Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Playing With Knives
I'm done with apologies for not answering my emails on time, for not keeping up-to-date on Facebook or for not returning phone calls.
From now on, I'm just sending this picture.
Honestly, I took FIVE MINUTES to try to catch up on some emails today - it had been five days since I'd checked them - when the doorbell rang to disrupt me. After answering the door, to inform the next-door-neighbor that my daughter was already outside playing, I noticed an empty cheese package lying on the play table. Following the trail of cheese into the kitchen I found Aidan and Matthew, both completely naked, balanced precariously on their plastic play chairs, busily and happily cutting strawberries they had found in the refrigerator - with steak knives.
I swear, I am not making this stuff up. (Frankly, I'm just not that creative!)
I didn't freak - in fact I grabbed the camera for a photo - before calmly extricating the sharp knives from their grubby little palms. There was no doubt in my mind I would not be finishing up those emails - and I wasn't wasting any time feeling guilty about it either. I have one friend who's a pediatric nurse and another whose sister is a plastic surgeon - and well, it didn't take either of their horror stories to make me know how close I was to disaster here. Small wobbly chairs, big sharp knives, happy little naked people.
My job is to keep those happy little naked people happy, and safe. Not to mention clothed and fed, but what the hey.
I'll admit I returned to finish up the last email I was working on before setting out a light dinner of cheese, strawberries and yoghurt on the balcony. When I got there, Aidan proudly pointed to the cheese that he had torn to shreds and fed into the flowerpot that has been festering in the corner for the past couple of weeks. It's been raining a lot lately and the empty pot has rapidly filled with rain water, moss, dirt and little creepy crawlies that I had just been looking at this morning and planning to throw overboard the next time the downstairs neighbors weren't home. (Sh - it's okay - they don't read my blog!)
I pay dearly for moments alone at the computer. The creepy crawlies were fed and I had to reach my hand into something that I would rather not have reached my hand into - and remember, I'm a veterinarian.
I'd spent the earlier part of the afternoon chasing Aidan and Matthew around town - literally ALL around town - for one and a half hours on their Laufrads, those little bikes without pedals they got for their third birthday. I've gone from pushing a heavy double stroller, to dragging two slow toddlers, to running as fast as I can after them as they carreen down the hills into oncoming traffic. It's not pretty.
But it's my job and it's my life right now. I kinda like it too. I've always liked living life on the edge. I've gone from nurturing my children to just trying to keep up with them. And yes, I am well aware that it is only going to get worse.
I keep documenting the moments - and yes, I'm behind on developing the photos too. And I try to keep the house clean (a thankless task), the laundry done (a neverending battle) and the meals made three times a day. I read, color, correct, explain, educate, entertain: I try to make their little lives varied and fun.
All of which means I have to be there.
I keep wondering when it's going to hit me that I'm a grown-up. I know my parents keep wondering when I'll start acting like one. But you know what? Seeing those knives today put a lot in perspective for me. What I have here could be over like that. And it's up to me to see that it's not. Is that being a grown-up? I dont' know - all I know is that I've got to get off the computer now and do something really important - keep an eye on the kids.
I'm going out to play now. I'll grow up after I make sure my kids do too.