While Elizabeth slumbered on, Carolyn and William were just waking up from their nap, so I took both of them out of their cribs and ran outside so they could greet their Noni. It's been 3 months since they've last seen their grandmother. Their reaction?
Ah, Noni, Spumoni.
Yet ... a mere five minutes later, when Noni sat on the floor and opened her Mary Poppin's like bag and pulled out a collection of new children's books, videos and airline pretzels, they were all over their grandmother like peanut butter on our table following lunch.
In case you were wondering, the secret to unleashing a toddler's heart is a few new books and some airline snacks.
After visiting for an hour, and since mom had been traveling since 3 AM Pacific Time ... I encouraged her to go lay down and take a rest. At first she was a bit resistant and told me "Oh no, I feel great. I don't want to miss a thing!!" But when I reminded her that Oprah was on at 4 PM in California, she barreled out of the room so fast I thought she might knock down her grandchildren she'd been doting over, just a moment before.
My mother LOVES Oprah. As long as Oprah Winfrey has been on the air, I don't think my mother has ever intentionally missed an episode of her show. Infact, I remember calling my mother after our children were born. Our conversation went something like this: "OH HI JEN! It's so great to hear from you. Can I call you back? Oprah's on and she's got Tom Cruise!"
It happens at least once every couple weeks, mom will call me and say "Oprah was wonderful today. JUST WONDERFUL. Did you happen to see her trip to Africa and the work she is doing with the orphanages?" To which I'll always reply "It's hard to watch television, unless it's The Wiggles, during the day." And in return, mom will say "Oh, I could never miss Oprah. She's wonderful!"
Yesterday, mom settled in her room to watch Oprah's cross-country trip across America. If I could just learn to relax and let our children rip apart an entire book case in less than a minute - perhaps I too, could watch Oprah every afternoon at 4. Unfortunately, at this point in my mothering career, I cringe when I hear paper being torn.
Mom ... not so much.
She just cranked up the volume and smiled. I honestly don't remember my mother ever being so relaxed when I was a kid. But then again, she didn't have Oprah.
Mom then tested my boundaries a little more, when she
We came home from our walk and enjoyed a wonderful dinner. Even though mom recently started the South Beach Diet, I told her that all she needs to do to lose weight is try eating dinner with multiple toddlers on her lap.
Even mom, the super maternal being that she is, drew the line on sharing her water with William when he gave her back some of the zucchini that he'd *tried* from her pasta sauce. He's such a generous little guy. If he doesn't like something, he'll give it right back to you.
In all seriousness - it is really wonderful to have mom here. I truly wish that I could see her every day. It makes me sad to the point of crying, when I remember she is flying home in 9 days. Speaking of crying, you'll never believe what happened today.
The absolute UNTHINKABLE.
What is the absolute worse thing that could happen in the world of my children? More specifically, in the world of Elizabeth?
I'll give you a clue: It's pink with floppy ears.
Bunny ... as of 1100 hours ... is MIA.
I came home from a 12 hour work day to be met at the door by my mother whispering "We've lost B-U-N-N-Y." The last sighting of b-u-n-n-y was at naptime. The children woke up at 3 PM and they played in the house, yard and garage. Sometime between 3 PM and 7 PM b-u-n-n-y vanished. Between Charlie and my mother, they spent 4 hours ripping apart the house, yard and garage ... to no avail.
It was so bad that mom and Charlie had to spell where they have last looked for b-u-n-n-y. Trashcan? Diaper pail? Inside? Outside? Couch? Cribs? Cupboards? Dishwasher? Just the mention of the word "bunny" would send Elizabeth in to a teary panic.
For as long as I can remember, I have dreaded this day.
On a much brighter note, Charlie's back is on the mend. That's a darn good thing, since I'll need for him to get up with Elizabeth every 10 minutes when she is mourning the loss of her lovey, tonight.