Friday, June 09, 2006

Kids Appreciation Day

Today we go to the doctor for Justin's knee. In case he'll be out of work for a while, I'm trying to either drum up a huge amount of freelance writing work or find a temporary job. If it's an injury that will have him out for a long time, I'll find a regular job.

So, thinking I might be away from the kids during the day soon, I noticed more things yesterday.

Like how, when Johnny, 5, swims to me as I step backwards, he keeps looking up with a big smile. Only he has to keep his mouth closed in the water so the smile is all in his eyes.

How Richie, 3, gives a thousands hugs a day. J.J., 10 months, pushes Richie away and looks at me like, "How long has this been going on?"

Of course, this couldn't have been one of those days when the boys are wild and J.J. has baby insomnia and the car won't start and the house is a mess and I'm ready to work outside the home even on a volunteer basis.

No, this was one of the good days. We made Richie's birthday party invitations. The kids are invited to Batman's Superhero School, where they will learn to leap, fly, disappear from plain view, chase bad guys, and generally save the world.

I don't know who is more excited about this, Richie or me. But Richie doesn't know the rest of the plan. While Batman is teaching the kids, Robin will come running into our backyard and say something like, "Holy Halloween, Batman, we've spotted a bad guy in the neighborhood. It's Two Face. Where's Richie Heos? I need his help. In fact, I need all your help. Let's get him."

And they'll chase Two Face down the street. I bought the costumes a couple days ago. Batman, Robin and Two Face costumes: $65. Cake, plates, forks and juice boxes: free with my gift certificate to Costco. Watching a bunch of kids chase Two Face through Waldo: Priceless. At least I hope so.

If you are a 20-something male, be on notice: I need volunteers for this exciting acting opportunity.

We drove Justin to his truck, which is now safe and sound in the driveway, and went to the pool. The boys just hung out with me in the shallow end and then on the lawn chair. I don't know if they feel bad for their dad or are just tired, but they're very lovey lately.

On a bad note, Johnny found out that our pool has a snackbar. I was trying to keep that underwraps. There's really no point in joining a pool if you're going to spend money everyday on snowcones and candy. I mean, what's wrong with our water and graham crackers? My cousin Hannah even said that she found her slushy on the sidewalk so that the boys wouldn't know.

But yesterday, Johnny said, "I saw a girl walking with an ice cream bar and I think I know where the snackbar is."

A kid with generous, honest parents always ruins my attempts to save money.

It's like when I tell the boys at Waldo Pizza that they're playing Ms. Pacman and they're happy until another kid comes over and puts a quarter into a different game and the boys ask, "Why didn't we need quarters to play?" and the kid looks at their screen and says, "You're not playing. It says, 'Game over.'"

Then the boys had swim lessons and Richie volunteered to go first at swimming with the teacher. In the 2'6" pool he calls the "little big pool" he showed me how he can swim by walking in the water and moving his arms. "Is I big?" he kept asking.

Even J.J. was squatting down and putting his face in. When his red ball floated away he'd squat down, ready to swim to it. I guess he's recalling those days in the womb. Funny how we spend nine months swimming in our moms bellies and then, once we get out, it takes five years to learn how to swim again.

Just like sometimes you have to look for a job outside the home to appreciate being home.

Johnny and Richie collapsed into bed at night. J.J. crawled around the play area behind our couch and I moved a decorative palm tree from the living room, where it was a hazard to J.J., to the front of our house. I was out there maybe two minutes and when I walked in, J.J. was at the door. Justin stood with him, making sure he didn't fall outside.

J.J. was smiling as if to say, "Oh, look. Mom's here. Where have you been the past two minutes, Mom?"

He fell asleep rolling around in his crib, as if it were a sailboat on a stormy sea, just like Johnny used to do.

I hope the boys are terrible tomorrow so that I'm ready to dive into the paid workforce.


Anonymous mom said...

Funny blog! I laughed outloud a couple of times - the Waldo pacman game, Hanna finding a slushy on the sidewalk. I can just see Johnny investigating the pool area for the snack bar and richie saying "Is I big?" I hope you'll be back to staying at home and freelancing soon. And don't forget to tell your boss that you'll need a little time off in the morning to write your blog.

6:36 AM  

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