Tuesday, October 26, 2004
sleepless in philly
Monday wrapped up pretty well. Almost. When I stopped by the Child ReEducation and Detainment center, the kids were more than happy to see me. It is usually easy enough to get them out of the place and into the car. There is the usual requests to be held or to abduct some toy, but that did not happen today. Instead, Alexis caught sight of my keys once we were underway and announced that she would like to play with them. Well, not so much announced as demanded. It was imperative that she get her hands on the magical keys that make the SuperSaturn go Vrooom. I'm not sure how she spotted them in the ignition, I only brought the key and the fob today instead of my Janitor's Dream Collection of keys. She was mightily perturbed that she was not presented with said keys and proceeded to whine the whole way back home. A quick admonishment did not help much either. She merely took this as a sign that I was weakening and upped the ante. A little sob and some welling of the eyes. Yeah ... she was working the routine pretty methodically. Traffic was sparse since I picked them up 15 minutes early. We got home in record time and I sent them into the back yard to play till Mommy got home.
While we were playing, Jacob was doing his own thing by climbing up to the top of the North Tower and going down the super spiral slide. He has no qualms about it, no fear. Alexis on the other hand would prefer that you hold her hand on the way down the slide, only the short slide though. She will climb up to the top of the south tower by herself. She will swing on the low swings by herself as well, but would like you to give her a push every so often. While I was preoccupied with Alexis, I noticed a lack of noise from the other end of the sandpit. When I went over to look for Jacob, I did not see him anywhere. Commence code red panic attack now. There is not many places he could go in the back-50, but he could get into the wood-pile and pull some pretty heavy rounds down on himself or crawl under the mile-long deck. I quickly noticed that the hounds were congregating at the far end of the deck and deduced that my way-ward son may have gone to the end of the deck where he could crawl underneath. Not good. I call out his name and in an instant, he came zipping around the end of the deck at full throttle. My heart starts to move back down into my chest as I walk towards the little joker. I'm going to have to put a bell on him next time we go outside. That, or build a fence around the sand-pit to keep them in a 'safe-zone'. The little wire fences we use to keep the hounds out of the gardens have NO impact on the kids at all. The fence thing wont even happen this year so I guess one of us will have to keep an eye on them.
While Alexis was atop the south tower, she saw Mommy pull off the street behind the manor in the Family Tank and identified her right away. Keen eyesight, my little sniper in training. She immediately notified her ground based compatriot and they proceeded to marshall at grouping point alpha-omega ... the portcullis leading to the car-park. It was funny to watch them lay in wait for mommy to back up. The minute she shifted into reverse, the both started to leap up and down chanting 'Mommy-Mommy-Mommy'. Almost reminded me of a scene right out of 'Lord of the Flies'. Once Mommy had disembarked and made her way to the sand-pit, the twins began to play in earnest. Swing, ladders and slides were all put to the test ... 110% structural load capacity, shear testing ... the works. Until Eagle-Eye Alexis spotted Gus and Irene across the street in their garage. Nothing escapes her attention.
Since the kids were keen on visiting our neighbors, we took a little trip across the street. Gus and Irene were very happy to see the little ones and are always interested in letting them investigate their flower gardens. Alexis is usually a bit stand-offish and would only approach Gus once he offered a "Give me five" opportunity. Then she opened right up and laid some skin on him. Alexis and Jacob darted about the flowers and sniffed each on. While Gus and I chatted, the kids became quite brave and went right up to their back door .. and then tried to get inside. This thrilled Gus to no end. He quickly ran inside via the garage and unlocked the door to let them in. Irene, waiting in the kitchen, was delighted to have the two little ones burst into the house. Soon, due to her Greek heritage, she learned that this was a Trojan Horse attack as the kids went to work ransacking their domicile. Once we got all the phones put back on-hook and the televisions turned off, we herded the kids down to the family room where they had some fragile pottery and other breakables on display. Fortunately, they had some nuts laid out on a coffee table that Alexis zeroed in on. This nullified her destructive capabilities due to the nuts occupying her hands. Jacob, was neutralized by the piano they had. He immediately began to compose his first opus much to the surprise to Gus. He was stunned to see how Jacob could do a hack-kneed scale. The little Beethoven spent most of the time pounding away at the ivories. Noisy, but non-destructive.
Soon enough it was time to leave the shambles of Gus's home and take the kids home for dinner. We quickly spirited the kids away and got them situated. As soon as the Mrs was comfortable, I got a spool of twine and headed back over to help Gus with some lawn work. He had cut down some branches and was in the process of tying them up for the garbage collection the next day. We had interrupted his efforts so it would only be fair for me to give him a hand. It took very little time, we spent most of the time discussing trivial matters, his new snow-blower, our new car, the play set, the garden ... standard small talk. He and his wife are fairly easy people to talk with. I would like to invite them over some day when we get the dog-hair situation under control. Irene has some pretty fierce allergies and I would hate to expose her to something that would make her miserable for the rest of the week. I'll have to talk to Gus sometime and arrange something. After my neighborly acts of good will, I went to the woodpile and split a wheelbarrow of wood. Barely broke a sweat. I picked some of the easier pieces to knock apart, instead of the nasty-knotty stuff that you need 5000lb of pure force to get it to show a flaw or cleave line. If it all went this easy, I would be done by now. I'll get this stuff done some day. Hero-Dad has told me that he wants to help out so we can spend more time with the kids. It will be Halloween weekend so there will be much sugar induced hyper-activity. I am certainly grateful for the assist!
On the potty front, Alexis managed to make some water, much to Jacobs irritation. He went dry again. I guess he needs to prime the pump. The bigger issue is the whole #2 thing. If I can catch them before it happens, we would be golden. Never have I been so interested in the end product of digestion. Well, maybe except for that very first diaper change. But never since then.
I did not sleep well last night, it might be the coffee, it might be muscle pain. Not sure. I managed to get up at a touch before 0600 and get on the road by 0640. Things went quickly and we got the kids all wrapped up before they had a chance to complain much. It's nice getting on the road early, the traffic really moves. I have to remember to get into the fast lane if I get on the road before 0645. There were some pretty intense drivers out there this morning. Some a little too reckless. No wonder traffic is backed up, all the emergency braking and such. Perhaps if I got going at 0630 I would not have to watch and wince at some of the deadly maneuvers they make. I did get to work by 0715 though, not too shabby.