Monday, May 17, 2010

family: .... i don't know, baby, where....

Park Bench
(bedtime's not always a walk in the park)

scene: I'm trying to get the girls dried and dressed in jammies after their bath. M is sick and at work late (double-whammy), so it's me and the tasmania devils. It's been a struggle to get them into the bath and then to get them out, so we're already pushing the envelope....

me (carrying L upstairs): What jammies do you want?
L (crying, tears dripping onto her bare chest): I want that book!
me (not stopping): What book?
L: That book! That book!!
me (taking a guess): The butterfly book? K's new book from Grandma Jay?
L (sniffling, face a soggy mess): Yeah. That book!
me (upstairs now): I'll go get it. Let's get you into a diaper.
L (new tears): No! I want that book.
K (she's come up herself, towel around her, but now it's in a pile on the floor): I don't want to wear footies.
me (trying to put L down): You don't have to wear footies.
L (clinging to me): I want that book!
K: I don't know what I want to wear! (starting to crawl under L's crib.)
me: K! K! What are you doing?
L (leaking nose pressed against my sweatshirt): Get that book! The Butterfly book!
me (still trying to put her down on the floor so I can go back and get the book): I'll get it. Let me get it after I put a diaper on you.

K has disappeared, naked, under the crib. L is now standing in the middle of the floor, sobbing.

me: Let's get a diaper on you and then you choose some jammies while I go get the book.
L: No!
me: No?
L: No! (looking for something to throw) No! (struggles to pull her towel off)
me (grabbing L and going to the dresser where I grab a diaper): Diaper now. Then I'll get the book.
L: I want my pacifier.
K: Daddy. Find me.
L: Pa. Ci. Fi. Ers!
K: Daddy! Daddy!
me: K, come on.
L: Pa. Ci. Fi....
me (getting her into a diaper): Now go pick some jammies.
L (lying on the floor in her diaper): No!
me (standing up): Ok. I'm going to get the book and look for your pacifiers.

L comes to the top of the stairs. K is crawling out from under the crib.

me: you guys stay here. I'll be right back.

I hurry down the stairs and can hear both girls coming after me. Down to the basement where I expect to find L's pacifiers. But I don't. And they join me there, L in her diaper, K "nudie-b-jones" as we say in our house.

me: Come on. Upstairs. Let's go.
K: Look at me Daddy!
me: I see you. I wish you'd stayed upstairs.
L: Look at me Daddy!
me: I'm going upstairs. Come on. (K starts to follow. L is sitting in the middle of the rug.) Come on.
L: No!
me: I'm turning off the light.
L (sobbing again): No! Pick me up! Pick me up!
me (going back): Ok. Come on.

I find her pacifiers on the kitchen counter. We all go back upstairs.

me: Jammies! (I pick some out for L, no longer bothering to ask her. She's quiet for the moment, probably because of her pacifiers, and I'm able to dress her.) K? Where are you? (no answer.) K? Come bring me your pajamas. (no answer.) K, come on. I'm tired. You girls need to get to bed.
K (brings in 2 shirts): Here! (throws them on the bed with a grin)
me: Those aren't pajamas.
K (laughing): I know!
me: Go get pajamas!
K (retreats to her dresser and comes back with 2 pairs of sock which she throws on the bed): These!
me: Not jammies! Come on!
K (laughing)

I pick her up and lay her on the bed and wrestle her into a diaper.
me: K, what are you doing? Didn't you hear me? What are you doing?
K (looking at me directly): I have no idea!

This caught me by surprise.

It disarmed me too. Where'd she learn how to say that? Where'd she get the phrase? And what could I do?

I bent down and kissed her on her nudie-b-stomach and she smiled and things were suddenly better.

For a second or two.

And it was worth it.

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