Friday, March 19, 2010

The Great Outdoors...

So Spring has sprung in Tennessee!  Or at least it did yesterday.  We got up into the 60's with beautiful sunshine and the smell of warm weather on the wind.  It's weather like this that makes me miss coaching and being outside for a couple hours a day.  It was this optimistic outlook that I decided to take my two children outside in the backyard.
Our yard is a good size and fenced in.  (That made our search for a rental house difficult, but worth it.)  We back up to woods and there are a couple fruit trees and a storage shed.  It would be the perfect back yard if not for our two bumbling dogs, Tina and Butch.  They have worn paths through the grass where they run back and forth barking bloody-murder at cats, small children and the occasional baby bunny.  Tina at least seems to poop in a general area, making it easy for clean-up, but Butch goes exactly where the urge hits him, so there are landmines all over.  Scott is normally on the money with poop patrol, but it's been too cold to go outside, so we haven't worried about it.  Plus, we've been a little busy with this addition of a small and very demanding mouth to feed!

So knowing all this, and being drugged by the sunshine, I pulled on shoes and socks and hauled them outside (ow-sigh, as Elizabeth says).  As we entered the garage (which has a door to the yard), I realized that I didn't know how I was going to get the sleeping Rachel into the stroller while containing the ever-energetic and now very excited Elizabeth.  Looking back on it, I should have just closed the door, but I was in too good a mood to think clearly, so I trapped Elizabeth between my knees (so thankful my garage doesn't have windows) and strapped Rachel into the stroller.  And out we went.  
Almost immediately, Rachel woke up and started screaming and Elizabeth stepped in dog poop.  I tried pushing the stroller into the sun...scream.  Push the stroller back and forth gently...scream.  So I picked my baby up and followed a step behind my giggling (and running!) toddler.  She surveyed every square inch of the yard, picked up every leaf she found and handed it to me (yeaf!), and picked up every stick and handed it to the dogs.  (Butch took them all, you know, just in case they contained some sort of food.)  After 45 minutes of fun and trying to figure out if I should just throw my daughter in the bathtub with her clothes on, I announced that we were going to go in.  And that's when the fit started.

Of course, Rachel was starving, so she was screaming anyway and now Elizabeth went alto to her soprano wail.  My child has picked up this habit of making her legs go limp underneath her when she doesn't want to go where you want and drops to the grass like a sack of potatoes.  So I'm now dragging one crying child and carrying one screaming baby who is trying to gnaw my shoulder off and I am stuck with the dilema of going back in through the garage or going straight into the house from the deck.  I chose deck and proceed, all while promising to feed Rachel and give Elizabeth all the Cheerios she can eat when we get back in the house.  The deck offers its own temptation of dog water, and Elizabeth goes straight for the bowl and starts her screams anew as I grab her hand.  I kick off my shoes and pin my daughter between my knees again to get her shoes off (one handed, while still holding the baby) as I can only imagine the amount of dog poop accumulated on the bottoms.  I straighten up and reach for the knob...the door's locked.  I had locked the door.  Now I feel like crying.

So after getting our shoes back on, getting back down the steps and into the garage, I stripped my child down to her diaper and scrubbed her hands until they were pink.  I got Elizabeth some Cheerios in her "O's sippy" (this little container with a lid that's supposed to be spill-proof for toddler snacks...the biggest crock I have  ever purchased since she has found a way to dump out all the O's and just eat them off the floor) and collapsed into my rocker to nurse Rachel.

Day 1 of playing outside...done.

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