"How was your weekend?"
I tend to answer the same way lately: "Good. Low-key."
Saturday morning, Squish was up at 5. Time may have expanded for that moment. I have no idea. I am pretty sure I reached over Bug and tapped my husband in a plea for help. (Yes, reached over Bug... we may have lost the war on that one... maybe just the battle... but probably the war.)
The four of us went grocery shopping later that morning. About twenty minutes into the Big Shop, Squish started to cry. I carried him around the store in search of a pacifier. Nothing.
An employee with a tray of samples asked, "Does he want some granola?"
I replied, "We'll see..."
Squish batted the granola away. I folded up the paper cup and put it in my pocket.
I found the baby food aisle. I tore open a pouch of peas, pears, and who knows what else, and I gave it to Squish. Immediate relief. It took him about two minutes to finish off those four ounces. Then, he started to cry again.
I was trying to open another when Bug and my husband arrived. Bug asked for a pouch, but I was stuck trying to open Squish's second pouch.
Squish cried harder.
I looked at my husband and asked him to open the pouch. He quickly obliged.
I tried to open a third pouch - this one for Bug. Again, I had to ask my husband for help.
(Was my ability to open that first pouch some kind of SuperMomma feat of strength fueled by the adrenaline rush resulting from Squish screaming in my ear? Or were the second and third pouches just really, really hard to open?)
I grabbed a box of cereal bars, just in case the baby food pouches didn't have much staying power, and the four of us resumed our Big Shop For The Week. About two minutes later, Bug and Squish each had a cereal bar.
Equilibrium seemed to have been restored until we were half-way through the check-out, when Squish started to fuss again. I grabbed the prepared food that we had bought for our lunches, took the boys to the tables and chairs by the windows, and left my husband at the check-out to pay for the groceries.
Lunch went well enough. After we were finished, my dear, sweet, thoughtful husband took all of our garbage to the garbage/compost/recycling bins near the door. I was getting Bug and Squish organized and ready to leave.
Bug went ahead toward my husband.
I was getting everything else together and looked up about ten seconds later. I saw my husband, with his back to me, still sorting garbage/compost/recycling, and where I expected to see Bug, there was no one. No one. No Bug. No three and a half foot tall creature bounding toward his dad.
That was the first time in the weekend when my heart stopped.
Bug, at the door to the store, turned around and came over with a look on his face like, "Oh hey, Mommy! How's it going?"
The rest of the day hummed along.
That night, I put Squish to bed. I held him in my arms - his head in the crook of my arm, his hand on my chest, right over my heart - and I rocked him until he fell asleep. Time expanded.
Later that night, we sat down for dinner with friends who had come over for the evening. Bug called out several times during the meal. The last time he called out, I decided it would be easier just to stay with him until he fell asleep. Of course I also fell asleep and woke up fifteen minutes later a little disoriented, but the will to spend time with other adults was strong. So, I shook off the exhaustion and returned to the dinner table at 9:45.
The next day, Sunday, hummed along. A play date in the morning that went very well. A nap in the afternoon (for me!).
After the afternoon nap, it was warm and the sun was still up (a late-afternoon luxury that New England autumns give out sparingly), so we went for a family walk to the nearby pond. Bug on his little scoot bike (two wheels, no pedals), Squish in the stroller, and my husband and I walking along the bike path. We got to the pond for the sunset. Bug and my husband went down to the edge of the water. Bug splashed his hands in the water and talked about whales and sharks and ducks. Time expanded.
On the sidewalk, a few blocks from our apartment, we were crossing a driveway. Bug, on his little scoot bike, had been riding to our left on the sidewalk with the street on the other (right) side of us. Bug went from behind me on my left to just in front of me on my right into the street. My husband called out, "Whoa!" I saw Bug. I heard the car coming. I grabbed his arm. My heart stopped for the second time that weekend. He was fine. Time expanded. Time effing exploded.
Yet somehow, the rest of the evening hummed along.
That night, Squish fell asleep with his hand on my chest, over my heart, and time expanded yet again.