At the curb in front of our house, Seth "buckles out" and gathers the mail in our box from the passenger seat window. We examine the tomatoes in the pot by the garage—we have been eager for the “redding” of our fruit--on to lunch. Trader Joe's oh-so-creamy mac 'n cheese, fruit slices, buttered wheat toast and milk. Three compartments in our colorful, compartmentalized plastic plates and ALL three MUST be filled with a different item.
Let Lucy down to allow for pre-nap poop time. 1:20pm. Upon her success she is swooped into bed with "passer and blanket". Seth is sent outside where he strips down to nothing and resumes his environmental engineering of the rivers and tributaries created by the garden hose. Finally, Hazel has my restful attention as she slurps another 8 ounces before a "may" or "may not" nap. I sometimes gather up the breakfast, and now lunch layer then proceed with any additional household tinkering. Sometimes with a book, sometimes a Seth spectator, always a few moments spent at my portal to the outside world and a little bit of household pick up. This is a nice swirl of calm from the spinning.
3:00pm. Just as the tides goes out, it must always come back in again. Lucy and Hazel create waves once more as they stir, then wake from an afternoon slumber. I mentally note, “three hours to bedtime”, and take a deep breath. It is nearly too hot to step foot out of doors, if we do, the “misters” take the edge off the heat of porch play: hula hoop tossing, swing spinning, chalk painting, hose squirting, sand spreading, bumper trikes, or a lovely swim. Indoors we take advantage of every member awake by blasting some music and getting the energy level even higher!! Indoors, paint, playdo, and toys whittle away the remains of the day. Hazel is rotated from her thingamabob to carpet, to high chair, to hip.
4:30pm. Into the butterfly bath, empty the frogpod for a joyous half hour of occupied octopi (because sometimes it feels as though each of them has eight appendages). During this time I muster up a couple of vitamin packed meals (tonight whole wheat pasta and meatballs, apricot wedges, and green beans) and deal them out into the compartments. Then, we always experience some turbulent weather, some have compared it to a hurricane, as we three (Hazel watching) dance around each other towels, diapers and jammies flying until we land coiffed and cozy and ready to dine. While Seth and Luce nibble and snicker their way through dinner Hazel gets spoonfuls of mush with carrots or peas for palatability. 5:30pm. Dinner's end heralds stories, a round of London Bridges and Ring around the Rosies, then prayers on the above green rug. Then, they scoot off to bed without too much protestation except for one or two shrill screams from Lucy. Those soon subside as she lays down and curls over obviously greatful for the rest from her non-stop days. Seth will have one more lengthy conversation to get off his chest regarding the weather up at Grandma and Grandpa's house, the following days activities, or the amazing feats of pumps and waterfalls that he is already constructing in his head to be executed in the morning. We get through this, my head hovering through the nearly closed door, then, our final adieu, "Love you, see you in the morning!"
Now, our dear sweet Craig—Dad, as the littles call him—peppers his appearances at varied times of the day depending, once again, on the whims of the residency scheduler. These surfacing are savored. We only try and imagine what it will be like when those whims belong to us and our fate is more securely in our hands. Until then, these are our days.