All the abuse you take as a parent just makes you appreciate the little miracles more. This morning started off innocently enough as my daughter and I ate breakfast, waiting with anticipation for AB to arrive. I noticed almost right away that AB wasn't her usual chipper self. And it wasn't long before I was made aware of just how crappy her mood was, along with how easily E will jump on the crank-wagon.
We were walking home from the grocery store when AB really started letting me have it, crying, yelling "UPPY! UPPY!", and generally voicing her displeasure. Then E picked up the harmony with "Go park play! Mamaaaaaa, Go park play!!!" So I chimed in with a hearty attempt at Jingle Bells and somehow we ended up at home.
At that point I gave them the option - go to the park or go upstairs? They both nodded emphatically at the park option. So, being the doting caregiver I am, I took Ralph upstairs, grabbed the diaper bag and we set off on the four block journey. Four blocks. 15 minutes. About 23 nose wipes. 3 or 4 lectures about how soon we would be there, how crying wasn't helping anyone, about the option of going home still being on the table, and about how if your hat falls over your eyes you really should be able to fix it yourself by now...all met with wails of disapproval.
We got to the park. E was finally pacified. AB would prove to be a tougher adversary. When I took her out of the stroller she planted her feet and refused to move. Not one step. Not crying or complaining, just standing. I figured that if she was happy standing, power to her, and she would join E and I when she was ready. The problem I didn't anticipate was E's utter refusal to play or have any fun whatsoever unless AB joined her. So we have AB standing, E standing a little farther away, yelling "AB, come! AB, come!" and me on the stairs of the jungle gym trying to convince both of them that I'm having the time of my life up there and they should really join me. We did manage about 5 minutes of good times on the swing before AB started nodding off and I had to axe the swinging. Of course, E didn't want to get off the swings, and once off the swings, AB went through the always amusing routine of Step-Fall down-Cry...Step-Fall down-Cry...until she just decided to stand and yell "UPPY! UPPY!"
Of course, once I picked her up E was furious. How could AB follow her around if I was holding her?
Snacks. Snacks always work. I gave them each a cracker and listened to them both complain heartily that they needed their mittens off. I took their mittens off and listened to them complain heartily some more - AB wanted to sit in the stroller and E wanted to eat her cracker on the bouncy bridge. I tried bringing them both on the bouncy bridge. AB wailed. I tried them both in the stroller. E wailed. I aborted mission and headed for home, as they both cried and shouted "UPPY!" "BOUNCY BRIDGE!" "UPPY!" "BOUNCY BRIDGE!" for the entire four blocks. I decided not to join in this time, but instead fantasized about locking them in the bedroom for about six hours as I lay on the couch, drinking coffee and flipping through a stack of magazines.
Going well so far.
When we got home, I decided to feed them some oatmeal. That went fairly well, until E's was all gone and she wanted more, stat. But by the time I had made it she didn't want it anymore, of course. AB had some, I think it was her way of offering the olive branch. We played some, read some, fought over toys some, E had a massive episode of diarrhea that almost didn't leak all over the place, AB pooped five minutes after I changed her diaper (par for the course), and then I decided it was nap time.
This is where it gets interesting. This is how nap time usually goes:
I read them both a story. Then I hold AB and sing to her until she falls asleep, hoping that E will fall asleep beside me, which she never does. I then put AB in the crib and get to work on E, which is never an easy task. She asks for AB, I urge her to be quiet, sometimes resorting to threats of AB never coming over again if she can't let her sleep, and after a half hour or so of alternating between soothing her and empty threats, she finally goes to sleep.
This is what happened today:
I put them both on the bed with their blankets and sat between them. We read a story. Then I decided to sing without picking AB up. I got through my song almost twice. In less than five minutes, we had this:
How sweet it is. I was tempted to leave them like that, but AB has a tendency to launch herself from elevated surfaces without bars, so I had to break up the cuteness. But I have photographic evidence that miracles do happen.