Happy after-Easter. I was a total slacker and haven’t written much lately… Just feeling burned out.
This was the first Easter my daughter sort-of comprehended. We decided she was a little too young for much more than a “Jesus loves you very much”. However, she’s certainly old enough to grasp the commercial benefits of the holiday. Especially “Canny”. “Canny! Canny! Canny! Open! Open! Open! Canny Peas!” (that’s “please” to you and me).
Smart parents that we are, we held off on letting her dive face-first into the chocolate depths of her Easter basket. We insisted on a good breakfast, and just a few sweets, and then her regular morning nap. It was a conscious decision to try and adhere to her daily routine, to avoid problems later when we were at my parents’ house for dinner.
We are well-intentioned fools
Grandma decided Sarah needed chocolate. More chocolate than I ever got, I’m sure. And she was soooo cute, with her little cheeks fat like a squirrel, cramming in piece after piece. Everybody laughed about how she shoveled it in. Meanwhile, in some peaceful countryside, where stands an aged statue of Augustus Gloop, alarm bells were clanging like mad, sounding the impending doom of the situation. But Michigan State was beating Kentucky — I had no room in my attention span for alarm bells. Besides, she sure looked happy.
2 overtimes later, we beat a hurried retreat from my parents. Unsettled at having stayed as late as we did, and well aware that we wouldn’t get home before 10:00, we aimed straight for home. Sarah was whining, and crying in that “my tummy hurts so bad I can’t even talk about it” way. We know this sound, and we knew it was because she’d eaten so much candy. Having none of her own tummy-ache medicine with us (fools), we offered her a single Rolaid (stupid fools).
Did you know adding a peppermint Rolaid to a child full of chocolate results in a sudden and violent reaction? That’s a scientific observation. We saw it happen. There’s something about chocolate vomit too… it’s almost a sickly-sweet, pleasant smell, that almost doesn’t bother you (right away), except for the noisy, non-stop delivery of it.
I pulled over on the side of the road, out in the boonies without aid of light, service-station or other civilization. I got out of my seat, opened her door and noticed she was covered in shi… chocolate just in time to see her add some more to the puddle. It was like watching the Easter-cist. Her head might have been spinning – I was too distracted by the nasty I was about to put my hands in to notice.
Another scientific observation of mine: The people who design car seats for children do not ever plan on having to remove a puke-covered child from the ultra-safe, NASCAR inspired 5-point safety harnesses. If they did, the clasps and buttons and clips might be on the side of the seat, out of the field of fire. I wonder if they laugh themselves silly knowing some poor schmuck will be stuck in such duty in the dark of night. Fear Factor ought to try this some time.
I did get her out though, and carried her around the car to her mother (in a sort of “I love you Sweetie, don’t cry, it’s okay, but don’t touch me either” manner). There we turned our attention to wiping the mess off of her. I’m macho. I used my bare left hand, wiping down her shirt and flinging the goop to the ground. We stripped her out of her clothes, which just made her cry more, because the temperature was hovering in the low 40’s. We wrapped her up in her blanket and P held her as I carefully drove back to the super-store we passed earlier, to get a change of clothes and a new car seat. The impromptu shopping trip actually calmed all of us down quite a bit.
Everything’s okay now. Right?
An hour later, back on the road, well past that spot on the side of the road, half-way home, I noticed something didn’t feel quite right. On my left hand. On my ring finger. It was naked.
Despite my want to fix the problem right away, I refused to turn around. Sarah was still whiny when she wasn’t barely asleep. I was angry, but there was nobody to be angry at. I also felt sick to my stomach. Not just because the car had lost that pleasant chocolatey smell and was now just plain old vomit. Not just because I had no idea where my wedding ring was (did it fall off when I was flinging vomit? Did it fall off when I washed my hands at the store? Is it at Mom and Dad’s? Is it in the store parking-lot where I was fumbling with the new car seat? Ugh!). It was mostly the sudden realization that I’d been careless and it was affecting other people I cared about.
My daughter didn’t feel good because I didn’t stop her from pigging out. We were all tired because I chose to stay to watch 2 overtimes on a game I didn’t really care about. I’d lost my ring, and it made me feel empty. My wife was uncomfortably 8 1/2 months pregnant, out later than she wanted to be, and still beautifully, trying to re-assure me that everything was okay. Nothing makes me feel more uncomfortable than being told everything’s okay when I don’t agree.
And so on…
Sarah spent the night crying.
P couldn’t get up to get her.
We went through two bottles, 2 diapers, one change of clothes and about 2 hours of sleep, total.
The car was almost out of gas.
I had nothing to take for lunch.
I had no time for breakfast. Or a shower.
I was not in a flowery mood.
God is, however, still in Heaven
This morning I drove out to where we’d cleaned Sarah up, and God had pity on me. I found my ring. Sarah’s cranky today but understandably so. I have a headache, but it’s not bad. Penny’s driving out here (it’s an hour from home to work) so she can go to a chiropractor appointment, and those seem to help out with the pain she’s been having.
Oh, and I’m going to Heaven. Don’t forget what yesterday was really about. Happy Easter.