Saturday, October 30, 2010

Hitch Your Wagon to a Star

It seemed like a good time to get some exercise one day last week, as I do on occasion while Hannah and Emma are in gymnastics class, so I headed out to the van with Olivia. It was not, however, according to my plan to find that packed in there instead of the stroller was the wagon, still there from trick-or-treating in our friends' neighborhood two days earlier.

Determined to burn some calories anyway, I decided to just go ahead and use the wagon. My arms and back were not thanking me the next day, but the hilarity of Olivia's Wagon Ride Adventure far outweighs the agony.

We thought it would be marvelous for her to have more room to play in the wagon. We even brought along her "Cinderellas," as we call them - eight little character figurines she likes to play with. Since I didn't have a handy little tray with cup holders like I do on the stroller, I had to stash my keys, cell phone, and water bottle in there with her, too. There are two seats in the wagon, so she sat in one, and I folded the other one down to make a table for her to play on. Oh, and I also set my tall stainless steel water bottle on that "table" too.

It turns out that going fast with a wagon makes for a pretty rough ride. I guess we usually only use the wagon on slow occasions. For the first several minutes, all Olivia could do was lean over with her arms encompassing all of her Cinderellas and my water bottle. She was yelling, "Can you slow down?!" and "I should have remembered the stroller!" and I was laughing uncontrollably. She was in such an adorable crisis mode, little drama princess that she is. Naturally I really didn't want to slow down and lose any cardio benefits I was getting. But it WAS pretty loud.

After a few minutes, I stopped and put my water bottle on the floor of the wagon. She was terribly concerned that it was going to get dirty, but I assured her not to worry about it. And then we started up again.

It's a lovely, shady sidewalk to be on - there's even a pond on our route. I looked back at her to check on her after a few minutes and caught her waving to a passing vehicle, like she was the main attraction of a parade float. Of course the next time I turned around, she was hugging her bare arms like a cold, neglected child. Mind you, the temperature was an icy 79 degrees at that point.

We finally got back to the van. "I couldn't even talk!" Olivia declared. I began unpacking the wagon and she asked me to unbuckle her. I hadn't buckled her in, so I asked why she did it herself. "Was Mommy driving too crazy?" I asked with amusement. She narrowed her gaze and with a somber face declared, "I didn't want to fall in the lake!"

Monday, October 11, 2010

Back To Life, Back to Reality

It's back to life as usual this week, in all its grocery-shopping and meal-making glory!

We had a lovely little staycation last week, if I do say so myself. My dear husband took last week off from work so that I and my bruised butt could be rescued from painful tasks such as driving the carpool and wrangling a three-year-old. But if you think being on the injured reserve list exempts you from further incident (even whilst recuperating), allow me to enlighten you.

You may, perhaps, be standing at the bottom of the stairs in your home, pausing only to look adoringly at one of your children while she plays nicely by herself. You may even pat her head lovingly before you turn to go up said stairs and see objects flying at you.

This will probably be because you have decided to decorate the landing on the stairs with a small round tablecloth-covered table, which greatly interests your new rapidly-growing kitten (do not be fooled by his cute and innocent appearance in the picture). And when he takes off from underneath the table, the tablecloth will come with him, thereby sending the table (and the flowers on top of it) hurtling down the stairs toward your shin.

Another thing you are not exempt from is temper tantrums and the fallout thereof. For example, you may be caught in the crossfire if your six-year-old should happen to have a meltdown because her older sister tattled on her for using too much product in her hair one morning (not that there is any resulting parental punishment, mind you).

Then when she unequivocally refuses to go to school that day, but changes her mind after her father leaves with her siblings for school, I ask you, who will have to take her to school? The fact that you have not been driving a vehicle because you injured your delicate sitting device will not bail you out of this one.

And, as if that cat has not caused enough trouble, he may also get the hankering to take off like a speeding bullet but instead plow right into your OTHER shin, nothing but cat skull against shinbone, making a sickeningly loud cracking sound. This will give you matching shin bruises.

Despite all this, it was nice to live life at a slowed-down pace and even garner some time to myself while everyone else was at gymnastics. Alone. At home. Just me. A very strange concept, indeed.

In closing, I would like to attempt to revamp the definition of the word torture as follows:

torture [tawr-cher] - noun: pain or suffering caused by someone who has temporarily lost the ability to bend over having to helplessly witness an increasing volume of items on the floor, which do not belong on the floor, but simultaneously living in a house with four other people, who couldn't care less if there are things on the floor that do not belong on the floor.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Tale of a Bruised Tail

Top 3 Things to Do BEFORE Arriving at an E/R Due to Falling on Butt at Roller Skating Rink:

1. Guzzle as much water as you possibly can, camel-style, because once you get there, the dangerous liquid will be taboo, just in case you have done so much damage to your tailbone that you have to be prepped for surgery and rushed to the OR (and while you're at it, completely ignore that reason because it will FREAK YOU OUT).

2. Hit a Taco Bell drive-through. I know this will seem ludicrous at the time, since you are in pain and very concerned about your lack of ability to stand/walk/sit. But, trust me, the fact that you ate dinner very early in order to get your kids to their skating party on time will come back to haunt you and your empty stomach, at the very latest by 2:00 AM, while you are still waiting for x-ray results. And since you are already in pain, why do you need your stomach growling, too? But since water is forbidden, don't even THINK about getting food in the E/R.

3. B.Y.O.I.P. Bring Your Own Ice Pack. Because while you'd think with all the smart nurses and doctors running around, SOMEONE would have the brilliant idea to supply with you an ice pack for your sore bottom, this will not happen.

And as a bonus (I'm not going to count this as a number since it IS a tad silly as far as solutions go), bring an air mattress. Because the fact that you cannot sit down leaves you in a quandary in the waiting room. And the same reasons for which you are not allowed to drink water (think: possible damage to tailbone requiring surgery) do not apply to sitting on said possibly-damaged tailbone. So in review: Water, no way. Sitting on injury, absolutely.

Now you may be asking yourself why I don't just recommend staying away from a roller skating rink at all costs. Or at least keeping the shoes with wheels off of your feet. But there are two reasons why. First of all, I was trying to have fun with my kids and play along with them. This is usually very much encouraged by family experts. And secondly, I have never had a problem roller skating. But accidents happen to everyone. And believe me when I tell you that it felt like someone pulled the skating rink out from under me. I had no warning, and I still could not tell you why it happened.

So I'm just going to chalk it up to one of those things in life that was not reasonably avoidable. And be very thankful that I didn't fracture anything. And be very chummy with my Percocet and my donut pillow (lesser known by the name "coccyx cushion" - hmm, wonder why that name didn't catch on). And I probably won't roller skate anymore. My Mom thinks that once this is just a happy memory, I may be willing to get back on the horse (or at least the roller skates). But I think in the future I will find other ways to have fun and "play along." You know, WATCHING is highly underrated. The kids LOVE to be watched. And almost nobody falls while watching.