Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Motherhood Chronicles

Journal 4/05/09

I used to be a mover and a shaker.

These days I can barely finish a thought, let alone a sentence.

Yesterday I had that feeling, sort of like a sneeze coming on…. the beginnings of a thought being born. It felt like a teeny tiny bit of inspiration trying to creep back into my life. Maybe it would have been a creative thought, or maybe I was just finally remembering where I had put my car keys. Either way, it scattered like a flock of startled birds the moment I heard my three-year-old Evan gagging on something. I ran to him and found an empty cup on the bathroom sink, the one in which I had gargled the night before with a solution of water and hydrogen peroxide (sore throat). There must have been some left in the cup, and he drank it down. I ran for the phone, scrambling through my phone book for the poison control hotline. While dialing, I hurried back to the bathroom to check on Evan, only to find him with an open tube of Retin-A, attempting to put it on his toothbrush. So on that day I learned that all the things I put “out of reach” are now open season since his climbing skills have improved so dramatically. (It also left me wondering....would brushing my teeth with Retin- A make my teeth look more youthful? In an exhausted stupor one night, I did accidentally brush my teeth with Desitin. I do not recommend it.)

A few days ago I had him out on one of our daily hikes. The ongoing power struggle here is that he likes to veer off the path and into the high grasses, and I have to steer him back to safety as it is rattlesnake season. So this day we are doing pretty well, staying on the path, stopping here and there to admire the Brown-eyed susans standing tall among the fields of mustard, the many ladybugs in flight and the occasional meandering stink bug. Evan stopped to pick something up, cradling it in his tiny hands, studying it with great interest. What have you got there sweetie? I called to him. “Poop!” he replies enthusiastically. I grab him and force him to drop it, rubbing his hands vigorously in the dirt, and then running him all the way home, holding both his hands up by the wrist so that he can’t put them in his mouth. “Bye Poop!” he calls back over his shoulder.

This week he also licked the rails of the shopping cart at Ross and splashed his hands playfully in puddles of water that had pooled around the toilet basin on the floor of a public restroom.

I used to be a mover and shaker, but now all my moving and shaking occurs in Evan’s wake.

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