Saturday, August 18, 2007

Forget Not

Nik is working a lot of overtime lately so I've been stuck without my much-needed, much-loved, much-taken-for-granted partner in parenting. I've also been stuck with the children. I hate to use the word stuck, because I love them and I know I'd never just leave them by the side of the road or anything, but sometimes I would just like to know what it is like not to have a conversation with someone other than myself while sitting on the toilet. So in that sense, yeah, I feel a little stuck.

I was also feeling a bit in that way today when we came home from the grocery store. Sami was having a fit because the man at the grocery store gave both boys a balloon on a stick and he desperately needed to have both of them. He needed them much in the same was as he needed more room in the fire truck shaped grocery cart that the two boys rode in and two bags of candy not just one. And he needed those as much as he needed not that glass but the other glass and not that apple but a different one. Each of his needs throughout the day -- and there were many, many of them, were punctuated by loud wailing and occasional bouts of throwing himself to the ground. In an effort to limit the amount of crying that would take place between unloading the car and nap time I decided to work with Sami rather than against him. And that, I tell you, is no easy task. It involves a lot of dialog and every explanation ends in "Why?"

So I parked Sami's butt on the counter, put the groceries away, started to figure out what I could fix the two boys for lunch and found myself also half lost in thought. I wondered: Is it normal that he talks so much? He never stops. I never met another two year old who talks so much. Maybe there is something wrong with him. Should I ask the speech pathologist about it the next time I see her? How can I complain about one kid who talks too much when I've got another who won't talk at all? But really, he talks so much I.can't.think. I just really can't think.

And then I heard a voice and knew in an instant, even before the voice in the hallway said what followed hello.

Oh my god. How could I be so stupid?! I raced into the hallway, the man's face barely registering and as I sprinted past him and heard him say: "We found a boy wandering in the street. We've got him. He's safe. Don't worry."

I looked up the street and saw Oliverr walking with a young, college-aged woman. He was still clutching he Popsicle box that he had insisted that I empty of its contents and give to him.

I had left the front door propped wide open so that I could carry the groceries in. And later I even saw Oliver come in from the back yard and head towards the front of the house. But we never leave the front door unlocked. Never. So I didn't even think about it. And I guess I've gotten a little bit relaxed, too. Oliver doesn't run off like he used to. He doesn't try to scale the fence or dart into the road. He is pretty happy to stay in the yard.

As I sat weeping, holding Oliver on the curb and waiting for my legs to stop shaking, I thanked the college students who live next door to us. So many of them have come and gone since we moved to our street five years ago that I didn't even know their names. I had seen them. They seemed nice. But mostly I hoped they would be quiet and that they wouldn't hog all the street parking on the block.

"No problem," the young man said. "We'll keep an eye out for him."

Yes, I told him. I will two.


  1. I am crying with you. This could have easily been me/us. My brain has been fried lately and I have been feeling a bit overwhelmed. It scares me when I am like this because ANYTHING can happen. And like Oliver, Andrew has been also much more content to stay near home instead of his past behavior of darting, so I too have been a bit more relaxed when it comes to him. And of course I should not be and I should not forget that he needs to be watched constantly. Don't be so hard on yourself though. We are only human and trying to do the best we can.

    And as far as Sami's excessive talking, you are describing Brian at his age. Oh wait, you are describing Brian now too. None of us are normal really. But I relate to your worry. I am a worrier too.

  2. Oh Christine, I'm sending hugs. What a scare! I'm so grateful everything turned out okay. And, yes, we all let our guard down now and again.

    As for the talking? My son never stops talking either. And he's nearly 6. So, I hear you on that. But yes, I think it's pretty typical for all of them, some of the time or some of them, all of the time...

  3. Oh, one more thing about the talking, I mean ALL kids and no I don't think you need to worry.

  4. Chris9:50 AM

    Tobin was like that as a 2 year old.. and a 3 year old... and now. She never stops talking. for anything. even IN HER SLEEP, she talks. It's completely normal (and exasperating when you would just like a moment of silence...)

  5. Oh, what a scare!! This happened to us when we first moved in, only Cotton just got into his car seat! Which was OK, because it was only 75 degrees outside, I shudder to think if it happened on a hot day. You are not alone.

    I am with everyone else, I think it is totally normal for Sami to "talk all the time". As far as the whining at the grocery store, um.. have you been to Walmart:)

    Sending ((((hugs))) could have happened to any of us.

  6. I worry about escapes all the time. But everyone has slip ups. It's good that he is less of a runner now (I'm hoping that day will come!)

    My older (NT) son never, ever stops talking, and he is three. I keep hoping he'll come up with an imaginary friend, but so far it's all directed at me.

    Of course, once they are teenage boys, they'll probably be monosyllabic all day long!

    Hope you get a break soon. Conversing with toddlers can take a lot out of you.

  7. Wow, that brought back some old feelings and memories. Things do improve, we've come farther than I could have ever hoped or imagined. No one can be hyper vigilant at all times, its impossible believe me I know. God bless the college students next door!

    BTW I love your blog

  8. Oh boy, Christine, I sooo feel where you are coming from with the feeling "stuck." I've been with Nik 24/7 for the past couple of days as my husband and father worked on our floor (which is *nearly* done...only the moldings left to put up). It is exhausting to schlep from place to place, for sure!

    I wouldn't worry about Sami's talking so much. Really. A dear friend's little guy was an incessant chatterer when he was little. He's now an incredibly articulate and brilliant young man of 8...performing academically like a 12 year old. You never can tell!

    The eloping...scares the crap out of me now that Nik is walking. Thank God for your college student neighbors!