Awkward Dad's job necessitates overnight call sometimes; sometimes being pretty much every 3 or 4 days. This has made schedules and order a little tricky in the kingdom of Awkward. Well, that is the line Awkward Mom has come up with to justify why her children sometimes go to bed at 10pm and why dinner routinely seems to consist of pirogies and grapes. Tonight happens to be such a night.
More ketchup! I seem to hear this about 14 times every dinner, regardless of the entree. To be fair, yes, I may have overcooked the pirogies, a little. Still, I am pretty sure that any level of dryness would not warrant the red sea that is currently lapping at the edges of Super Toddler's plate. However, I am tired (big surprise), so I acquiesce rather easily. I must be tired because I also have absolutely no comment when he proceeds to dunk his grapes in the ketchup. Then, I know I am really tired when Super Baby makes a lunge from the highchair and sinks his hands into Super Toddler's plate, and it doesn't even phase me. I just blink at him while he smears ketchup everywhere, generating a look not unlike a stabbing victim. Luckily, it is bath night.
No, my children do not takes baths every night. I think we have already discussed my chances for winning mother of year, so I figure baths aren't going to make me or break me at this point. However, once in awhile, the smell, the dirt, or, in this case, the ketchup, just becomes all too much for wet wipes and sleeves, and those are bath nights. Lucky me.
Around here, baths are a production on the level of a Cecil B. DeMille movie. The toys, the bubbles, the pageantry. Getting just the right temperature between scalding and freezing from old apartment pipes that hate me. Super Baby touching the invisible force field that ropes off Super Toddler's personal bath space and all hell breaking loose in a flurry of sudsy water that now covers my glasses, my shirt, and the socks I foolishly wore into the bathroom. Trying to walk that fine line between protection and repression when it comes to Super Baby's boundless enthusiasm for water and flinging his face into it. You know, just the mom panic and those untold hazards that are involved with 2 little boys careening into each other and slipping around on wet, deadly hard tile.
About the time my shirt turns translucent, Super Toddler hollers for the removal of Super Baby. I decide to oblige, which produces howls of glee from Super Toddler and howls of indignation from the squirming naked water baby now in my arms. Super Baby thrashes in his towel prison until the only part of him the towel is covering is his left arm. It is covering far more of me, soaking my pants. Super Baby shakes himself like a dog and now I can't see out of my glasses. I bumble into the nursery, dropping the towel and banging my right leg on the door frame. This turns Super Baby into a very wet football that I am trying desperately not to drop, which in turn results in the flying leap of me and Super Baby onto Super Toddler's bed. Which is now soaking wet. Great.
I heave us off the bed and give Super Baby one of Super Toddler's toys (don't tell). He immediately sticks it in his mouth and quiets enough for me to get him onto the changing table. I can hear Super Toddler talking about mermaids and making splashing sounds that don't sound like drowning ones, so I proceed to diaper and dress Super Baby. About the time I finish with that, Super Toddler's monologue shifts to don't poop in the tub..Mommy says don't poop in the tub. I pretty much throw Super Baby into the crib and fly into the bathroom. Turns out to be a false alarm for which I am eternally grateful, but I get him out of there anyway. Super Toddler gives in to the tub removal, but he wants to dry himself. He clothes himself in his "princess" (a blue hooded towel that his Aunt Maggie made for him), firmly places the hood on his head, and directs me to admire his beautiful hair. Once he is suitably admired, he regally pushes the towel back, so that it flutters about him like a cape and directs me to admire his pretty dress. He parades about the bathroom for awhile before inspiration strikes and he dashes into his room. He roots around a toy box before finding 2 bracelets, a Hello Kitty lip balm necklace, and a tiara that he puts on like a belt. Thus adorned, he stalks the hallways, shouting about castles and dragons for the better part of the next half hour. Super Baby, freed from the crib after some rather ear-splitting negotiation, is quite content to trail after his half-naked princess brother, while I change Super Toddler's damp sheets.
Eventually, Super Toddler resigns himself to wearing a diaper with his outfit. 20 minutes after that, he agrees to pjs. However, he must pick them out. He debates for awhile, perturbed that the Buzz Lightyear ones are dirty and not available. He settles on some with monkeys, but only after we embellish the look with a pink sash and mommy's shoes. He then insists on one more Pingu before bed. I am too tired to fight, so I agree. Now Readers, you know I love Netflix so much my husband thinks I am cheating on him with it, but sometimes the near infallibility of Netflix can be suspect. Case in point, Pingu. It started suggesting that we might like Pingu after Super Toddler exhausted Shaun the Sheep, Super Why, and Angelina Ballerina, and I have to admit Netflix is right, Super Toddler adores Pingu. I, on the other hand, merely stand there in confused horror as this bizarre, Swedish, claymation penguin carpers and cavorts through some of the weirdest story-lines I have seen in children's television. Currently, he is accompanying his father, a penguin postman with a strangely Italian accent, as he delivers mail to some igloos. He delivers a black-trimmed telegram to a old lady penguin and Pingu sheds a tear, forcing me to envision her penguin son being gunned down in the battle of Dunkirk. I am trying to figure out if he was in the ground forces or air personal when I glance at the clock. Holy Cats, why is it 9:15? Enough, it is time for bed!
I drag the boys to the bathroom, where we brush teeth and Super Baby attempts to climb back into the tub. Then, I herd them into the nursery for bed. Super Toddler climbs into his with 13 stuffed animals, while Super Baby rebels against the crib in a tone normally reversed for fire drills. We attempt story time, which goes something like this (for the purposes of this portion of the story, this is me, this is Super Toddler, and this is Super Baby):
Once upon a time, there was a princess! And she had beautiful glowing hair. And she lived in a hot dog. Umm..yes, a hot dog. AHHH! This hot dog was in the middle of the forest, by a giant lake with fish and mermaids and bubbles. AHH! And the princess decided to have a ball. Yes, a ball. And she invited Rapunzel and fireflies and Odie. Odie? AHHHH! Yes, Odie. OK, so the princess is having this ball with Odie and Rapunzel when... and fireflies! Oh, yes, and the fireflies. AHH! When...an evil witch comes. Yes, the evil witch comes in with...fireflies! Fireflies? Yes. OK, with fireflies and a dragon. and sticks. Of course, a dragon and some sticks. So...Burp. Then, the evil witch sends her dragon to get the princess. And fireflies! And the fireflies too. So...the prince. AHHH! Right, so the prince comes and he...the fairy godmothers! The fairy godmothers do what? They give a sword. Oh right, they give him sword. No! No? AH! No, they give sword to Rapunzel. Oh, OK. So, what does the prince do? Hides. Hides? Hides in the bushes. Umm..OK. So the prince hides in the bushes and Rapunzel...Princess! And the princess slays the dragon. Laughs. No! No? Poofs! Oh, sorry, she poofs the dragon. And witch! And the witch, and they never bother them again. So, the ball goes on and...they dance! They dance in new shoes! Right, the fairy godmothers give them new shoes and they dance all night long in the hot dog. Snorts. Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair. Well, that is a different one. Different story! Coo. Oh no, now it is time to sleep. No! Yes, time for bed. NO! AH!
I leave to the melodious tones of toddler tantrums and baby burbles. 3 minutes later, they are both snoring. I settle onto the couch and survey the damage. I am fairly certain every one of Super Toddler's 4328 toys is out here, the dining table looks like a crime scene, and apparently Pingu and his father just cracked the egg and the new baby might be dead. I pick up the remote and let Netflix tell me that I should watch Fawlty Towers or Cake Boss. I fail to make a selection before I fall asleep, and I proceed to dream about John Cleese and some bakers fighting Italian penguins on the front lines of World War II.
Oh, fear not, good readers. After all, Awkward Dad isn't on call for 3 more days. And 3 days after that. And after that. And on Christmas Eve. And well...residency is only 3 and 1/2 more years anyway, right? No worries, none at all. Meet us back here next week for the next installment of the Adventures of Awkward Mom!