Thursday, August 1, 2013

Now I see

Attention, wagerers: all those who had “this week” in the betting pool for “when will the little girl figure out that if she doesn’t want to go to bed she can let herself out of her room”, and all those who had “two days” in the “how long before the little guy loses his glasses” betting pool, please form a line to my left to collect your winnings.

The glasses were eventually found, let me just jump right to the end of that story and then fill in the middle at length. So my wife picked them up last Friday and the little guy wore them for the rest of that afternoon, although he fussed with them quite a bit and frequently lifted them up and out of his line of sight to look at various things, which of course defeats the purpose. Then he got a break overnight and Saturday was going to be the first full day he would be wearing the glasses. It was also a day on which we had planned on going to a cookout at the house of some friends, which was scheduled just late enough in the afternoon-into-evening that bringing pajamas for the kids seemed like the wisest course. So as the cookout was winding down we got the kids changed and loaded them up in the car. At this point (a) the little guy was dressed for bed and (b) it was getting dark out and there wouldn’t be much to look at in or out of the car, so we figured it would be a good idea to put away his glasses for the night.

But no! The little guy wanted to wear his glasses for the ride home, and since he’s still getting used to them and could use all the practice he can get at becoming desensitized to how they weigh on the bridge of his nose, we acquiesced.

Things did not go exactly according to plan, since the plan was for the kids to fall asleep on the way home and be transferred gently to their respective beds, and exactly none of them went along with that. So as we pulled into the garage we had to quickly figure out that my wife would take the baby in, I would carry our daughter up to her bed and get her settled first, and the little guy would follow me in under his own power and get tucked in last. We also had some leftover food that needed to get into the fridge and the pets hadn’t been fed since we’d been gone most of the day. It all became a bit of a blur, but eventually everyone was bedded down for the night.

On Sunday morning, the little guy came down for breakfast and once he was finished we told him it was time to put his glasses on for the day. But they weren’t in his room. I remembered seeing him wearing them in the rear view mirror as we drove home, so we knew we didn’t leave them at our friends’ house. Had he taken them off and left them in the car? (No.) Had they wound up on the floor of his room somewhere? (Maybe, his room was pretty messy, but after hours of cleaning it up and going through every inch of it, no.) Had he hidden them somewhere, hoping with unassailable kid logic that he wouldn’t have to wear them if we couldn’t find them? (At first he confessed to this when I suggested it, but ultimately, no, I had only succeeded in leading the witness.) The whole morning was a total loss as my wife and I alternated looking for the glasses and taking care of the baby, and also isolating the little guy and begging him to think hard about where he had put his glasses the night before, or even where he had seen them last. (Fortunately, the little girl decided to have one of her more angelic days, playing quietly by herself. Maybe on some level she sensed all was not well and elected not to pile on.) Eventually my wife had to leave for work and I got the littlest one down for a nap, and as soon as the baby was in his bassinet I did a quick sweep of our master bedroom and, lo and behold, the glasses were in their case under the foot of our bed. In the chaos and confusion when my wife was putting the baby down and I was saying good night to the little girl, the little guy had put the glasses away and either put the case on our bed, after which it fell off the edge, or for some reason put it on the floor and it got kicked under. But man, it was a rough few hours there wondering if we were already going to have to shell out for another pair.

Since Sunday, it’s been much smoother sailing. The little guy is in fact getting used to wearing the glasses and doesn’t readjust them constantly or even touch them all that much. Quite the object lesson in keeping track of things, though. My wife has been half-joking for a while now that whenever she starts the car she does a quick headcount to make sure she has all three kids; we have now amended that to “all three kids and the little guy has his glasses”.

The little girl, as mentioned, has been having some rough bedtimes this week. I think Tuesday was the first time she boldly stepped out into the hallway after having been laid in bed. Unfortunately for her, she is going to have a much harder time with this than her big brother ever did, unless she learns some patience. My wife and I used to say good night to the little guy, close the door to his room, and head downstairs to watch tv or have a late dinner or something like that. And then the little guy could slip out of his room a few seconds after we were gone and be out and about until we noticed him (not that he was terribly subtle). These days we say good night to the little girl, close her door, and then we’re still upstairs for a while because the end of her bedtime ritual transitions directly into the beginning of the little guy’s ritual. So she sets one foot out of her room, and one or the other parent is right there waiting in the hallway, directing traffic to send the little guy to his hamper, the bathtub, &c. The escape attempt becomes a quick u-turn across the threshold of her room. The little girl is never terribly happy about this, but hopefully she will get the hint soon. (Or, you know, in the next twelve months. I’ll say it again and again: two year olds are not supposed to be easy. They keep us humble.)

The baby had his four month checkup this week and he remains huge! 90th percentile height (or length? he’s not standing/walking/scaling the bathroom fixtures quite yet) and weight and healthy and happy … or he was, but he got four vaccines this visit. None of the injections made him especially giddy, nor did the fact that the sites hurt for a good while afterwards, plus the rotavirus gave him his first ever cold with fever, which sucks. As you can imagine, he’s still not sleeping in with his sister, and in point of fact he’s not sleeping great at all. Vaccines are good and important and socially responsible! I cannot emphasize that enough. And the baby will soon get over the less pleasant side effects of his most recent boosters. But good, important, socially responsible drags are still drags nonetheless. Wasn’t it just a couple weeks ago I was cooing over how precious and delightful all three children are? Ups and downs, people. Ups and downs.

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