We’ve been going non-stop for the past five days, so after a morning toilet paper and fresh produce run (remarkable how those two things go together, is it not?), during which we got to spend a little time with Nonno, Deedaw, and baby cousin Anthony, today was a “stay day.” By the time we returned from BJs, both boys were showing the effects of nearly a week of too much excitement; I barely managed to get a bottle into Baby Guy and some roast beef and bread into Mr. Man before they were nodding off.
Bugaboo and Beanie decided that, since they are not allowed to go screeching through the yard for the first hour or the boys’ nap, they would like to watch a movie. To give credit where it’s due, Netflix has recommended some movies about which I never would have known otherwise; today’s feature was Moonbeam Bear and His Friends, which I would highly recommend adding to your queue if you have tiny people. It runs just over an hour, and is very innocent and sweet; it’s apparently based on a children’s bedtime story, of which I was equally ignorant until just now.
After we all had a bit of a cinematically assisted rest, the ladies seized their shoes and water bottles, then clumped down the stairs to go explore their yard. Honestly, I never would have thought our little yard would hold enough wonders to occupy them for terribly long periods, but between checking for new green growing things, digging in the dirt, climbing the playset, chasing Smudgie, applying sidewalk chalk to the fence, and making up an endless stream of games, they never seem to tire of being outside. I approve of this, as I firmly believe that sunshine, dirt, and imagination are much better for children than computers and television. That probably makes me a Luddite of sorts.
I realized Mr. Man was awake when I heard him bellow, “Wan’ go OUSSIDE!” over the baby monitor. Luckily, I’ve had a lot of practice changing and shoeing an impatient almost-two-year old, and thus managed to escape serious injury before loosing the big guy on his unsuspecting sisters. His escape into the great outdoors was somewhat marred by tripping over Bo, who was snoozing in the doorway.
Baby Guy thoroughly enjoyed having an hour of my undivided attention while all his siblings were playing in the yard. Eventually, it seemed advisable to call them all in long enough to make them eat and drink something, so we had a “breakfast for dinner” night before the ambulatory ones went pelting back outside. Whoever first thought of scrambling eggs with cheese should have a statue erected in his or her honor.
When the sun began to set, I started a warm tub and called them back in. After hosing them all down, I let them crash in a pile on the couch with a big bowl of animal crackers, bug cups of milk, and Care Bears to the Rescue, the one film on which all three of them can agree, to give them a chance to wind down before bedtime. Baby Guy curled up in my lap for some extra snuggles and a vigorous raspberry blowing contest, and his siblings took turns climbing up onto the loveseat next to us with books. I love that they take breaks from their movies by having me read stories to them. Of course, Baby Guy finds books fascinating; unfortunately, he also finds them tasty, which means reading to the older kids with him on my lap can be a bit of an exercise in physiological origami.
They’re all in bed and presumably (since the house is never this quiet if any of them are awake) asleep now, and I’m struck by the realization that Bugaboo, Beanie, and Mr. Man spent the majority of their waking hours today going about their business with very little help from me. I’m grateful for their relative independence . . . but there’s a little twinge of sadness that their independence happens so quickly. After all, it was just yesterday that I had to keep Bugaboo’s head from flopping around on her neck, right?
Today’s prayer: Lord, thank You for four little blessings who are curious about, and thankful for, the world You have given them. Help me teach them always to prefer Your works to those of mere men, and to recognize that Your miracles are born of dirt. Please remind me to pray without ceasing for those whom You have blessed differently, and never let me take for granted the gift of healthy, noisy, active children.
And, Lord, please keep me mindful that no matter how frustrating some of those moments may seem at the time, every single moment You grant me with Your blessings is a wholly unmerited gift. Let me give thanks to You for every one of them.