This week I’m trying to blog every day as part of the Week in My Life series.
Going to bed on Thursday night, I’m fairly sure we’re in for a sleepless night with Daniel—and I’m also thinking I’ll be spending a sick day at home with him.
But although I hear him coughing during the night, he sleeps through without any issues. Then this morning he walks into the bathroom, looks me straight in the eye and says, “Can I carve my pumpkin now?”
He’s full of energy, happy (except that the answer on the pumpkin is “we’ll have to do it later”), and he’s begging to go to school. Because I know my son, I know it’s an ear infection, so I call and get him a mid-day appointment and get him ready to go to preschool for the morning. But he doesn’t want to go for the morning. He wants to go all day.
“No, Mama! I want you to come for me at 5:30,” he says.
Somehow everyone’s dressed, lunches are packed, Leo’s library book and his special marble book—with his “C” homework—are in his backpack, and we are headed to the car. A brief skirmish ensues about whether the tree branch the boys call “the hand of the devil” (a reference to a Barbapapa book) has been moved. Leo readjusts it, and we can continue toward the car.
The grass and windshield are covered in frost for the first time this fall, but more exciting are the drawings John makes in the condensation—a fire engine for Daniel and a Death Star for Leo.
Then we’re off to school, where Leo bounces out of the car and hardly looks back.
I manage to take a wrong turn on the way to Daniel’s school, but we do make it, even though by the time we get there he decides he doesn’t want to go to school after all. Still, he’s happy as I’m leaving, and he can’t wait to go to the doctor’s office later. Leo is actually incredibly jealous to miss the doctor’s visit, and Daniel has promised to get him a sticker.
I head to work for a meeting, feeling a little guilty about sending Daniel to school, though I know he’s energetic and I’m sure he has an ear infection—which means he’s not actually contagious. The meeting goes well, and then I’m off to pick Daniel up and head to the pediatrician’s office.
In the car on the way over Daniel says, “Mama, I have ear wax in my ear,” and points at his right ear. I don’t need a medical degree to put these pieces together.
I have never been on time for a doctor’s appointment, and today is no different. But we’re only a minute or two late, and they don’t have to call for a mop to clean up the waiting room after we arrive, so I am considering this a day full of small victories.
Daniel has a fantastic time with the doctor, and we agree that it’s surprising that we haven’t seen each other in three months—therefore dooming me to another visit within the next week. Daniel asks for stickers for everyone in his family—but ends up with two. Then we stop to see the fish tank before we head home.
I have a few writing and editing projects I must complete this afternoon, so if you picture me teaching my son his letters and numbers, or creating a paper doll zoo for him, you will have to check back on a different day. Instead my son immerses himself in building with Trios and playing a few games on the iPad. I hope very much that being a Temple Run expert before turning 4 helps him in the future. If it doesn’t, at least it made it possible for me to complete my work for the day.
Because I know Daniel will be happy to have a playmate for the afternoon, we call Leo’s school to say we’ll pick him up when school closes—rather than from the after-care program. Leo absolutely loves being picked up when most of the children leave, and Daniel has never picked him up at that time before. Leo runs down the steps into Daniel’s arms and then mine, and it’s wonderfully sweet to see them together.
“Don’t guess what’s in my backpack,” Leo tells me firmly—and I obey. As we’re climbing out of the car at home, he says to me, “We just need to dig 29 holes in the yard.” And yet I still can’t guess.
School assignments aren’t my strength, but this one may finally do me in. I watch him pull out a bag of pumpkin seeds—39, actually, not 29, but anything beyond one or two holes would be outside my abilities.
It’s then I realize that he probably doesn’t have an assignment. He’s just an optimist who believes that the apple seeds he pulled out of an apple three years ago and planted in the yard at our old house may still become an apple tree one day. I love his faith.
The boys play together and watch a movie—so I hope no one is tracking their screen time for me today—and then a couple from down the street drops by to welcome us to the neighborhood and deliver cookies. This is the second time this has happened, and it astounds me that people are so kind. Daniel—who is allegedly sick—dances around and chats with them. We talk about how they have a swing set in their backyard, though they have no children yet, and they would love for our sons to play on it. They also have a dog named Cinnamon.
I dip tilapia in flour mixed with plenty of Old Bay and cook it for dinner, and everyone except Daniel likes it.
Then we head to Leo’s school for a Bingo night, having an interesting conversation about hubcaps on the way.
We lose every game at Bingo, but the boys have a great time. I’m so proud of Leo for staying happy when he doesn’t win, especially when two of his friends—who are sitting at our table—do win. One of them shares her prize, a bag of Skittles, with Leo, and he’s pleased.
Walking to the car with the boys, John points out the North Cross in the sky, and Leo says, “Mama, I can’t wait for my birthday!” So we count the days together and talk about how Halloween is coming first. And I think how fortunate we are to have these children who make so many days more special for us.
Then we’re home for brushing teeth, reading, and prayers—which Leo interrupts to say, “God, why did you make germs so people would get sick?” and God doesn’t answer just then, but Leo didn’t really expect him to. Then we make the Sign of the Cross, turn on the Star Wars soundtrack, and they’re off to sleep.
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