Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Making a Scene

This morning we were making our usual frantic attempt to get to Early Intervention on time when Fionn threw the proverbial wrench into the works. First he managed to dump an entire cup of cold water (pilfered from Emerson) into his lap, then he filled his diaper with a noxious concoction. I had just finished getting Emerson ready to walk out the door, so I moaned with the realization that we were once again going to make the walk of shame into school 15 minutes late. As I started to change Fionn's diaper, Emerson decided he wasn't about to let this slow him down. He managed to open the front door and proudly marched down the front steps with the dog close at his heels.

When I saw what was happening, I ran out screaming after him, a naked baby covered in poop dangling from one arm. I managed to get Emerson's arm and drag him back inside, but I saw the back of the dog disappearing around the corner and decided it wasn't worth chasing after her. As I suspected, she was waiting at the front door with her tail between her legs when we reemerged 10 minutes later.

At dinner tonight, Robbie and I started discussing how unfriendly the neighbors across the street are. Most of the neighbors have introduced themselves since we moved in, but these particular neighbors never even make eye contact. As we talked, I thought about the scene we created this morning and realized that may be part of why the neighbors are shunning us. In fact, we tend to make a lot of embarrassing scenes.

For example, I'm sure they often see me sitting in my car in the driveway for hours, reading a book or writing papers - not realizing that I have a perfectly rational explanation for this. Namely, the boys have fallen asleep in their carseats and I'm so grateful for quiet time that I'm not willing to risk moving them.

Or there was the time when Emerson was obsessed with the car, so every day for several days, Emerson would be sitting in the front seat of our car, turning the hazards on and off, honking the horn, etc. while I stood next to him reading theology books and wearing Fionn in the sling.

Or there is the daily scene of Emerson tromping up and down the sidewalk wearing a mismatched outfit, bright red galoshes, sunglasses and a floppy hat - pushing his favorite hot pink doll stroller with a baby doll precariously strapped inside. Meanwhile, I sit on the steps indiscreetly nursing a baby and yelling at the dog who manages to escape from the backyard every five minutes.

I would probably shun us too - we may be single-handedly bringing down the house values in the neighborhood. But you can't put a value on entertainment.


  1. That all sounds normal to me! On the other hand, I feel as if my entire experience of motherhood has consisted of making a spectacle of myself. My neighbors barely notice at this point.
    Hope the neighbors across the street warm up a little.
    You have very sweet kids (just discovered your blog)

  2. That reminds me of when we had just moved in to a new neighborhood and Danielle, our 3 year old, was playing in the neighbor's backyard with their little boy. I was hauling things into the garage from our truck when the neighbor appeared and asked if I had seen our children. I said no to which the neighbor replied, "Well, if you see your daughter you might want to give her these" and placed all my daughter's clothes in my hand.

  3. Ok, only wonder what your sister was doing without her clothes...gotta love kids... But unless your neighbors are kidless people, they should understand what you are up to...spending all that time in the driveway. I gotta say, the image of that is just too cute! And the image of Emerson pushing the hot pink stroller is even cuter!!!

  4. Oh, hanging out in the driveway. FOREVER. Yes, our neighbors think we're cooks too. We get out our jenky beach chairs and hunker down in our short, sloping drive with sidewalk chalk rolling into the street while Ari pulls out every toddler-level contraption imaginable, demands we get the ladder out again (um, no.), or tries to climb into the car. All while I try to nurse a baby and chase towheaded craziness simultaneously. And then there's the inevitable scream-fest when I declare "driveway time" over and try to drag him in the house for lunch. Yep, dat be where de crazy people live.