This morning, Jacob was full of questions:
"This is fascinating!... What does 'fascinating' mean?"
"Mommy, what does 'pain in the neck' mean?"
"Am I supposed to wear my swimsuit in the pool? What happens if I don't? Grandma Cathy let's me be naked in her pool."
When I needed a break from playing teacher, I announced that I was going to get the mail. When I opened the door, Jacob began to giggle. I wondered what he was giggling about but didn't give it too much thought. I stepped outside and smiled at the sun on my way to the mailbox. I soon discovered EXACTLY what was so funny:
Jacob had stuck Ryan's sopping wet, overnight diaper in the mailbox. Ew. I pulled it out by pinching the very edge of it with my fingers (but not before running inside to grab a camera). I really hope he put it in there AFTER the mailman had already come by.
We spent the rest of the morning hanging out and talking to Ryan until he got tired. Ryan has stopped falling asleep in his swing. My electronic babysitter is failing me (NOOOOO!). So I broke my back rocking him to sleep several times. But every time I put him down, he startled himself awake and began to scream. So I picked him up and rocked him again. This has become our new sleep-time routine and it's getting really old. I do not believe in sleep training methods, especially the "Cry It Out" method. But even if I wanted to do one, Ryan is way too young. So, I just chant my mantra of "enjoy the rough times" and remind myself to take pleasure in the fact that I have a kid that actually WANTS to be held.
Fast forward to when Ryan is finally sleeping. This is when I endured a brand new form of torture. Mommy torture: being stuck at home with two crabby boys, KNOWING that there is an entire container of chocolate covered almonds somewhere in the house but not being able to find it because your husband hid it from you!!
Me: "Where are the chocolate covered almonds?"
Husband: "I hid them from abusive eaters."
Me: "I NEED them. Tell me where they are."
-- No response--
Me: "TELL ME. I'M SERIOUS!"
-- Still no response--
Me: "TELL ME RIGHT NOW! OMG. STOP BEING A JERK! I NEEEEEEED THEM!!!"
I started tearing apart the kitchen trying to find the secret hiding spot. Unfortunately, all I found was stale, unwrapped Pez candies and a mini chocolate santa.
I glanced down at Jacob's train table...and I saw it! There, glistening atop a wooden train track, was one lonely and forgotten chocolate almond. You have no idea how happy this made me. Finally, a taste! Just a TASTE of chocolate! I scooped it up and realized it was just one of Jacob's polished rocks. My shoulders slumped and I nearly cried in disappointment.
After more text-begging, I still had no response from my husband. So I packed up both kids- even sleeping Ryan- and dragged them all downtown under the pretext of going to the park. This park just happens to be two blocks from an ice cream shop.
It ended up being a great day to visit the park. It was warm out and the fountains had attracted a number of families to splash around in the water. Both kids enjoyed the fresh air. It was awesome. But not as awesome as the ice cream we ate afterwards.
I'm not c-c-cold!
My handsome guy enjoying from a distance.
Eventually, Ryan was done with my pathetic attempts to soothe him. He began to wail. I quickly ran to the baby aisle and picked up the Most Amazing Thing Ever:
Ready-made baby bottles full of formula. A lazy/travelling mom's savior!
I looked around me to see if anyone was watching, then I ripped the package open. I plopped a bottle straight into Ryan's mouth and he was immediately soothed.
But right at that moment, Jacob exclaimed, "I have to pee!"
"You have to hold it for one minute" I said.
"I CAN'T!" He cried dancing up and down holding his crotch.
"Fine. You have to go by yourself then." I said desperately as I shooed him towards the bathroom doors. Just then, one of the grocery checkers stopped by to admire Ryan, who still had a bottle in his mouth. I was really embarrassed about the opened-but-not-paid-for package of bottles sitting right there in the cart but the grocery store employee didn't seem to mind. We chatted for a couple minutes when I realized that Jacob had still not returned.
"My three year old went to the bathroom and he's not back yet." I said, not knowing what to do.
"I'll feed your baby while you go get him." The checker offered.
"OK. Thanks SO MUCH!" I yelled back at the cart as I made a mad dash towards the bathrooms. Really? I just left my two month old (and my wallet) with a random grocery store employee? Mom of the Year Award?
I was just about to enter the Women's bathroom when an older man walks out of the Men's room. "Are you Jacob's mommy?" He asked.
"Yes." I replied, almost out of breath.
"There's a little boy in there who can't reach the sink to wash his hands. He told me his mommy was out here waiting." At that moment, I didn't know whether to be proud that I had instilled such a strong habit of handwashing in my son or frustrated that he couldn't just come out and tell me himself.
"You can go in there," the older gentlemen says, "the Men's room is empty now."
And, for not the first time in my life, heck, not even the first time THIS YEAR, I opened the door to the Men's bathroom and walked right in. (Someday I'll tell you about the time I strutted into a men's bathroom and didn't realize it was the men's bathroom until I walked out of the stall and saw three pairs of puzzled MALE eyes staring me down). I walked into the Men's bathroom, the smell of pee overwhelming, and I saw Jacob standing by the tall bathroom counter, looking helpless. When he saw me, his eyes lit up.
"Mommy! I went into THE.....(he paused for drum-roll effect) BOY'S BATHROOM!"
"Yeah, I know Jake. Here I'll help you reach."
"Can Moms come in here when they need to help boys named Jacob wash their hands?"
"Yes, Jake." I plopped some soap in his hands and helped him scrub.
"Mommy, where's Ry?"
Oh crap! Good question. "Come on, we gotta go!" I grabbed Jacob who was in mid-wipe with a paper towel and whisked him out of the bathroom. Ryan was still there, thank goodness. He was cooing away at the grocery store employee.
"Thank you SO MUCH." I tell her. "For not being a serial killer or pedophile" I added in my head.
Having had enough adventure for one trip, we finished up and paid for groceries. It wasn't until I unloaded the car back at home that I noticed Ryan had picked up a new bad habit. My little petty thief:
Sorry grocery store. We owe you $2.49.
Also, I noticed that my husband had beat us home AND that the container of chocolate covered almonds had mysteriously returned to their rightful place in the pantry.