Am I a wimp?
At this phase of family life right now, Lexington is a fresh 4, Emmett an old 2, and Collin a fresh 1 year old.
Lexington is Mr. Personality, Mr. PlayByPlay, Mr. AttentionCraver. However, because of these qualities, he is an avid (selective) listener, and will answer the call to throw away a diaper and even clean up his toys with little nudging so that I may be amazed by his super-ness.
Where I am rubbed raw is that our personalities oppose each other. I realized this driving in the car last spring, looking forward to a quiet drive, but arriving at the destination exasperated that I’d been interrogated to the heights by a then 3 year old.
Exasperated by interrogation and a very loud play-by-play of the blades of grass we passed, the car colors, the grass hopper hanging onto the outside of the window for dear life. Oh, backseat driver too. “Mom, take the path on the left. That’s the way to Nene’s house… –NO NO NO MOM! We’re supposed to go on that path!”
I realized that Lexical Lexington’s need to jabber for all eternity was probably determined by God as a joke, the day we chose his name. Touche, Almighty Father.
Because of this, I regret to disappoint everyone by not naming our next child (God willing) Jumpington, Throwington, or Screamington. …Probably not even Chuggington, because I don’t foresee college going very well if that’s how it’s going to play out.
WOAH back to the story. We went to our Parish Picnic on Sunday.
So Collin, a fresh 1 year old is doing what 1 year olds do: babble, reach a counter top to grab anything close to the edge, runaway with pointy objects, empty drawers of clothes, unravel a complete roll of toilet paper, and throw fits.
Emmett, who isn’t yet 3 is only now arriving at this developmental phase.
…So basically, on a developmental level, I have twins.
The house is… how can I put this gently… NOTHING IS SAFE. EVERY MAN, SPOON, AND COFFEE CUP FOR HIMSELF. I gave my favorite coffee mug a heart to heart, counting the ways I loved it’s curly swirly handle, but admitted, “you’ll likely not make it out alive”. A martyr’s life, lead the objects in my house.
For whatever maniacal reason, I still have this optimistic little fairy floating around in my head, giving me visions of enjoyable outings, such as our Parish Picnic. Oh how quaint and joyful we could all be, sitting together on the ground, neatly eating our hotdogs, the boys happily playing together close by, while I meet new members of our church community and talk with old friends–
ENTER THE THUNDERDOME.
Chase Emmett, weaving in and out of a couple hundred people and rollicking children, while wearing 25+ lbs Collin in the Ergo carrier, on grassy terrain, in poorly chosen pointy-toed flats.
Prevent him from running into parking lot.
From scalping food from the plates of innocent bystanders.
From eating the hellish gravel, so strategically placed by some playground designer who hates humanity.
While keeping an eye on Lexington who gets revved up by the chaotic atmosphere of children running amuck on the playground. Thankfully, though, he is finally at the age which comprehends stranger danger and remaining within sight of mom.
Take an eye off of Flight Risk Emmett for a second -A SECOND- and he’s gone. It’s happened twice to me, luckily within semi-local confines.
I would not wish on my worst enemy the level of panic experienced when looking up to check on your child and seeing nothing, calling out for your child, and hearing nothing. Nothing. Richter scale, 100.
If I were a cat, I’d have 7 lives left.
Emmett has no sense of “we need to stand in line and wait in order to get food”.
So I didn’t even attempt that laughable feat.
After chasing an amuck-running Emmett for a few minutes, I realized too late he was hungry, and the impending laying-on-ground fit was immediately scheduled for take-off in three, two, one –my dad came to the rescue.
Just as I’d forfeited the hope that it was crisp enough outside that I might actually walk away from this whole shebang sans B.O., my Dad scooped him up and offered Emmett a bite of his food.
My mom and dad are active members of our parish and we met them and my little bro at the picnic.
I’d come hoping to give the boys some playtime, while allowing my husband some quiet moments at home to take an online exam for his class.
The food line died down and we finally ate at the sacrifice of my momma’s stomach (I’m absolutely certain she was the last person to eat), most of the substantial-type food slung to the ground, and most of the actual ingested food being cookies and potato chips. I had the opportunity to speak with a few parishioners but was so distracted by Emmett and tired-of-being-carried Collin who was by then, arching backward and jamming his hands into my mouth that I feel like I probably answered general inquiries with a garbled, “I love your basement” or “eating gravel, blessed” and offered hardly any conversation at all. But I wouldn’t know for sure.
It was all for a noble cause though. I hauled my people back to Bumpy Bridge and dragged myself through the door to meet Craig, who’d finished his work and was willing to play with the boys (who were mysteriously starving) whilst I cowered in my chair, curled up in a ball, shell-shocked.
So when you see happy, sweet photographs of outings from this family. This, more often than not, is the WHOLE story behind the sweet smiles, which are mostly worth it.