A United Front

If my stories of bedtime woes have grown old, as they have indeed for me, you may skip this paragraph, an experience I unfortunately do not get to skip. Friday's naptime made me realize that I need to start wearing a stronger deodorant. Or actually, I need to start wearing deodorant on a daily basis. I honestly don't stink, and Keith is always telling me I never do enough physical labor to work up a sweat anyway, which proves my non-stinkiness. Anywho, after taking away various tiny motor vehicles as an attempt at leverage to get Ivan to stay in bed, I just started putting him back in each time his little feet hit the floor, which was about every 3 seconds. I'd place him in bed, and he'd roll till his lower half was hanging off. And repeat steps 1 and 2 at least a hundred times before I gave in and once again became The Barricade. That should be my new nickname. Of course he wailed for 30 minutes before falling asleep mid-cry. The silver lining in what surely has to be my darkest hour? Garris fell asleep in the middle of it all.

What do you do to occupy 2 rowdy boys who have been bathed and put in PJs, i.e. getting sweaty outside is no longer an option, and all bags are packed for checkout but the common area of your guest house is full of people who may not appreciate the volume of said rowdy boys, oh, and dinner is running late, which will be followed by the quiet, sacred coffee ceremony? So basically, before we even left on our 24-hour journey to home, we were plum worn out from keeping the guest house and our waiting luggage from being destroyed. That was another dim couple of hours. But the darkest of the day was yet to come: The Airport! Gasp!

Let me begin by saying it will probably take more than 1 post to get through the horror of our airport experience. Absolute horror. And, I also need to preface it with the fact that it was quite possibly the worst experience of my life. Definitely beats labor. Beats breast feeding. And beats potty training by a smidge.

By the time we boarded the plane, I had chased down the boys a dozen times, broken up fights, been puked on, and was wet with the pee or saliva or sweat of another woman's child. I just had to know which liquid had soaked my clothes. I can stand the sweat and maybe even smelly toddler saliva, but definitely not the pee. So I did what any other normal gal would do: I forced Keith to sniff various places on my body. He was a little hesitant at first. People were boarding the plane all around us, and he is embarrassed by ANYTHING that could draw unnecessary attention to him. But I successfully persuaded him with my tone...and by assuring him all the places I'd sniff on his body in public if he asked. In the end, dry, non-smelly clothes were not needed.

It is times like this in which I wished I knew Amharic, more than the dozen or so words I can use correctly half the time. Being able to tell them exactly what to do, whether they obey or not, would indeed make out time more meaningful. Blah, blah, blah... What I really want to know is what they're saying to each other. I know often it is about us, and there have been several occasions in which they are either plotting against us or telling the other to do something he knows is wrong. Either way it's Us against Them.

I keep telling Keith we must be a united front. If they sense any weakness, that will certainly be the target of the next strike. This is true for all parenting, but our need for it just grew exponentially.

If I don't get the Mother of the Year award after this experience (what seemed like the The Never Ending Story), we will have a serious problem.


  1. I know you are not writing this for accolades. But you deserve them. You and Keith are doing an amazing job.

  2. I love reading your posts. There's no hiding your emotions...LOVE it!!! Glad yall are back safely.

  3. I love your post, makes me feel like I'm watching a movie with all the detail. I can't wait to see a new family photo and to hear what the kids think of each other.

  4. And you thought Avery was challenging... hehe :) Can't wait to come meet them but in the mean time let me know if you need anything at all!