Thursday, April 15, 2010

Take some time to smell the roses

On the days that I don’t work I have trouble getting the girls motivated to do anything. I guess they think that since I am home, they are, too, and they should spend as much time at home (literally) as possible.

I have grand and glorious plans for when I am at home, but three stories, two cartoons, one looooooooong breakfast, four wardrobe changes, 8 negotiations over hair, two bed-making fiascos, and one tired mama later, my grand and glorious plans have dwindled down and have become very limited due to Marlo’s nap schedule.

This morning we were going to take our babies to the park and have a picnic. Instead, we had to settle for a walk around the block with our babies in their strollers. At a slow pace, with no intermissions, or snack breaks, or photo opps, or wardrobe malfunctions, or rest stops, you can walk around the block in about 6 minutes. With two little girls pushing their babies in their strollers, the same walk takes about 48 minutes.

Joy decided that her ‘baby’ of choice today was her pink “My Pretty Pony”—which she loves, incidentally, because it has a tattoo. (Isn’t that just great?) She settled her pony into her stroller, tucked a lap blanket around her, and packed a diaper bag complete with a bottle, some wipes, a brush, a toy, and a pacifier—all for the pony. She then grabbed a pair of purple sunglasses and she was ready to go.

Marlo got her mid-size baby, stuffed her into the stroller, put on a pair of pink sunglasses (upside down) grabbed her sippy cup and dragged everything out the door. The baby was in the seat sideways, with two legs and an arm inches from dragging on the ground. No worries, though. Joy stuffed a toy in the stroller (“so Marlo’s baby won’t be lonely”) to wedge her in nice and tight. Further accident prevention was made possible by setting Marlo’s sippy cup on the baby’s head—to counter balance the rest of the baby’s body hanging outside of the confines of the stroller.

And away we go. Joy takes the lead to scout the area. She looks for dog poop, squished snails, yucky gutter water, litter, and sticks that might impede our path. From time to time she runs back to us to warn us of the impending dangers up ahead. She also reports on what she sees: “Mom! There are bees in those flowers making nectar to take to the hive!” or “Mom! Those people need to clean up their garage--it’s a mess. Should I tell them to shut their garage door?” or “Mom! Let’s go up these steps and look in their door—it’s glass so we can see in if we put our faces on it!” Of course, all these reports are made in her clearest, loud-enough-to-broadcast-to-the-whole-neighborhood voice. Meanwhile, Marlo assumes the rear of the procession. She waves at all of the barking dogs, the trees, the flowers, cars driving by, the sidewalk, and MUST touch every reachable inch of the mailbox banks that we pass. (There are three on this particular route.) She also has to stop to pull her sunglasses down her nose to examine something very interesting that catches her eye—e.g. sidewalk chalk drawings, lady bugs, weeds growing in the cracks of the sidewalk, etc. Every 26.2 steps she has to stop to take a drink from her sippy—we wouldn’t want her to get dehydrated now, would we? And in between all of these tasks, it’s almost more than we can handle, keeping that stroller on the sidewalk. Today I also noticed that all of the fast and furious coloring that was going on in the loft while I was attempting to get dressed did not just include coloring in the coloring books—Marlo’s legs also got their fair share of hot pink marker embellishment. (Strangely, I am glad that if she did have to color on herself that at least it matches her outfit.) Moving on…

We got the mid-way point today and a car came down the street. I noticed that it was my neighbor, Jessica. Before I could raise my hand to wave (my semi-free hand that I use to carry the garage door opener and my cell phone and to retrieve any items that break free from the strollers), she stopped her car in the middle of the street and got out to say hello to the girls. She thought it was funny that Joy was prancing ahead of us, like a proud mama, while Marlo was sauntering behind, practicing her best princess wave.

So, in the middle of our walk, we took a break, in the middle of the street, to chat with Jessica—about new shoes, painted toe nails, making cookies, doing yard sales, and all the other middle-of-the-walk-in-the-middle-of-the-street-chat sort of things that girls out walking their babies talk about. Joy then gave Jessica a hug and a high five and was off and running again—chasing butterflies and taking the pony on some wild rides on neighbors’ lawns. Marlo gave her two hugs and one slobbery kiss, then sauntered away—pushing with one hand while waving with the other--and promptly ran into a fire hydrant.

Both are now taking naps. I am writing this down so I don’t forget. Every day they teach me that there’s always time to stop and smell the roses.

Posted by The Editor for Busy Body.

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