Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Day of Near Disasters

If I had energy to run and scream, I would have done it all day. 8 1/2 months pregnant, and I still would.

First, Anda was really quiet while I was changing and dressing Dan, so I finally went in to my bathroom, where I had last seen her. She was pretending my lotion was soap and was giving Dan's car a bath. Dan's car is a remote-controlled car, with batteries in it. Anda had it submerged in a sinkful of water. Nothing happened, luckily, despite all those warnings not to submerge battery-powered things. And we never did have the remote for it, so no great loss except for the lotion.

Then we went for a walk and Dan kept trying to dash into the parking lot and streets around the church. I usually can run faster than he can....but I kept him really close to the me just in case.

When we got home, everything was quiet and the kids went to play trains and legos in the kitchen. Unfortunately, I should have come running because it was quiet. About fifteen minutes later, Dan walked up smelling like vitamin B with yellow froth all over his chin and and an orange mustache. I knew Tim had lost a vitamin that we searched and searched for in the kitchen, and I finally found it and put it up high so Dan wouldn't get it.

Dan can reach higher than I thought. I went into the kitchen to find out what had happened. Sure enough, the B vitamin was gone. Not only that, Dan had emptied a bottle of Creamy French Salad Dressing onto a plate. I'm guessing he ate the vitamin a bit at a time, dipping it in dressing as he went. At least he got most of it on a plate and ate a B vitamin (not dangerous, I think). So that was annoying and messy. And Dan's had a lot of energy since then....

Later I discovered he'd emptied the other half of the dressing bottle into the brand-new pitcher of Koolaid we made. So that had to go.

Everything was calm and supervised for a while. Then I realized I had to feed everyone. By the time my visiting teacher called half and hour later, all the kids were crying. I wasn't feeding fast enough. So I got everyone sandwiches and started making dinner.

Dan, as usual, stood up on a chair beside me to "help." I managed to rescue a bottle of multivitamins he managed to reach (note to self: put everything movable higher than 5 feet up)--I had to pull it out of the microwave. I also managed to rescue the seasoning packets that I got out for dinner before he tore them open and spilled spices everywhere.

Then I had to go downstairs to get noodles. I was gone only a few minutes (like 2) and when I started upstairs I heard a funny noise. Then I heard the kids yelling. So I rushed into the kitchen. There were flaming spice packets in the microwave! It was flashing and groaning, and Dan was standing on a chair in front of it smiling and staring and laughing while Caleb and Anda stood frozen in fear, calling to me. Apparently spice packets are foil-lined.

I yelled, snatched Dan and opened the microwave in one motion. By then Tim was upstairs (he always knows which yelling means "disaster"). And we all stood in the kitchen in shock, grateful that we caught it all in time and upset that we couldn't leave Dan alone for 2 minutes.

During dinner, Tim and I started naming other disasters waiting to happen: he's become curious about outlets again; the electric can opener usually is plugged in--and sitting close enough to the sink that Dan might try to wash it; knives get left on the counter often; etc. Obviously our childproofing (which has been sufficient for two kids) isn't enough for this kid. He's too curious and too mechanically-inclined. We already have to keep the front door locked just in case--he wanders out and takes himself for walks, and isn't reasonable enough to stay out of the street. We have to keep Tim's office closed because he gets into Tim's backpack and finds vitamins there, or he uses the computer or sound equipment, or digs into millions of other "no-no's" (homework; contracts for music performances; inkjet refill ink). The toaster oven stays unplugged because he likes to "cook" stuff (my antique school bell is in there now). My kitchen stuff is gradually drifting upward--but he's gradually learning how to climb on top of counters. I'm going to have to get cabinet locks for the upper cabinets, too--and that's really hard on someone with fibro who can't hold her arms up long enough to get them open. Guaranteed Dan would find a way in, and it would only be mommy-proof.

So, I thought I was okay. Dan was sitting next to me on a chair while I started writing this. Then the kids came up to put a video in the TV/VCR combo--and it didn't work. It worked an hour ago! I finally opened the door and looked inside. Lo and Behold--even with me sitting right beside him, he can get in trouble. Dan had shoved a pen into the VCR.

I don't have enough eyes to keep this kid safe. I could reason with Caleb and Anda. Not so with Dan. His curiosity is stronger than his reasoning skills.

What happens in six weeks when I'm nursing and Dan wanders out of the room?!

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