8.29.2008

Meanwhile, Back at the Farm...

My weekend in Iowa was wonderful. Seriously. My friend Nobody hooked me up with a massage (my first ever), I got my back adjusted (even though I get a little freaked about chiropracty), I got to hang out stress-free with adorable children (and was even dubbed a certain little red haired girl's "favewit gwown-up.")

Most importantly, I stuck my head in the sand for four whole days. The airport layovers and plane rides were quiet and calm. Who knew it could be like that?

Meanwhile, my husband was home with our boys. Only he didn't stay home with them. He took them to Calvert Cliffs to try their hand at finding megalodon fossils (no luck, but the hiking with shovels in hand was enough for the boys), and took them another day to the natural history museum to see just what a megalodon looked like. He also took them into the bank. And to his office. And they behaved wonderfully. And said "Thank you" to him for "taking him fun places."

In between these outings, he ran laundry through, sorted out all of his stuff that I wouldn't know what to do with as regards our move, arranged for the tires to be changed on our car, and fed, clothed, bathed and tucked the boys in at a reasonable time each night. All with zero reminder from me. (Except I did tell him to remember sunscreen before I left town.) And he didn't seem frazzled or run down at all when I got back.

Yeah, I pretty much won the husband lottery. But I'm still amazed. And surprised at how smoothly everything seems to go for him. I mean, he's not a professional parent, like I am, you know.

I returned Tuesday night, and we have pretty much been racing around ever since. All day Wednesday and yesterday we were getting suits for David, running errands, buying out Co$tco, and checking off to-do and to-buy lists. The boys came along for all of it and behaved amazingly well. Mostly without bribes.

At the end of yesterday, though, after Co$tco, we had to do Walmert and since they are in the same area (20 minutes away from our house), we decided that we should do it now instead of making another trip. But the boys were done.

One-tiny-bit-away-from-meltdown done.

So we devised this plan that they would drop me off at Walmert since I can get what we need in about half the time by myself and he could take them to a park for an hour while I do it.

Then it started to rain. So he dropped me off anyway and went to the fast food establishment with a play area that shares a parking lot with Walmert, bought some chicken for Charlie and let the boys play.

Then both boys needed to use the toilet. At the same time. And it was a one-stall restroom. And David had just gotten Charlie situated with his food at the table. So he picked up Charlie and went to referee the toilet brawl (and help them wash up), then came back to get some food in the baby.

In the play area, David sat Charlie down to play in the under-three area and turned to help Henry with something and when he looked around to check on Charlie, he was gone. A big kid in the play area had helped the baby climb all the way up the tubes in the big kids playground.

David sent Calvin up to head Charlie toward the slide, but Charlie wouldn't budge from where he was, precariously situated and in other kids' way. So David had to climb up.

Code Yellow Dad is not a small guy, people. He nearly got stuck. And Charlie didn't want to come with him, either. Finally, when David wiggled his way back down, with squirming child in arms, he came out of the climbing apparatus a little worse for the wear and a mom sitting there on her phone the whole time was laughing at him. He said something like, "That was a YouTube moment." And she laughed even harder.

Charlie set about wandering again, this time with David right behind him. Just as Charlie was about to pick up something off the ground that was questionable, David picked it up first to prevent the child tasting everything he picks up, only to discover that it was not old food or dirt like he had supposed. It was a surprise, ahem, from someone else's child's, er, diaper.

So he threw it away and took ample advantage of the Purell wipes and sanitizer pump that the restaurant so wisely supplied to the play area. Several wipes and several pumps later, he felt clean enough to pick up the baby and escort the boys out to the car so they could come pick me up.

And me? I enjoyed a pretty quick spin through Walmert and found almost everything on my list. Without interruption. Who knew it could be like that?

I do have to admit that when he was telling me all about his adventures, I thought, "Now that's more like it." He's one step closer to certified professional parent.

***

So, I'll be spending the next couple of days touching every. single. thing. in my house. And making a decision about it: Do I need it now? Do I not need it now, but need it right away when we get there? Can we wait for it to come on the slow boat? Can it just be stored for two years? Do I even want to see it again in two years?

My head can't grapple with it and I don't know what my problem is. It's not rocket science, and it's not the end of the world if we get there with or without stuff. Everything will work itself out. But that doesn't stop me from being a basket case.

The piles have begun and the boys have begun their un-sorting efforts. I'm contemplating just leaving all of it for the day of the move, and being the woman all movers hate.

I'm also vacillating in a big way between my minimalist tendencies (How much do we really need, anyway, I mean truly...?) and my sentimental leanings (Oh! We can't possibly leave that behind! It wouldn't be home without it!). So I'm pretty sure we'll get there with one shirt and one pair of underwear for each family member. And a lot of tchotchkes for making our post-Soviet apartment feel like home.

Wish me luck.

7 comments:

Camille said...

Wow, the story about David at the fast food establishment is hilarious. Good luck with your sorting and packing. I stress out when I'm packing to go somewhere 3 hours away. I can't imagine how hard it would be to pack for your trip. I can't believe you guys are leaving so soon! Good luck with everything.

Aimee said...

Poor David managed to undue all the calm of the previous weekend in just one hour at the restaurant. Poor guy. I can just imagine him in the tubes.

The slow boat takes a long, long time. Make sure to put in the quicker shipment the boys favorite toys, a few books for yourself, a computer for staying in touch, and a couple of U.S. comfort food items for the hard days waiting for the rest to arrive.

Good luck with sorting!

NOBODY said...

Oh my gosh, one short spell at a playland and all that!?

I started laughing right away about D going up the tubes. I have been TERRIFIED of that happening to me, I wouldn't have been able to shrug it off and laugh like he did. And probably would have gotten stuck for sure.

I love that he said "youtube moment"--that's awesome.

A certain redhaired girl misses her favowite gwownup.

And so does Avee. :)

Real said...

One time I had to fish a terrified toddler out of the tubes when I was 7 months pregnant. **shiver**

Hey, I can't remember why you are moving. Refresh my memory. And you will still be able to blog while you're there, right?

Morning Glory said...

Pretty great Daddy story! Have you searched YouTube to be sure someone didn't actually record and post it? Ha!

I've missed somewhere in your posting that would explain to me where and why you're moving. I hope you'll keep blogging.

Helen said...

Hei,
I really do not want to be in your shoes, mean from the moving point of view. I can remember the crazy packing in Taiwan just few weeks ago ... having thoughts now "oh, i wish i hadn't thrown that away!" :) ... I hope all works out and you will arrive in Kiev well and will enjoy the time there. I am kinda jealous that you get to go back there ... keep me posted about how it is like.
Hugs!

3 for school said...

I didn't leave the country, but I left my home for 6 months, taking only what fit in our minivan. It was wonderful! I started fiendishly cleaning out/throwing away/taking to Goodwill all the stuff I thought we couldn't live without. It was very freeing not to be bogged down with things.

Don't know if that helps, but the freedom perspective is one I haven't lost since then. Oops---it's time to clean out again.