Thursday, April 30, 2009

For Nora?

I was flying solo tonight. Dave was busy being interviewed by some TV reporter about his anti-foreclosure work and dining out for AIDS and meeting with the Shir Tikvah social action committee and some other activist-y things.

The Spence pick-up did not go smoothly. Nora goat-cried for the 20 minutes it took to get home in the car. (Damn you light at Hiawatha & 26th!) Spence was on the verge of empathy crying. He looked at me with these pitiful eyes that beseeched me to "DO SOMETHING! HELP HER!" I tried not to break into tears myself as I explained that I could do nothing.

To release some of the stress of the car ride, Spence and I went out into the backyard to play a little t-ball and chant "Hey Batter-Batter!" But Nora needed a bit of comfort, snuggled in and wanted to nurse. Spence was left to play t-ball while I chanted "Sssswiiing Batter-Batter!" from the steps.

It got too cold, so we all agreed to go inside. I put Nora on the playmat. Spence and I set out to make a bit of dinner. Nora seemed content, so Spence and I sat down to dinner and chatted about his day. We giggled over milk as we made funny faces at each other. We finished up the meal with a little chocolate pudding. He was pleased with himself that he finished the whole thing.

Instead of watching Calliou (which was not yet on), Spence and I decided we would go make letters with shaving cream in the bath. I carried Nora up in her buzzing white chair as we tried to decide what letters to make. M for mama? P for papa? N for Nora? S for Spence? We decided one of each and an extra M for mama. Nora cooed. We then decided to blow some bubbles. Spence noticed the bubbles that floated up towards the ceiling. "Bubbles high!" he grinned.

He then smiled over at his sister. "For Nora?" I blew bubbles in her direction. She seemed pleasantly confused. Spence, however, was delighted. His smile was electric.

For Nora.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Week Measured in Love & Laundry

I used to be the laundry person in our relationship. I had organized our laundry baskets into a "light" and "dark." I would lug the dirty clothes down the stairs once the colors co-mingled and littered the floor.

And then I got pregnant with Spencer. And we lived in the house of precarious stairs. Suddenly, Dave became key laundry person. I have never taken back this responsibility. Nor have I really picked up another. I have nurtured a bit of guilt, but I have never vocalized it. My guilt has grown as our family has doubled and the laundry monster requires almost daily attention. Still, I remain mute.

I do fold and put away. Sometimes.

If you look right, you can see a photo-montage of Nora's outfits for the seventh week of her life. 18 pictures, but really 20 outfits. And that is just one kid, the one that does not count the dirt pile in the backyard as a favorite toy. (We won't even mention the number of shirts that I "milk through" in a night.) That's a whole lot of laundry.

Luckily, Dave rarely reads my blog. My guilt can remain a secret between me and you.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Nuk Sharing

Leaving a fun place is never easy with a toddler.
Leaving the Minnesota Zoo with Addie still there is even harder. (Yes, her parents were with her.)

Nora was snug in the mei tai sleeping through the screaming scene Spencer was sharing with anyone near(or far)by. After Katie and I wrestled him into the stroller, Team Snyder (sans the birthday boy) made our way to the exit.

All my usual tricks failed to ease his tantrum.
"I know it is sad to leave a friend and a fun place" only led to more painful yelps.
"Whoa! Look! A leopard" was met with shrieks and squirms.
"Remember when the goat licked your hand?" was greeted with a vigorous shake of the head and more tears.
"Shall we greet the people? Let's wave to the people" did indeed get a twist of the wrist but the crying continued without vocal interruption.

He then started chanting, "Nuk! Nuk! NUUUUUUUUK!"

Finally, I broke the taboo that I had established to eventually wean Spence off his nuk. I wrenched the nuk from the sleeping girl's lips and inserted it into his mouth. He immediately stopped screaming and relaxed into the stroller. Nora miraculously stayed asleep.

We made it through the Russian Coast before Nora awoke and wailed. I started to do a bit of parental calculations. Which child was entitled to the serenity the nuk provided? Which child had a better set of lungs? Whose screams could I tolerate for the twelve minutes it still would take to get to our car and the second nuk?

"Spencer, can Nora have her nuk back?" I just knew this wouldn't work. Was I setting myself up for an even bigger meltdown when he rebuffed me?

He nodded. I leaned down and tenuously removed the nuk from his mouth and put it in Nora's. I listened for my punishment and was greeted with silence.

"You are such a good big brother."

He nodded.

(Happy Birthday Dave!)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Mobile Love.

There are many good reasons why we have a mobile attached to our bed. When I woke up at 2 am and came face to face with a psychedelic cow, I was less certain of what those reasons were.

Nora, of course, was still sleeping. My breasts were not. They were ready to shake their milk makers and give this babe some food. As per normal these days, I am either awakened right before a milk gush or shortly after. My eyes opened and came face to snout with the plush cow hanging from my bed. I stifled a scream. It is still unclear to me why this mobile would be comforting to any living creature. And the atonal Bach was not even playing.

The mobile is attached to our bed frame for sibling harmony. Spence had forgotten how much he loved his mobile. He spent many hours in his own babyhood delighted by the turquoise cow, fuchsia donkey and lime green horse. When we dragged it out from the basement, I was unprepared for his nostalgic trip down babylane. We needed to put the mobile in a place where both kids could be delighted by its magic.

I had been taking the mobile down each night. There is just something kind of wrong about being an adult with a husband and two children who sleeps below a mobile. But, I grew lazy and tired of Spence using it in the mornings as a spear of sorts. So now you know. I am 33 and sleep below a mobile.