Today was one of those days. By 8am, Casey was bouncing off the walls. He did let me sleep in until 6:30am, which was nice (except that I'd been up from 5:30-5:45am with Marcie). But by 6:45am, he was a Mr. Bossy. It started with him letting Pugasus out of his crate and then chasing him all over the family room, ordering him outside, then inside, then back outside. Telling him, "Get down," or "Sit," or "Be quiet" (not that Pugasus was making any noise). Then we heard Marcie calling to us at around 7:00am, so we went to her room to retrieve her. Casey immediately began instructing me to feed Marcie. We keep telling Casey that he is not in charge of Pugasus and Marcie, but our statements seem to be falling on deaf ears.
By 8am, Casey needed to get out of the house. So I bundled up the kids, threw on my running shoes, and we did my 3 mile loop through the neighborhood. The one I used to run in 30 minutes. It took us an hour and fifteen minutes to complete. Now, in my defense, I encouraged Casey to walk a healthy chunk of the flat part. And also in my defense, pushing a stroller with over 50 pounds up hill after walking for an hour in the heat is no picnic, either. But I needed the exercise-- and more importantly, so did Casey.
On our walk, we explored many things-- the fence along a neighbor's yard, the rocks that create a path for the rain in another yard, the leaves that have fallen off tree branches to the ground, and the sewage drain. Seriously. I have this irrational fear of sewer drains. I'm not sure why I have it. I also have a fear of going to bed with the closet door open. At least I know the root of this bizarre fear-- it stems from a horrible nightmare I had when I was in middle school. A nightmare I had the night I left my closet door open. A nightmare I probably had because I'd taken cold medicine before bed. I don't remember the details of the dream, but it sufficiently frightened me that I still won't sleep with the closet doors open. And I won't put a child to bed with his closet doors open either. Anyway, that's not the irrational fear I was writing about. I was telling you about my fear of sewer drains.
You know how sometimes you park the car along the curb, and it happens to be the section of the street where the sewer drain is? I always had this fear as a kid that I'd fall down one. If I had to cross a street, I'd walk the extra steps to avoid stepping over the opening to the sewer drain. I still do-- after all, what would I do if one of my kids slipped and fell, right into the drain's opening? Do you think anyone could even fit down the drain that way? Anyway, I made the mistake of stopping near one of those drains today with the double stroller, to let Casey out so he could walk for a while. Casey is mostly fearless, which has its plusses and minuses. He went right to the edge of the drain (which I didn't think anything of since I'd asked him to get on the sidewalk), then got down on one knee and hollered into the drain to hear his voice echo. He thought it was hilarious. I was terrified. Stupid drain. Of course he didn't fall into it. And neither did I. But I still don't like 'em.
And so my day went. At one point in the day, I went to change Marcie's gag-reflex-inducing diaper. As I had her on the changing table, Casey came barrelling into the room with Pugasus (actually it was the other way around; Casey was chasing the dog). I told Casey to leave the dog alone, and when he ignored me, I stuck out my leg-- which he tripped over. He looked up at me from the ground, with those wounded eyes, and said, "NO PUSHING MOMMY." I told him I didn't push him. He wasn't listening, and he needed to go to his room. He said, "No," as he walked out the door, and the next thing I heard was his wretching. I came around the corner with Marcie and Casey looked up at me: "Casey frewed up, Mommy."
This is Casey's new thing. Fake vomiting. He makes a gagging sound, which grosses us out. Anyway, there on the ground in front of him was food he had chewed up and spit out. I told him to pick it up. He refused. So I picked it up, opened up his hand, placed the mushy food in it, and told him to throw it away. Then I told him to go wash his hands. He became hysterical. He screamed and cried, while washing his hands, "I WANT DADDY. I WANT DADDY." This is improvement. Last time he got mad when I punished hime he wanted Grandma. After about 10 minutes of this, I helped him calm down and we talked about being a good listener and not pretending to throw up.
Then Casey asked me for some water, and I gave him a small bottle. I opened it and left the room to put the cap up somewhere so Marcie couldn't reach it. In the 30 seconds or so that I was out of the room, Marcie spit up curdled milk. Casey told me, "Marcie frewed up." So I turned back around to get some paper towels from the kitchen. In that 30 seconds, Marcie picked up Casey's water bottle and proceeded to try and drink it, instead dumping about 4 ounces of it down the front of herself, all over the couch, the floors, and the area rug, and sending Casey into another wave of tears. I took the bottle from Marcie, cleaned up the water and the spit-up, removed Marcie's wet clothes, and threw away the dirty paper towels. But then Casey wanted his shirt off because Marcie had her shirt off.
And so it went for the next 30 minutes or so. Now, I'm sure all you astute readers can tell from my saga that 1. my patience were wearing awfully thin, and 2. what my kids really needed was a nap. No kidding! And nap they did-- for their Dad, right after he walked in the door from work and I walked out the door to head to school to study.
When I got home tonight, Marcie and Casey and I played for a while. They kids belly-laughed and giggled and hugged and kissed. Marcie now tries to say the word for "cow" ("owc") and she gives high fives, claps, and blows kisses. I look at her face and I can hardly believe it hasn't even been three months yet. I watch her watch Casey and I know we were meant to be a family. Casey needed a sister. Marcie needed a brother. She really helps complete us. And you know, as trying as being a parent can be, not a day goes by that I don't think it's all worth it. And then some.