So Jules drops off Alex this morning and two minutes later, knocks on the door again. She stands there looking at me for a minute and then says, "Nevermind." She was going to ask for a diaper wipe because she sat in Alex's juice in the car, but then realizes the damage is too extensive and she'll have to go home and change. As she turns around to leave, I see an enormous wet spot. I figure it is an omen for the morning.
I go to wake up Gunder, who has had Too Much Thanksgiving. (See the Berenstain Bears Too Much Birthday.) He is still trying to recover from the freedom and unabashed joy of vacation from school and he is losing the battle. He has a hard time getting up, and my gentle prodding and kisses on his cheeks aren't doing it. I realize I'm not going to be able to bribe him every day, like I did yesterday, with a new toy if he'll just get moving and be a big boy. I'll go broke, and have one extremely spoiled kid. Well, more spoiled, anyway.
The clock is ticking, so I finally drag him downstairs with a blanket where he sits on the couch, rolled up in a ball. He migrates to the heater vent and I try to muscle him into his clothes. He screams that they're too cold to put on, and I feel an aneurysm coming on because the heat is blasting me in the face and I'm ready to Vesuvius. I ponder on the fact that I should have started waking him up about two hours earlier.
I get myself dressed, and looking at the cold and snow outside, decide to put on my snazzy new black boots. The only problem is that the teenage girls have informed me that I need to tuck my pants into them. I have told them that all my jeans are boot cut, that I don't wear skinny jeans, a fact for which they should thank me daily. They tell me to peg the boot cuts. I've already done the pegging. It was in the 80s when I was on the cutting edge of fashion.
With a shrug, I peg the pants. It looks...passable. I've cooled off, now that I'm no longer standing in the heater vent's direct line of fire, and realize I need a sweater. I throw on the Mrs. Weasley sweater Nina makes fun of, and a baseball cap because my hair is atrocious. I avoid the scarf, which I love, but generally makes me gag in the morning. (Thank you, Grandma Campbell, for the lovely genes.)
Gunder doesn't want his usual apple or Gogurt for breakfast, and Alex suggests cinnamon toast, to which Gunder reluctantly agrees. By now, it's five minutes away from departure and Gunder is still missing socks and shoes. I make the toast and throw it at the boys, stuff Gunder's feet into his socks and shoes, turn around to grab the coats only to realize that Gunder has kicked off his shoes because his feet "feel weird."
I sit on the couch with an inhuman growl and tell him it's just the socks bunching up. He tears up a little and says he's sorry, and I look at his puffy, bloodshot eyes and my heart breaks. I want to tell him he never has to go to school again, that I'll homeschool him and that no woman in the world will ever love him more than his mother. Instead, I kiss him, rub his face a little, and then shove his feet back into the shoes. I tell him that when he walks, he won't notice the socks. (Which we all know is a lie.)
We get out to the car, and it's, oh, 9 degrees outside. Yesterday, Mark cleaned off my car and warmed it up for me before he left for work. Today there's no new snow, and I'm sure he figured I could manage the warming up part by myself. He didn't take into account the fact that I, also, have had Too Much Thanksgiving.
Gunder shivers as he tries to buckle himself in while I get Alex into his carseat. Alex tells me he's hot, and I tell him he isn't. He insists he's hot, and I look at his red cheeks, realizing he probably is. The kid has an inner furnace like no other. Being hot makes him livid. By now, Gunder is shivering so much he's getting a good workout. He has zero body fat.
We pick up Jonas, and I put him and the carseat into the way back by Gunder, because the three of them don't like being squished together in the middle row. Check that. GUNDER doesn't like being squished in the middle row. As I buckle Jonas in, the fumes from the exhaust make their way into the car, and the boys all begin to gag. I tell them to stop it. At least it's warm.
My snazzy new boots are useless against the cold. They are content being just snazzy.
Gunder's mood improves as we get underway. Jonas tells him jokes and Alex is singing some ditty about farm animals. The line at the school is about 20 miles long. I tell the boys to sit tight and we make our way to the drop off point in front of the school. Rather than slow traffic further, I tell the boys to get ready to unbuckle and climb over the seat to the middle row, where they can open the door themselves and get out. They laugh themselves silly, which escalates to cackling and then maniacal screaming as they flail about, arms, legs and backpacks everywhere.
They stumble and fall out of the car, with Alex calling for Gunder to tell him goodbye. Gunder tries to slam the door, but a Huggies diaper wipe container is in the way. He throws the container back in while I yell at him to tell Alex goodbye. He shuts the door with a quick, "Goodbye, Alex!" and he and Jonas walk to the door together like the cool 6 and 7 year-olds they are.
On the way home, Alex drops his toy car and has a meltdown, wanting me to get it for him RIGHT NOW. I pull into the Conoco drive-up window and order a 44 oz decaff Diet Coke, cursing the fact that I have a psychological addiction to a cold beverage. I am grateful, however, that it is void of calories, otherwise I would be as wide as a barn door. At least I've kicked the caffeine, which makes my heart a-fib. My sister who works at the hospital tells me it's not actually a-fibbing, it's PVCs, which does me no good because all I can visualize with that are white plastic pipes.
We finally make it home, and when we get inside, Alex proves he has assimilated himself well by following in the fine Allen tradition of FREAKING OUT if something isn't working well. He can't get his coat off, and I did mention he hates being hot? He also has a spot on his pants which makes me nervous because he's been battling some nasty diarrhea the last few days.