Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I get the sweat and shet gets the sweet

Yesterday was kind of a weird day. I slipped in banana juice and fell down the stairs leading from the house into the garage. There's something I never thought I would say. But my little guy loves his banana juice. That is one of the cool things about traveling around the world to meet your children - so many different customs and foods to try. The baby store in Russia had an interesting variety of food and drink for baby- pureed rosemary chicken, rose hips and oatmeal, and banana juice in juice boxes. My little one liked the banana and peach nectar, possibly because it was a little thicker than our typical American juices. And it is one more way to help my kids stay connected to their birth country. A small way, but parents of internationally adopted children are always looking for those small connections. It is not always about the big stuff. Usually it is about the small, everyday stuff. When I was growing up we didn't talk all that much about my mother's Italian heritage, but we did spend many Sunday's at my Italian grandparents' home, eating the sausage and pasta that my grandfather made, by hand, every week. We had Scottish shortbread with my dad's parents and celebrated New Year's Eve in the traditional Scottish manner. It's the little things I want my kids to remember, and it's the little ways I can help them stay connected to their birth countries that is important to me. So that's why I had a glass jar of banana juice in my refrigerator, which was nearly empty when I threw it away, which somehow broke inside the trash bag and then leaked onto the wooden stairs as I was carrying the bag out to the trash, which is how I slipped and fell down the stairs.

As I was falling two thoughts were running through my head. First: I should have washed my hair. Why is it always when you are wearing your worst clothes and your hair is a mess that you hurt yourself? One of the few downsides to working from home is not always looking your best. The second thought running through my mind has a back story. We have a neighbor kid who is very interested by my husband's mustang. He seems to just materialize in our driveway, usually as are trying to wrestle the kids in or out of the car, often asking odd random questions such as "Why do you have such an old car?" and "Are you going to sell that car?" Why, are you going to buy it from us? For some reason I have very little patience for this young man, even though he has been nothing but polite and one day even drew an amazingly accurate rendition of a newer mustang for my oldest son. Right before I took that first step into the banana juice I hit the button to open the garage door. So as the door is opening I was falling. And all I could think about was that I was going to look up and see that kid, straddling his bicycle, standing right outside the garage, witnessing me falling down the stairs. And then he would ask about the car, and that would be the moment he would talk about for years to come. "Remember the day the neighbor lady fell down her garage stairs, freaked out, and started yelling at me?"

Thankfully there was no young boy on the other side of the garage door. Thankfully I wasn't hurt, just bruised. So, the banana juice tried to kill me, but I'll probably buy more for my little guy.

This fall occurred as I was leaving the house to pick up the boys from day care. As usual I stopped by my big four year old's room first. He was in the gym, running around with a basketball. He was dripping with sweat. My guy can sweat. I made the mistake of commenting on his wet head when I kissed him hello, which prompted him to spend the entire walk down the hall to my youngest's room whipping his head back and forth, spraying me with wetness. Totally disgusting. When we knocked on his door Alex came shooting out of his room and into my arms, sticking out his tongue. He was very proud of the apparently massive quantities of green paint he had eaten.

This is how we walked out of the church. Matthew running circles around me trying to spray me with his sweat and Alex spitting at me trying to show me his green tongue. I looked as though I had just taken a shower by the time we got to the car. While he thought it was funny to spray me, his mother, with sweat, my big four year old suddenly turned on the charm when he saw a friend from his class leaving the building and he actually took her arm and walked her to her car. What? I get the sweat and she gets the sweet? It was very cute, though. He is definitely smitten.

Once home it was snack time and the two year old totally freaked out. He is cutting his two year molars so he is cranky anyways, and it seemed as though I was not understanding his very specific dietary requests. He was getting angrier and angrier at our communication deficit and I was running back and forth to the fridge and pantry trying to appease him. Finally I stopped, looked him in the eye, and said, "I have just offered you ten different things to eat. Pick one. I do not work for you." Yes, I am embarrassed to tell you that I actually said that. I said, "I don''t work for you." to a two year old. Which prompted the big four and a half year old to look up from his Popsicle and state, "That's right, Alex, she works for me!" Sadly, I think they are both right. I work for both of them....

To recap my day:
normally a favorite snack. not this time.

  • nasty fall down garage stairs while wearing grungy clothes and sporting dirty hair.
  • covered in spit and sweat from darling boys competing for my attention on way out of day care.
  • short order cook for a two year old.

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