Last year the muppets celebrated the Fourth of July by preparing to move into a shared crib. Jon and I came home from the NICU and climbed to our roof to watch fireworks lighting the night sky in celebration of how far the little dudes had come.
This year, the muppets were so excited to experience our nation’s birthday (and GrammaJ and GrampaStavo’s anniversary) that the anticipation kept them up all night.
Back and forth as though they’d choreographed it, the muppets screamed bloody murder. I held them in turn – each individually calming as long as they were in my lap. Part of Search’s theatrics involved sheer exhaustion. So I picked up the inconsolable Destroy and took him into the other room – where he promptly sat up and happily began babbling about his plans for the following morning.
Destroy wasn’t interested in any milk, so finally we decided to head downstairs for a midnight snack. This is how I found myself half asleep at a kitchen table with 1 a.m. closing in on me while a fireworks display of Cheerios illuminated the background.
At 6 a.m. we were up again. It was Independence Day!
We began our patriotic initiatives with a breakfast of bananas, blueberries and raspberries. Search spit out all the red berries, following suit from the Strawberry Rejection of July 3. That afternoon, he rejected tomatoes. Apparently we are boycotting red.
Breakfast was followed by a morning meltdown and refusal to nap, despite running on less than five hours of sleep. THINGS TO SEE PEOPLE!
To pass the time, we read “Trucks” 27 times. I am not making this up. Destroy would pick up the book, hand it to me and sit back happily. Woe betide any attempt to skirt a full reading or let Search take hold of this fascinating story (“Big Rig. Loader. Ambulance. Dump Truck”). At one point, Search took the book from my hands to see how it tasted. (He seems to prefer “Adventures at the Zoo – A Pop-up Discovery.”) Destroy began to wail, pausing only to launch himself at his brother – tackling him to the ground and regaining possession of his precious book.
He crawled over, handed me the book and sat back expectantly. “Big Rig. Loader. Fork Lift…” The book was ripped from my hands with a wail. He handed it back to me and sat back happy once more. Sigh… “Big Rig. Loader. Ambulance. Dump Truck…”
At lunch, with the exception of the aforementioned tomato decline, both little guys stuffed themselves silly. Search stuffed himself sleepy, falling asleep mid-bite of an avocado. They were down for a nap by 11:45 a.m. I thought we may have recovered from our unfortunately eventful evening and I prepared for the relaxation of a three-hour nap.
That was dumb.
An hour and a half later Destroy realized his sleep protest had been thwarted. One of my son’s more noticeable qualities is his extreme power of projection. The kid is loud. And he made his consternation of crib confinement known. Quickly. Loudly. This reminded Search that he didn’t want to be asleep either. (If you give a mouse a cookie…)
I acquiesced to their demands and we descended the stairs to the playroom. I heard a pitiful squeal and turned just in time to see Destroy rebound off the ledge of a step. There was a moment of silence as the wounded muppet contorted his face into a shocked scream devoid of oxygen. When I picked him up, his lips were the same cherry red as Old Glory’s strips.
It was our family’s first bloody battle. Little man had split his lip.
Thankfully, it was a mostly superficial bite caused by his newly protruding teeth. (The arrival of which he is none to pleased about even when they’re not tearing at his little baby lips.)
Finally! It was time for fireworks.
Our city was not offering the usual nightfall fireworks display this year, but a neighbor down the street always has a full stock of illegal fireworks. And not those namby-pamby little sparklers either, we’re talking the big giant ones that make houses down the street shake as it is engulfed in the sonic boom.
They began at 7. Each launch terrified a cranky sleep-deprived muppet. Shock, and awe, followed by the wail. Make it stop, Mommy! Not to worry – Scout, our black lab, let us know he had the situation covered. He would protect the neighborhood from the booming noises!
I surveyed my surroundings: two screaming infant/toddlers clinging to me for dear life and a crazy dopey barking dog leaping vertically at my front door. Cooper, our yellow lab, looked at me briefly before turning tail and putting his 8-year-old grumpy self to bed in irritation with the whole sitcom unfolding in his house.
I broke at 10 p.m. and called the cops. Yeah, I’m *that* lady.
We’re a year (almost) free from the NICU and we’re growing in our own little independent ways. We SHARE our feelings, thoughts and wants. And even on the verge of a nervous breakdown, this mommy is so thankful for that freedom for them to grow up happy and healthy.
(I do feel it’s worthwhile to note that when Grandma came over to babysit Tuesday morning, they were perfect little grandson angels. Anyone surprised?)