This is one of those long, boring posts that I’m writing more for posterity than anything else. I just want to document our trip a little bit and today was a very busy day. I totally understand if you skip this one. It’s probably interesting only to me…
You know when you start out thinking that your day will be one way and it turns into something else entirely? Like it starts as a simple errand and ends with you calling your mom to bail you out of jail?
Yeah, well, it’s not quite so drastic, but today ended with both babies and my mother deciding to go to sleep at 8:15 (which isn’t perhaps unusual for the babies, but the fact that they did so with little protest speaks to the kind of day we had…).
Actually, I’m making this sound all dramatic and stuff, but really, it was just a busy day that didn’t really go how we planned. My mom has house cleaners who come every couple of weeks, and today was their day to come. I wanted to take the boys to a local bookstore for their storytime (just a good excuse to get out of the house and go someplace air-conditioned), but they ended up napping early today. They still haven’t really settled back into a nap routine, and have been waking up really early, mostly because H wakes up early since he catches a bus to go downtown since it’s easier than driving in the hell-traffic of Austin.
And that was okay, because I had a back-up plan to go to a different story time at the local Bar.nes and Nobl.e which started later, in the event that they decided to nap early. And so, we set out around 10:15 after the boys woke up from their nap, intending to go to the 11 a.m. story time and then browse a bit and have lunch afterward. On the way, we stop for gas, and after I fill up, my mom tries to start the car, and… nothing. I’d been noticing that our car was a teeny, tiny bit slow to turn over the last few times I started it, but I figured it would get much worse before I needed to do anything about it (and since I need to take the car to the dealership here anyway to fix a broken trunk hinge pump thingy, I thought I’d just see about it then).
And so my mom calls my dad and tells him to bring her car and that we could move the babies and car seats into her car and drive it home and then she could come back and deal with it or have my car towed somewhere. And I stop her and suggest that perhaps it might be easier to have my dad bring jumper cables and just jump my car so I can drive it up the street to the auto parts store and buy a new battery.
Quick aside here, but I sometimes wonder if it’s a generational thing, or if it’s just me, but it almost never occurs to my mom to just solve her own problem. We were out shopping once years ago, and she got a flat tire, and instead of deciding to change the tire herself, she wanted to call AAA and wait an hour or two for someone to come and do it for her. And I just vetoed that crap and did it myself. It’s not that she can’t or won’t– it’s just that her first instinct is to think that someone else has to do it because it’s too difficult to deal with car stuff. Or something like that.
Anyway, my dad comes and jumps the car, and we drive the mile or so to the parts store, and I get the guy to test my battery (dead, dead, dead) and then buy a new one. The guy very kindly offers to put it in for me, which they definitely do not normally do. I tip him $10 (would’ve given him more if I had it…), and we then head back home because my mom has realized that she left the house wearing one turquoise sandal and one black sandal (which is much more like something *I’d* do… I can be so scatterbrained sometimes).
And so, by this point, it’s way too late to make it to story time, so we instead decide to go have BBQ for lunch (yum. yum, yum, yum, yum, yum.) and maybe browse at the mall afterward. We have one of those meals out that feels like you’ve run a marathon when it’s over. The babies were in rare form, being extra grabby, extra bouncy, extra happy, extra energetic… my god, it just does me in to take them out sometimes.
It makes me miss H when I go out to lunch with someone who isn’t used to running interference with them– my mom is very good with the boys and very helpful, but it isn’t second-nature to her to be on high alert all the time. It takes a lot out of you to constantly make sure everyone has bits of food, and that no one is dumping the salt shaker or rubbing watermelon in their hair, and that they aren’t eating the menu or whatever. It was just one of those meals where the boys were on fire and having a great time.
After lunch, since the restaurant was in the same shopping center as a Toys R Us, we stopped there so I could look at some possible birthday presents for the boys. They don’t carry parachutes, but I can find one online I think. Anyhow, they had baby food on sale, so I stocked up. My mom found a couple of toys that she wanted to buy for the boys, and we browsed a bit, just getting a few ideas for things they might like. At that point, my mom got a call from her house cleaning people saying that they wouldn’t be there until 3:00. We were trying to avoid being home while they were there, so that we could keep the babies out of the way. But, since it was only 1:00, we weren’t sure whether it was worth it to take the babies back home then and try to get them to nap, etc., or whether it was better to keep them out.
We ultimately decided to go browse at the mall, walk them around a bit, etc. We went to a department store, where I found a cute blouse that my mom bought for me. I then walked over toward Sears to browse at Land’s En.d, but the Sears at this mall didn’t have a L.and’s End store. So we went to the food court instead and got some ice cream, which we shared with the baby birds. Cheeeeeep! Cheeeeep! FEED ME!!
After that, I noticed that Str.ide Ri.te had a sale on some shoes, so I wanted to stop in to see what they had (you know all the Yummy- Mummys around here expect SHOES on babies…). The boys (especially Jack) are going to start walking any day now, and it’d be nice to have some shoes for them for the summer. Anyhow, of course, they had nothing appropriate on sale in their size, but they did have very cute shoes that WERE appropriate, and so my mom *had* to buy each boy a pair. Which is fine. I’m glad to have them, and I certainly wasn’t going to spend $40 a pair for shoes for them. Luckily, it turns out that Jack is a half-size larger than Henry, so perhaps, just maybe, we might be able to buy shoes one pair at a time and hand them down from Jack to Henry as Jack outgrows them. You know, if they stay a half-size different. And if they grow at the same pace. And if Jack doesn’t wear his shoes out entirely. But, you know, the possibility is exciting all the same.
Anyway, Henry spent the rest of the afternoon staring proudly at his feet. He really is a kind of vain little thing. He loves mirrors. And he loves to have his hair brushed. And he loves to look in the mirror while having his hair brushed. He really notices pretty things. Just this past week, he pointed and screeched at a little girl and tried to touch her hair, before pointing at his own head, tugging on his hair and smiling and clapping. He really seemed like he was trying to communicate that he liked her hair, or that he wanted his hair to look like hers, maybe. I don’t know. It was adorable, though.
Aaaaanyway, as it turns out, Jack’s shoes have to be sent from another store, because he has giant feet (Henry’s shoes are a 5.5 and Jack’s are a 6– though when he measured, he said that Henny was a 5 and Jack was a 5.5). They should arrive Monday. Jack wasn’t all that excited about the shoes. He was walking really funny in them, mostly because he’s just not used to having anything on his feet. And we will continue to keep him barefoot most of the time, but since it’s summer and he’s just beginning to try to toddle, I figure it’s best to give him some foot covering when we go outside (hot pavement, etc.).
Speaking of WALKING… Jack took 3 steps tonight! He’s still really shaky, and barely stands on his own for longer than 5-10 seconds, BUT he did actually take more than one step (he’s taken a single step before, but it seemed more accidental– this was very purposeful this afternoon).
So, the shoes seem to be helping Henry, too. He has a hard time getting his feet pointing the right direction when he stands, but with shoes on, that little bit of extra grip seems to help him. Also, he really doesn’t like weird textures on his feet, so I think the shoes help him ignore the texture of the carpet or the coldness of the tile.
SO, we got shoes, and then decided to head home. My mother had specifically told the cleaning service people to stay out of the room where H and I are staying. And then, when they arrived at the house, my father reiterated to them to just stay out of our room. But, they decided to ignore this, and clean the room anyway. I came in to a tidily made bed (which was fine), but also came in to a missing Kindl.e (which was not fine). I have turned the room upside down looking for it. My mom has reported to me before that this cleaning crew has a habit of putting things away in really strange places, so if I had known that they were going to ignore the request to leave the room alone, I would have put my stuff away. But, I didn’t. And now, despite looking in every possible nook and cranny, turning the couch cushions inside out, flipping the covers back, searching the shelves, etc., my Kind.le is completely missing. My mom called her crew’s leader, and she said she’d ask about it to see if they knew anything, but I’m kind of worried at this point that it was accidentally thrown away or something. These people have worked for my mom long enough that I seriously doubt anyone would have stolen it (unless they had a new crew member with them, and even then, it’s a Kin.dle… why would anyone want to steal it? Fans of portable literature and theifs aren’t usually one in the same person, are they? Not like you could sell one for much anyway…). BUT, the point is that we’ve turned the room upside down, we’ve searched other places in the house, and it’s nowhere to be found. Which sucks, because not only was I in the middle of my second read-through of Mel’s book, Life From Scratch, but I also use it to pass the time while I nurse the boys to sleep. It keeps me sane while I wait for them to unwind and go-the-eff-to-sleep-already-just-sleeeeeeep, etc.
And so, I wanted to go to a bookstore and lunch. Instead, I went to the auto parts store, a BBQ joint, a toy store, two department stores, a food court, a children’s shoe store, and spent the last hour of my day tearing apart a freshly cleaned house, fruitlessly looking for the Ki.ndle. And I’m TIRED.
I’m still trying to set times to see all my friends while here, and already, time is starting to fly past. It’ll be over before I know it, I’m sure. Why is it that root canals feel like they take a YEAR, but visits with family and friends fly past in the blink of an eye? Doesn’t seem fair, does it?