her foot. My, my. How tragic. He may as well have just hacked her foot off with a machete, going by the decibels her cries were reaching.

He hadn't actually spit though; it was built up saliva that congregated in his mouth and then slowly oozed out and carefully landed on his sister's foot who was swinging on the swing that he pretty much wanted. Yeah, a great passive-aggressive way of dealing with conflict and ruling the case in your favor. You should try it sometime yourself; you may get a nap out of the deal like he did.

Meanwhile, the house reeked of poop, the kids were harmonizing in an unifying chorus of sobs and wails and melodiously filling our home with it's sound. The baby was weeping uncontrollably and would not be comforted because he was not being comforted. Basically, there was a lot of crying. And tears. Loud tears.

No body wanted naps under these conditions -- they never like to go to bed sad. Or going to bed at all. Yet the continued crying only proved how necessary the naps were. I called Toby just then to let him know that I was leaving for the night when he got home. Alone. You know: by myself. With no kids. Just so I didn't have to hear crying. He said, "Okay, Honey, have a good time. Are you sure you don't want to take the baby?"

By the time it got quiet and everyone had quit crying and succumbed to sleep, I was motivated to get some work done. So, bypassing the tripped-on-laundry, and sink full of dishes ,and dishwasher full of dishes, and littered house, and groceries on the floor, and supper still needing to be figured out, I headed downstairs and swept out under the basement steps. I know... real vital to getting my work done but hey, you try living in a house with screaming and crying and sick kids and don't tell me that you can still think clear when they're all finally quiet.

I got some visiting done on the phone with a good friend that just got back from Africa. We shared details about our exciting lives. When Janae woke up and heard who I was talking to, she immediately informed me that she wanted to "Gawka Bicky." (talk to Becky) She told 'Bicki' that she had new shoes that were green (brown) and that she wanted to have "Gawkee" (coffee) with 'Bicki' again. After she handed the phone to me, she said she "wanna dit on "Bicki's wap a-den." Our last trip home to Wisconsin found Becky making a pretty big impression on Janae. And Janae hasn't forgotten that at all.

Janae's little chat on the phone was a good distraction from the mournful morning and seemed to set the mood right for the rest of the day. (I'll just have to make sure she calls someone tomorrow.)

The evening was spent almost as exciting with a few added pieces of flair since Daddy was home. It's always fun when he's around. "Smoovies" (smoothies) on the front porch for everyone were waiting when he walked up the driveway. And nothing is better than a porch swing full of happy, smoovie sippers while the sun sets.

As if to get back to the mode of antics originally saught after for the day, Landon made one more attempt at chaos and tried (and succeeded) hooking up the sprinkler and turned the hose on long enough to create enough mud to require a good scrub down on his sister. When I told him to shut the water off and leave the sprinkler alone and always ask before he tries that again, he told me, "The sun is up in the sky; right over there," and he turned in circles trying to find the fading sun and finally pointed to the far west where it was almost completely set. Apparently when you're 4, that is a good time to run a sprinkler with your sister in the back yard. If you do it fast enough, there will be more mud and weeds that grow from the sprinkling water and you can enjoy getting a little wet yourself while the water runs freely.

After the kids went to bed, I took Alex outside with me to quick plant a few ivy plants. Nothing serious at all; just a little wrap-up-and-un-wind project. And it was going to be quick.

Now, I have heard people say that gardening and yard work is therapy for them. And I admire these people. When I do anything with plants, it seems like I need the therapy after I'm done. What therapy is there in getting your hands dirty and your feet muddy and your toenails packed with dirt? The only therapy I see in it is that it gives you another reason to just get the pedicure over with. I just don't get it. You horticulture people will probably comment and tell me some piece of wisdom pertaining to gardening but I can assure you: I do not relate to your culture of horti's.

I made one last effort to see what therapy is found in gardening and decided that after a stressful day, I should just try this theory on myself and see if it is true. After all, maybe I just haven't had enough stress in my life until today. And what would it hurt? My plants needed new pots anyway.

But, it's true: there is nothing relaxing about it. Nothing at all.

Especially when you are only out there a short time and you're almost ready to water your three freshly planted plants and you look over at your fussing baby who you just looked at a second ago and you happen to notice that there is yellow stuff smeared across his stroller tray and dotted on his face and hands and it's in his mouth and you look closer feeling slightly appalled and you find that he is sitting in that stuff.

Yup. I don't even have to give you the scientific name of that stuff. We all know it happens.

It dripped and smelled the whole way to the bathroom where I plopped him in the tub, clothes, diaper and all. He was pretty giddy about a bath but I hope that next time he wants a bath, he'll just ask.

And the next time I want therapy, maybe I'll just sweep out under some steps.


pat ve said...

Your day sounds hectic at best. Just a little way you can incorporate tearful kids and lawn care or gardening. If it's weeds in the sidewalk cracks or in the yard, just sit the tearful child down so the tears can water what you're trying to eliminate. As Mrs. Van Essen, I followed a Mrs. Van Essen who was a super garden enthusiast. I once lamented to her that I really did not care for gardening and felt a bit inferior. Her reply was--"you can sew clothes and I can't", so after that I didn't worry that I wasn't a gardener. The genes were passed through the dad to one in the next generation, however.

Lady Ruth Ann said...

wow...that's some kind of a day. Now maybe I haveh to say that mine wasn't so stressful after all.

Remember, that ONE DAY (I won't say when!) you're children will rise up and call you blessed. (but it says your husband will too, and I'm sure he already does, so that's a blessing!)

God bless...