Someone was praying for me today. Maybe even without ceasing.
Both boys went to bed tonight without a fuss at all. Andrew even cleaned up his room without any help from me other than providing verbal encouragement. All three of us ate dinner together (chicken nuggets for A, applesauce for W and a delicious tuna pasta w/ orange peppers and spinach that I threw together for myself.
Sure, we ran out of milk and I had to scrounge for frozen o.j., which I was only able to cram into a small-necked carafe by scooping it with my hand and shoving it down the little neck. But I am fairly certain I washed my hands between the zoo trip and then, and Andrew pronounced it delicious and forced me to "try it!" from his Dora sippy cup. I was thirsty anyway.
Will took two hour naps (I had to awaken him to keep them that length) exactly on schedule. Andrew found renewed interest in his toys after having spent most of last week with Nana and Papa, and played quietly for a bit and politely invited me to play racing, too. The only stressful part of the day was in the morning when Andrew wouldn't comply with something . . . I can't even remember what now. It was a big deal, though, bc he had to keep repeating his time outs since he wept and screamed and kicked and got out of the chair. But he finally got it right and was so compliant for the rest of the day it was as if I were offering chocolate to get him to do it. It was so wonderful.
(Oh, now I remember: he had started screaming when I was on the phone with the realtor about the townhouse we applied too late to rent, and then he began throwing his chocolate milk all over the white couch. Big trouble.)
After Will woke up from his afternoon nap, we went to the zoo. Perfect weather, perfect kids. Andrew and I pretended to be race cars. Andrew would occassionally bump the stroller, my cue to "spin out of control!", and then would rescue Will and me. Even the animals provided a much better show than I have ever seen before. They were all out and active. The sloth bears fed one another, the zebras were nuzzling and scampering together, the elephant and hippo were eating. Andrew tried to scare birds ("boo!") as we raced back up the hill. Even the weather was perfect.
Andrew has gotten great at throwing and catching balls. He loves to play catch, and this evening he had me throwing the football with him. When he would miss a catch, he would blame my throw ("That was a bad throw."). He got that from me blaming myself to prevent the self-loathing and discouragement that would result in him collapsing gently onto his back in self protest.
Will had the most fun in the tub as he has ever had. Andrew put on a real show for him by slamming his matchbox cars onto the side of the tub and making noises in accompanyment. Will thought this was hilarious and laughed a real honest to goodness laugh. I have to tape record it. I think I only have a few recordings of Andrew's baby laugh, and I regret that so much.
I was thinking as I read stories to the boys in Andrew's bed tonight about what our lives were like last year. I got the little treasury golden book for A for Christmas 2006. He was so little then. I think his only consistent and clear words were ice, no, emma and ami (for mommy). I thought that Timmy in the story Busy Timmy was doing such advanced things when he dressed himself, opened the door, walked down the steps all by himself. I even worried that it might discourage Andrew, who couldn't identify. Tonight I thought about how Andrew could do all of those things. He even agreed with the narrator when I read "You can do lots of things, too." "Yes, I can," replied Andrew to the book. And he proved it by lying "on his tummy like a big boy" (to go to sleep), as we used to instruct him last summer. Almost a year ago. Can it really be?
The time has flown. I am nearly in tears as I write this. On these days, these perfect days, I know I will miss it all. Even the days we struggle and I am desperate for my back up rescue hero to walk through the door at 7.
Amazingly, I did not need rescue at any point today. But I miss you a lot anyway, Brig.