Sunday, May 22, 2011
This weekend was about Harlow. While everyday is about Harlow, the past six weeks have mostly been about that new kid on the block, and big sister has taken it all in stride.
She has fetched diapers, applied pacifiers, kissed her brother's face, only stuck her fingers inside his mouth once and maybe squooshed his head a handful of times, doing it all with aplomb. And then several days ago, in her small girly voice, after repeatedly asking me a question while I cooed over her brother, she folded her arms and declared that nobody liked her anymore.
I scooped her up (after scooping up my heart off of the floor) and reassured that definitely was not the case. In fact, she was liked so much that we planned out several activities over the weekend devoted just to her.
Friday night - picnic at the Wizard Garden, the newest attraction at the Memphis Botanic Garden, complete with wandmaking, magic potions, and wandering magicians. While she and her daddy explored the grounds, I got dinner ready for Declan, suddenly remembering that I had failed to bring a blanket or cardigan or anything that I could use to afford me a little privacy while nursing in public. So that rainbow blanket in the pic above? The giant blanket I was sitting on? I yanked a giant corner of it over me and Baby D, effectively turning us into a large rainbow burrito. And for some reason I still can't figure out, rather than taking the 10 seconds to shift my body and child in any other direction, I chose to face the entrance of the garden, so that everyone who walked in to the picnic area was greeted by a grown, heavily sweating woman rolled up in a rainbow cannoli. And the dude playing the didgeridoo right behind me.
As if I didn't feel enough like an asshole. I saw those looks when other families came in - how could we not be in cahoots, weird breastfeeding rainbow girl and the white beatboxer who whispered spoken-word over pre-recorded train whistles and rainsong?
My family finally returned to claim me, Harlow with a homemade wizard's hat, feather pen and potions bag. After our picnic dinner (turkey sandwiches and Dragon's Blood (grape soda - her first!), it was time for more exploring. Harlow wanted to return to her favorite play area, and I wanted to work on giving her a little freedom, so I chatted away on the phone while watching her scamper around the slides from a safe distance - until she started hollering for me.
I hustled over to the top of the playground corkscrew slide - she was about a 1/4 of the way down and had jammed on the brakes because of "weird goo" on the slide.
I told her she had to keep going down.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! at a decibel level I didn't know she could reach was her reply. This from the child who will pee her pants so she won't have to pause and episode of Max&Ruby suddenly objected to sliding in goo. She started screaming in earnest, and I did the only thing I could think to do - I got down on my belly and crawled as far into the slide as I could to grab her arms. It was ridiculous how serious this suddenly became.
Suddenly I was Sly Stallone in Cliffhanger.
MOMMMYYYYYYYY! she screamed.
Just hang on! I panted, her hands slipping from mine.
Harlow, breathe. Relax, just don't let go, I begged. She was twisting away in panic. I could feel her slipping away. I dug my fingers into her arms and pulled as hard as I can.
When I had to actually remind myself that she was stuck inside a PLAYGROUND SLIDE and not about to plummet into an abyss, for godsakes.
Sweat dripping from my forehead, I fished her out and she fell into my arms. I hugged her and picked her like she was baby. She was safe. The 8 year old waiting behind us in line actually turned away so we wouldn't see her laughing.
Surely Saturday would redeem us. Saturday was Breakfast with Belle at the Bookstore formerly known as Davis-Kidd (and please know that regardless of what I am about to write, I am THRILLED it is still here). Harlow put on her princess dress and slippers and we made our way over to East Memphis to break bread with the Beast's main girl. Except she wouldn't be joining us for breakfast. Really, I don't blame her as the buffet pancakes were sterno-torched, but Harlow was starting to get a touch impatient. We were told to move to the story area to prepare for the main event when a staffer/friend pulled me aside to give me a headsup - Belle would not be joining us that day. For reasons unclear, the children were to be informed that her majesty's wagon got stuck in the mud and sadly she would not be able to make her own party.
And what did I do? Mother who had hyped said event to her child for the previous 24 hours, reading Belle stories and getting daughter ridiculously amped?
I pulled out my camera and waited for them to break the news, poised to snap fifteen-odd princess dreams destroyed in one fell swoop.
I'm a class act.
To her credit, Harlow took the news in stride and sat gamely for the Kix 106 DJ who read a Belle story. She also did not bat one long eyelash when said DJ paused from the story to say "Oh my gosh, y'all! Can you BELIEVE that Gaston just stabbed him in the BAY-UCK?
I loved every second of it. Harlow just wants to know who is going to help Belle out of all that mud.