Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Guest Blog: ANOTHER Evening With ABW's Kids

ABW asked me to write another guest blog.  So, as I sit here at ABW's home at Fort Carson doing even more laundry, I thought this was as good a time as any.

As a reminder for established readers and an fyi for new ones, my name is Dave.  I've known ABW since the Baylor Sailing Team college days before she was married with these three crazy wonderful kids.  I met Gunner before they were married and was one of the groomsmen in their wedding.  I've remained close to ABW and Gunner over the years and have gotten closer with the family over the last two as I was living in Denver for a time and am now, for unemployment reasons, a sort of gypsy back and forth between Colorado and Texas. 

As I'm on my way back to Dallas from Denver for awhile, I decided to stop off for a quick visit.  Of course, that quick visit has now turned into a couple of days as it's become obvious ABW needs a little assistance here.  I arrived at Fort Carson late Sunday afternoon and we met at the dog park so that our two designer (rescue) dogs could have a meet and greet.  This worked well when ABW's mother and new puppy visited several months ago, so we decided to give it a try due to the fact that our last visit involved a tempestuous cockapoo puppy not being too happy at having an older schnoodle trying to rule the roost.  This proved an excellent idea and they've become well behaved colleagues. 

Not long after we had arrived at the house, ABW decided to run out and grab pizza for the kiddos before taking Em to a girl scout ice skating event.  ABW wasn't gone ten minutes when Em tripped coming down the stairs and injured her ankle.  So, while she was laying at the bottom of the stairs crying, I began assessing the situation and damage.  I did know she was hurt, as opposed to a past incident with Abs at the park when she feigned a twisted ankle.  I raised Em's pantleg to look at her leg since we had heard a pop and the top of her ankle above the shoe.  Since I've had a sprained ankle before, I wanted ABW to get home before I removed the shoe since that could accelerate the swelling.  I called ABW and told her what happened and to get home.  Between all of us, I knew she'd be home in a matter of minutes but thought that my phone call would relieve Em a bit, knowing her mother was rushing home.  Of course, this event caused great excitement in the house.  By the time ABW entered the door, Emily was still on the floor crying with Junior dancing around her and Abs had begun playing the violin for a soothing effect.  Throw in two concerned pooches and it was a sight to behold.

After looking at the ankle and a telephone consult with ABW's mother in Texas who is a retired nurse, it was agreed upon that Em needed an ER trip--particularly since the next day's schedule alotted zero time for another appointment.  So, off they went with pizza in tow while Uncle Dave was left to put two children to bed.  As a huge relief, Abs was pretty well behaved.  She showered and besides a brief argument with Junior regarding the television and remote control, got settled down with Bella Serra on the computer and was essentially a non-event which was both appreciated and shocking.  Junior, of course, was a slightly different matter.  Getting him in the tub and bathed wasn't a big deal.   I could tell his eczema was bothering him so after administering the required nightly pullup, he got coated with both his prescribed ointment and aquaphor.  He loved this and told me over and over how good his skin now felt and how he needed this every single night.  He can be such a cutie pie.

So then I put him in his room to play and fall asleep.  I went up every ten minutes to peek in on him--the first time to turn off the light and the second to see what he was doing.  On this second visit I realized he wasn't in the room.  Sure, there's one gate up at all times, but thanks to Abs he's learned to escape.  I quickly scanned the upstairs to see where he was.  Did he go into Ab's room?  No.  I then saw that ABW's bathroom door was shut and the light was on.  I immediately went to open the door and it was locked.  "Junior, I know you're in there.  You need to unlock and open this door RIGHT AWAY."  I did have a moment of panic as I remembered a story of when I was a child and we were visiting my grandmother--I had run down the hall to the bathroom saying I was going to "shave like daddy" and by the time my mother and grandmother got there I had gashed my cheek.  Anyway, I heard the bathroom door unlock and I quickly opened it.  Junior was just standing in the middle of the large bathroom and yelled out "ta-dahhhhhhhhhhhh."  Cute, but not.  So, I put him back in his room and told him if he didn't behave I'd have to put up another gate (knowing I should but kinda didn't want to deal with it).  Junior said "you should probably put the gate up."  Of course, Abs yells out from her room that she could get out of two gates, but not three.  Yes Abs, I know and so does everyone else in blog-land.  But hey, I got a kick out of it as I had to love Junior's honesty.

So, most of yesterday was spent doing laundry.  A lot of laundry.  I won't say how much in an attempt not to embarrass ABW, but let's just say I did it all day and am still doing it today.  Lots of laundry means lots of folding.  And then you add all the clothes that were already clean but not folded and let's just say I've never folded so many clothes in my life.  I still required some assistance in trying to figure out whose clothes were whose.  I mean, Junior is easy but it can be more difficult regarding the girls. 

ABW got a call from daycare yesterday that Junior was being unruly so she had to pick him up early and got to keep him with her in the car half of the afternoon due to her crazy day of appointments and whatnot.  When they finally arrived home he ran up the stairs, saw me where I was busily folding clothes and yelled "Uncle Dave!!!"  I greeted him enthusiastically and then asked him where his clothes were as he was only wearing a pull-up.  His answer was a flat "I don't want to talk about it."  Ah, a good day was had by all.

ABW still had appointments for the kids as she was going all day nonstop.  I mean, she went through a half tank of gas yesterday running around--what with taking the girls to school, Junior to daycare, herself to crossfit (her only escape), a doctor's appointment for her, picking Junior up early, picking Em up early from school and taking her to the orthodontist, then picking Abs up from school, then dropping Em off at home (where she spent a long time matching socks), taking Abs to OT and then later to violin.  Amazingly, we were able to get everyone to bed and Em agreed to babysit for awhile while we ran down the street for an awesome German meal.  Yes, I wish I was able to help ABW with all the running around but it was more important for me to wait out the four hour window for the maintenance men to come work on the constant beeping from the smoke/carbon monoxide detectors driving everyone, dogs included, nuts.  ABW had already pulled some down but others just kept going.  In perfect fashion, the maintenance men neglected to show during the prescribed window and when they finally showed up later and after a time-consuming inspection explained that it was a wiring issue and that someone would have to come out the next day (luckily they disconnected the wire so the sporadic beeping would stop).  And hey, no biggie as I already have to spend this afternoon waiting around for another maintenance man to come fix the leak from the icemaker dripping water down into the fridge and making a mess.  Apparently I'll be adding "fridge cleanup" to the list of things I'm doing around the house. 

Well, that's all for now as the laundry is calling.  And one final note all you mothers can relate to--regular sized loads of laundry with children's clothes are an extra joy as it's just more clothes to be folded.  I mean, I'm used to only having to fold adult clothes (I'm 6'2") and not those of people much smaller who, for one reason or another, change clothes frequently. 


hmb said...

Oh your kids are such characters!! Hope Em is feeling better today!

PS--got my necklace last week and I'm in love!

CBB said...

I loved this post. I know this is a stressful time for you and your family and it must really help to have such an established and good friend around for support. It's amazing how good friends can be even more supportive than family sometimes. Plus, it's always nice to have a different point of view on your family dynamics. Thanks Dave for your amusement and support of a military family. Not to go on and on, but it's the family who is most often forgotten by the public when our soldiers deploy.

Gypsy at Heart said...

Everyone should have a friend like you, Dave!I am sure you have a greater appreciation for your life after a visit with ABW & all.

cj said...

You're a gem, Dave.


Nicky said...

What an awesome friend you are to them both!

Renee said...

Uncle Dave, you are such a trooper!

Lemon Stand said...

I'm probably laughing a lot more than I should be, but not only have I been there, done that schedule, it's priceless to read it from someone else's point of view.

But really, I'm still stuck on: Junior said "you should probably put the gate up." and "I greeted him enthusiastically and then asked him where his clothes were as he was only wearing a pull-up. His answer was a flat "I don't want to talk about it.""

Great post Dave. ABW, if I could give you the gift of another twelve hours in a day, you know I would do it... but my MIL (she had 7 kids) once told me that even if there WERE more hours in a day, they would just fill up until it hit maximum over ride again, so I will just settle for wishing you a little extra rest while Dave is around. (You're lucky. One of my BIL is still single, no kids and he's TERRIFIED of five nieces in one location with HIM present. The panicked deer in the headlights look is priceless)

Heidi said...

I have a new job for Uncle Dave . . . POTTY TRAINING . . . maybe he will get it better from a guy? Hey it's worth a shot, LOL.