Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The Ox is in the Well, and the Well is Dry

I was going to write a post on Sunday noting that this was going to be a busy week, and that blogging may be fairly light, . . . but I got too busy to write it.

Not only has this been a busy week, but the act of writing has felt forced -- like trying to straighten out coat hangers. I can mimic the form, but I just can't work out all the kinks.

But writing is a discipline like any other, and so I'm afraid you might have to put up with some awkwardness.

Part of the reason for the busyness is that starting this week we are spending three weeknights out of five watching my Sister-in-Law's toddler while she attends an evening class. Em is just six days older than Lid, so it gives us an idea of what it might be like to have twin 13-month-olds.

One word for it is chaos.

Last night my wife decided it would be a good idea to give both girls a bath. And while the bath itself went well, getting them both into pajamas and into bed was, as the saying goes, like herding cats. You'd think two grown adults could handle two babies, wouldn't you?

Toddlers fresh out of the bath love to go streaking through the house. I think the unbridled joy of the act is common to all children. And it's cute, too. But it's also dangerous to the living room carpet. I had to scrub two pee spots last night.

We also had milk spilled on the sofa and some atomic tantrums that I'm sure the neighbors heard.

This, too, shall pass, and I'm sure we'll be reflecting wistfully on Lid's days as a (mostly) happy little toddler when she becomes a sullen teen.

But some days I really wish I could just tell her politely to stop climbing on the toilet or playing with the plunger and have her do what I ask.

Lid is quite the climber right now, and does not limit her excursions to the toilet. Turn your back on her, and she'll scramble onto the sofa and climb atop the end table where she may dance with a lamp. Today when I came home for lunch the kitchen chairs were missing. Lid had been pulling herself onto the chairs and from there crawling onto the kitchen table. So the chairs went into the spare bedroom. We'd already had to move three bookshelves into the basement. Our house is slowly losing furniture.

There are, of course, gates to prevent Lid from tumbling down the stairs, or slipping out the door, so we're constantly having to step over gates as we move around the house.

So it's not so much a house as it is an obstacle course.

The girls also try to outdo each other in the shrieking department, which might explain the headache I've had all week long.

Some friends have asked why, if Lid won't sleep more than 10 hours, do we put her to bed at 7pm.

It's because there's nothing so wonderful as that moment when the house falls silent.


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