when it comes to my children i have two speeds. they are:
oh my gawd, isn't this soooo much fun!
... and ...
oh my gawd, what just happened!
i believe there are some grey moments in-between but am pretty sure all the children or i will ever recall are the moments in these two extremes.
yesterday morning, marty woke me to say she was making an early morning run to the store. the next thing i discerned was the slam of the front door which officially woke alex and consequently brought him to my bed which officially woke anthony (who was sleeping by my side) which officially woke troy. now that i was up, officially, and had two wiggly, giggly kids playing about me, i decided to begin my day and head to the shower. i put anthony on the floor, raised the gate in front of the stairs and told alex to come get me if there was a problem. once in the shower i assumed my usual position leaning in the corner of the stall to begin my twelve-minute pre-wash soak. after just a few minutes i heard a spectacularly loud crash followed by anthony crying. i killed the water, threw the curtain aside and shouted "oh my gawd, what just happened!" and bolted wet and towel-free toward the disturbance.
as soon as my foot hit the wood floor outside the bathroom it slid like a freshly sharpened ice skate. my body made an instinctual attempt to stay upright but lost and i continued falling backwards. the next to hit was my right butt cheek which when upon the wood slid like a freshly sharpened ice skate. in that i was still falling backwards my shoulder blade was the next to make contact and, yes you guessed it, it also slid like a freshly sharpened ice skate. i slammed into the wall that ended this short stretch of hallway to our bathroom. my legs were in the air and my fleshy bottom took the brunt of the impact against the baseboard. i looked to my left. alex was sitting on the floor sucking his thumb right next to where i stopped. he turned and looked at me expressionlessly.
what just happened alex!?!?
you fell down.
no. not to me, what happened to anthony? why is he crying?
i don't know. why you fall down?
because the floor is wet.
why the floor wet?
well, the floor isn't wet. i'm wet.
then why you say the floor is wet?
where's your brother?
(he wordlessly points into my room at anthony who is now not crying).
(i lay my wet head down on the floor, stare up at the ceiling and take a deep breath)
i can see your penis.
just think, all this fun and i'm just seven minutes into another day with children. in re-reading this account i see there's good reason we only remember the harshest sides of our lives. i mean it's admittedly not all that often you get to carry on a relatively calm conversation with a wet, naked adult sprawled awkwardly on the floor ... without paying for it in advance at least.