Life Lessons

We're here in CDA, Idaho, holding down the fort with two of our littles, while their parents left the country for an anniversary celebration. We've got three days to go, but five days in here's what I learned  / re-remembered this past week:
Arthur is not a bear! I googled it because CS was sure he was a mouse, and I knew that wasn't right. I was sure he was a bear, but no - he's actually an AARDVARK! Did anyone else know this?

If you wear white you will spill stuff on you. 99.9% chance. The worse the possibility of a permanent stain, the higher chance of it happening. It goes to 120%. Also, being with toddlers does not lend itself to staying clean an entire day, me or her.

Even when little people are completely covered up in germs, and you shouldn't touch them at all, you will, because comforting them pulls at you harder than avoiding crud. You will wipe their noses, digging for horrible green gunk, so they can breathe more easily, not giving it a single thought.

If you are exposed to those germs, you can wash your hands every single time you think about it. You will quite possibly still get sick, and you will have chapped hands to show for your efforts.

A grandfather, or father for that matter, seems most manly when reading a storybook to a little one, and this is greatly enhanced if he uses voices for the characters. Beats out muscles and good looks every time. 

A person can be calm the entire day, but as soon as you pull into the order line at any fast food chain you get rattled, possibly because every single person in the car starts to speak their order to you, all at the same time the person with the muffled voice is talking to you through the speakers. And no matter what the restaurant has on their version of the dollar menu it will still cost you at least $25 to feed a not full vehicle of people. You will consume enough calories to last the day, but will also be hungry again in two hours.

All sizes and ages of kids want / need to be snuggled, to watch Mary Poppins, to play Uno, to be sung to at bedtime with goodnight prayers and kisses on the tops of their heads, to be asked to help you with anything you can come up with, even if it's not particularly helpful.
All sizes and ages of kids leave the toilet lid up, do not replace toilet paper, do not flush, do not wash their hands, do not pick up their clothes, hang up towels, or any of the things they didn't do when we were raising them. The good news is we are just the gatekeepers for a set amount of time, and we don't have to try to fix all this. If they don't do any of it growing up, they will when they have their own kids who also won't do any of it.

A very small percentage of the human population will turn down pancakes and bacon any given morning, if you offer them. Almost everyone likes starting their day with someone else cooking them pancakes. And bacon makes any day better.

Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood's descendants are clicking their heels over the brilliance of reinventing the show with Daniel Tiger. A whole new generation is learning how to cope with a new siblings, potty training, dressing themselves, being afraid of the dark, etc. and that's a good thing. If all shows were as wholesome as Mr. Rogers and Daniel Tiger the world would be a better place.

Sequestering oneself away for a week, to care for little people, is not a bad thing. I have heard so little world news, including US Politics that it has made up for the state of sleep deprivation I am currently at. Not that it needed to. Rocking a tiny little person at night, feeling her head nestled into my chest, little legs wrapped around my waist, as she slips off to sleep, and getting to sing Baa Baa Black Sheep, Row Row Row Your Boat and Itsy Bitsy Spider again was payment enough. Praying with a third grader before he heads out the door to school, playing badminton on the lawn at night, blowing bubbles in the yard- they're all do-overs for those years I let slip by with my own, too busy or preoccupied or whatever. I can catch up on sleep next week (and I'll need to!), but for now I'm more than content to be in the middle of this refresher course. And one just never knows when I might need to know that Arthur is actually an aardvark.....


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