I planned an outing for Beren and I, so Jared could have a quiet house. Our progress out the door was fitful. Truly.
We started the morning by making a batch of muffins from one and half blackened, lunchbox wrenched, counter-aged bananas. My inner cheapskate could not allow the fruit to be discarded. Beren was surprised by what fell out of the banana skins and into the bowl before him - a gooey, grey log with some patches of recognizable banana flesh.
I demonstrated mashing with a potato masher. [As I write this, I queried my husband for a synonym for "mash." He rubbed his temple. "Hhhmmm." His eyes searched the ceiling briefly. I thought he might fall asleep. It is 10:37pm. "Ahh, I think "mash" is the only word for "mash." So there you go, "mashing" and "mash" in one sentence, and now in a second sentence also.]
Beren became bored after a few strokes, so I approached the bowl with an egg. He pointed wildly. "Hungry? Want to eat this egg?" Yes, yes, he nodded. "Cook," he said.
I popped a beautiful free range chicken egg into a pan of water, turned back with my egg, and cracked it into the bowl. More wild gestures. "Your egg is cooking, Beren. Now mash the egg."
Later, the egg Beren desperately wanted was squashed and 1/8th eaten. I turned my attention to packing a canvas bag with snacks, a canvas bag with diapers, a backpack with my wallet, water bottle, mittens, and a heavy winter coat, a canvas bag with a pair of too-small fleece toddler pants to return to Baby Gap, and empty canvas bags for shopping.
I then attempted to put Beren's shoes and jacket on. Elbows flew. Feet kicked. Teeth gritted. Complaints from both parties lodged. The shoes and jacket went on and then the toddler nursed to patch up the relationship.
"Momma needs to go pee, and then we're going," I told Beren.
"Correction. We're outta here at the speed of fossilized pteradactyl sh*t," I told Jared on another pass through the office.
Fifteen minutes later we left.
"Ok, fossilized pteradactyl sh*t, have a good time," Jared smiled as he held the door for us.
Getting into Beren the carseat was difficult. The encounter ended with a buckled child and an angry mother who slammed the car door so hard she reopened it to assure that it still worked. "I hope Jared isn't watching," she thought. Once in the car I gave my red-faced son a tiger lady stare. His crying ceased. A half mile down our lane, I turned to look at Beren. He grinned. I laughed.
The rest of the day went more smoothly. Kind of. I burnt Beren's mouth on a sample of chicken at Trader Joe's. I poked his eye with a table-top sized Fraser fir in the parking lot of Lowe's. He skinned his hands chasing a cat at Terhune Orchards.
In between the minor bumps, we enjoyed the chicken once it cooled. The tinsel and lights at the hardware giant pleased us both. After all, I hadn't planned on buying a tree, but we left with two strands of lights and the eye poking tannenbaum. We played with Legos at Barnes & Noble. We snacked on Trader Joe's smoked salmon in the car as the rain drizzled. The diaper intended for Beren's diaperless bottom wiped dry the seat of a mini John Deere at Terhune's. We took a few spins across the dirt. We stomped in puddles in every parking lot.
Back at home, we were all tired and hungry. "Maybe we should all have a snack, and I'll make dinner," Jared says.
I turned Beren's golden yolked egg from breakfast into egg salad. "Is this for Beren?" Jared asked as he put a forkful into his mouth. Beren refused to eat, opting to climb onto the table. Tired and unable to listen to our requests to "sit", I put him on the floor. He protests. He wants "up" and to nurse.
"Momma's eating," I say a couple times. Sanctions are lifted for a tired kid. His face becomes red, and I feel him strain. A piece of baby poop hits my big toe.
At the speed of fossilized pteradactyl sh*t, we three move towards the bathroom to clean up. It was a great day.