Relinquishing Control I Never Had In The First Place

The first weeks of motherhood were pretty exciting, if I’m remembering correctly.

There were, of course, struggles. I desperately wanted to breast feed, but after many weight checks at the pediatrician and what seemed like daily visits to the lactation consultants, it became obvious that I would not be able to just breast feed my new daughter. I would be pumping and supplementing with formula after each feeding — for the duration. So, after four long weeks of doing really not much other than this time-consuming feeding regimen, I made the difficult decision to go to formula alone.

We also struggled at first in getting her onto a schedule. But that was established with a week or two of consistent routine. (And the acquisition of a good book on the subject.)

All in all, I’d say that after our sixth week of this parenting-business, we’d hit a stride that was pretty darn delightful. And I reveled in my new role as a mom. No job I ever had compared in any way to the joy I found in mothering this child. Allyson was an easy sleeper (once we all settled into said routine), an easy eater (till she hit the age of about 2 years), and a pretty nice little girl.

Then we did it all again with our second daughter. Well, most of it. Once again I tried to breast feed, but only agonized over it for two weeks this time before giving up and resorting once again to formula. And once we got her settled into a routine, life was pretty predictable, and much easier than I’d been warned it would be. (Just because you’ve had one easy baby, don’t let anyone tell you that you won’t have another.)

Really, the struggles that followed were mostly me, trying to keep up with two toddlers. Parks were not happening — at least when I was by myself. I learned such limitations by doing. And I protected our afternoon nap schedule like the soldiers guard the gold at Fort Knox. I went to bed really tired at the end of each day, and often slept during their naps. None of this getting-housework-done-while they-were-asleep nonsense for me! Being a 37-year-old mom made me keenly aware of my limitations, and I wanted to survive their toddlerhood!

Now we come to the real focus of my post. After these not unexpected battles came the ones that caught me unawares.

As we began to discipline our girls I began a journey that slowly revealed to me that not everything in life is black and white. You may be one of the billions of people alive on planet Earth today who knew this before becoming a parent. Congratulations. And I don’t say that with any sarcasm whatsoever. I, you see, am one of perhaps three people who really thought that there was a right and wrong to almost every issue that arose. I used to tell Jeff, when the girls were pretty young, that I was at a loss at times because I couldn’t tell exactly what to say or do in every situation with which my children presented me. How was I supposed to parent like that?! I wanted to be able to look over in the corner and see Jesus giving me a thumbs-up or thumbs-down when deciding how to tackle a problem with my children. But I’ve been learning, gradually, that’s not how he does things.

This subject has been on my mind a lot recently because of the Sunday school class we’ve been attending at church about raising kids. The way the fellow teaching the class explains it, there are three categories into which things fall: things that the Bible explicitly confirms as right, or moral; things it says are wrong, or immoral; and then things the Bible takes no clear sides on and we have to judge for ourselves, this would be the amoral category.

The first two categories should consist of pretty short lists. And the third … well, that’s the one that scares me. But, at the same time, it’s kind of nice to know that there isn’t always just one right answer to every parenting dilemma! We need to make the best decision we can, and move on! It’s a slow process, but I’ve been happy to be learning it.

Likewise, the other lesson that brought me up short is this: There’s not a formula that will assure that our children will grow up “right.” God doesn’t guarantee results like that. We need to pray for our kids and do the best we can and know that their lives are in his hands. It’s really between them and God. And that has been a tough pill for me to swallow. 

When my Mom was 61 years old she died unexpectedly in her sleep. We were all blindsided. After that I would wake up in a panic from time to time, afraid my husband would die, or that I would die, and that we wouldn’t get a chance even to say goodbye. (This was the year before we became parents.) At those times Jeff could only remind me that none of us can control how long we live. He told me it was in God’s hands. But my immediate reply was, “Well, look how that turned out for Mom!” Then it hit me — me “letting go” and trusting God didn’t mean that I was really relinquishing control. I had no control! Nothing I could do or say could change what would happen. No, this was about my relinquishing myself to God and to his sovereignty. Not my control. How it “turned out” for our Mom was exactly how God planned it to be. And I needed to trust him with the rest of the people in my life, because it’s really up to him, anyway. This now includes my two precious daughters. And I’m beginning to realize that, if I was the one to control everything in our lives, we’d all be in trouble! The very beginning, the germ, of that trust has begun to take root for me, and I am able, at times, to trust God and not try to hang onto things over which I have no control.

This trust also makes it easier to let go of my desire to know the “right” answer to every question I’m faced with. I can trust that God has given me a brain and he expects me to use it. I’m not perfect. God knew that a long time ago, and yet he has asked me to raise these two girls of ours anyway! It’s not going to be perfect, but that’s okay. I’ll do the best I can, and trust my Lord to take care of everything else.

A Teachable Moment

Today when I was making my bed I tugged a little too hard on the bedspread and ended up thumping my hand against the wall. (Strange way to begin a blog post, isn’t it?) I said, “Ow. Ouch! OWWWW!” … before realizing it hadn’t really hurt all that much.

This got me thinking. Jeff often asks me why I say ouch when something really small happens. Like when he tickles me. Or when he almost tickles me. (I really don’t like to be tickled. Just so you know.) Even when something surprises me, I’ve been known to say it.

And that got me thinking … How often do I complain about something that’s really not a big deal? How often do I resent some supposed infringement on my personal space, or my “rights?” How often do I sport a bad attitude with almost no provocation? … Just because I’m used to doing so.

And this is the lesson I was reminded of whilst making a bed this morning — If I allow myself to fall into the habit of complaining, it becomes hard not to complain at the drop of a hat.

And I bet some of you were expecting me to talk about a teachable moment I had with my girls.  Well, guess what — God found a teachable moment to share with me! 

The Tooth Fairy: A Dream Come True!

Since my girls were tiny I’ve not been looking forward to the time when their baby teeth would be ready to come out. This may be, partly, because I never enjoyed the process much myself. I wouldn’t hear of anyone except my dentist pulling my teeth. And only then because I didn’t have a choice. My teeth were late coming out — in my 3rd grade picture I was missing only one of my top front teeth — and therefore I had to have fourteen of them pulled. Ten of those were baby teeth that just had not left my mouth by the time they wanted to begin the orthodontics process in 5th grade. (Four were adult teeth that were too many to keep without crowding everything.)

So, you see, I had what I considered to be more than my share of yanked teeth. The ones that I had any power over were just going to stay there till I wiggled them out. But that was a long, dull process, and I didn’t enjoy it.

All that to say, I could imagine my firstborn being — frankly — freaked out by the experience. Now, she’s also older than the average age for losing her fist tooth. For most, it seems, it happens sometime in the kindergarten year. Well, here she is half way through her first grade year, and has become somewhat embarrassed that she’s not lost a tooth. So, she was ready.

Well, we were hanging out with friends on Saturday — the kids and the dads were outside while we moms were inside — when Allyson came running into the house exclaiming she had a wiggly tooth! What I expected (a slightly loose tooth) was not what I saw. There was blood surrounding it, so I couldn’t see exactly how loose it was, but it became obvious, pretty quickly that it was hanging by a thread. Honestly, minutes after she made her announcement, she was holding her little tooth in her fingers! The process I had expected to take an agonizing week was over in less than 10 minutes.

The joy of the moment was somewhat dampened when I seemingly washed the tooth down the bathroom sink. Oops. Drat! But then Lenny (the other Dad) came in and took apart the sink to find it in the trap. Well, it turned out I hadn’t washed it down the drain, I had only lost track of it on the counter. He found it, then he tried to rinse it off, as I had, only to really wash it down the sink! So, he pulled the trap apart again and found that darn tooth!

Allyson hadn’t really seemed too disappointed when I told her, initially, I had lost her tooth. I believe the sheer joy of finally having a gaping hole in her smile overshadowed the loss. But when I told her that we had found the tooth she seemed very relieved. By now, I think, she had begun to imagine the joy of putting the tooth under her pillow for the Tooth Fairy to find.

So, when we returned home that night, she penned a note to the Tooth Fairy. Something to the effect that she would like to keep her tooth, and the little box it was in, if that was okay, and she wanted a present. I asked her what she though the Tooth Fairy was going to leave. She said she didn’t know, but a friend had advised that course of action. I told her I suspected she would take the note (I wanted to keep it!) and leave the tooth this time. She seemed fine with that and she went to sleep, with much excitement!

Allyson has been saving up for a stuffed animal and needed another dollar. Well, don’t you know that Tooth Fairy left her one dollar! She excitedly told me the next morning, “She must have known exactly what I needed!” But, I’m not sure I didn’t hear her say, “You must have known exactly what I needed.”  When I asked her if she meant the Tooth Fairy, she said, “Of course!” Hmmm … one wonders.

And so, our eldest has taken another big step toward growing up! She feels very proud of her new mark of maturity. And we’re extremely proud of how well she handled the situation and relieved that there wasn’t wailing and gnashing of … well, teeth. At least not this time. With this child. We’ll keep you posted!

The Adventures of Low Blood Sugar

I’ve been a diabetic since 1980. For anyone who’s counting, that’s a long time.  And while I so far seem to have escaped the dangers that high sugars present (like blindness and kidney failure, to name a few), I’ve begun to suffer from a problem on the opposite end of the spectrum.

It seems that when someone has been a diabetic as long as I have, they often lose the ability to feel the symptoms of low blood sugar. I, who used to wake from a deep sleep because I was somehow aware that my sugar was low, have recently found myself testing and being shocked to see a number like 46, because I didn’t even feel it dropping. (Anything lower than 70 is low and requires some sort of sugar intake. Glucose tablets are the best choice for most folks suffering from low blood sugar.)

There have been numerous occasions when I seem to surface out of a fog and I see my husband looking at me, as if expecting me to give some sort of answer to a question I don’t even remember hearing. And then I see that my meter is open and has been used, and glucose tablets are in evidence nearby. (I.e., he’s been working like crazy to get my sugar up out of the basement.) This has been happening with more regularity in the last few years.

Once recently, I was about to pray with the girls before bed and told Katey it was her turn to start. She looked at me in an odd way and said she’d already prayed. I told her not to be silly, and to get praying. That’s when Allyson left the room and returned shortly with my meter and glucose tablets. Apparently, Katey had indeed prayed already and I was the only one who seemed to have missed it. When this happens, often the moment (or moments) I miss are either gone completely and I feel like I’ve just jumped ahead in time, or I have a vague, misty memory of certain parts, but have missed the reality, the essence, of what really happened. It’s very twilight zone, to be honest.

I even locked my husband out of the house one evening when he went out to check the mail. Wasn’t he surprised to find the door locked and no one opening when he knocked and rang the doorbell. Between the time we interacted as he was exiting the house and the time he got back — a minute, at the outside — my sugar had crashed and I have little memory of anything except walking past the door which was ajar and thinking, “My goodness! Who left that open?!” So, I took care of it. My mission was accomplished. And my husband was effectively locked outside.

The most alarming instance of my sugar dropping without my knowledge happened one evening when Jeff and I were watching TV. (I often exercise while I watch TV — it’s much more entertaining.) I was doing push-ups and I remember thinking I felt a little weird, so I tested and the meter read 24. That’s extremely low, so we decided my meter must have hiccupped, and I should test again. I did, and it read 25. Huh! My sugar really was that low. And I was not only making sense, but I was doing push-ups! In a strange way this seems to be an example of me actually catching on — albeit a little after the optimum time — and avoiding a really dangerous low … I think.

In recent months I’ve had to rely on more subtle signs of low sugars. Probably the first, less obvious sign of low sugar that I (and friends and family) ever noticed is that I can’t seem to finish a sentence. I have no trouble beginning the sentence — over and over — but I’m not able to complete the thought. Even my girls now are able to catch that one, and act accordingly.

Another indicator that’s been extremely helpful is finding I can’t read what’s on my computer screen. I can’t tell you how many times that has happened — I sit down and am befuddled by what I can’t see. It’s not that I can’t see, it’s that my brain can’t make sense of what my eyes are taking in.  I’m thankful for little signals like that which help me figure out that I should probably test.

I praise God that I have a husband who works at home these days and two sharp little girls who have seen me crash and burn enough times to know how to help. I’m thankful that I’ve not yet had to have outside intervention — we’ve not had to call for an ambulance, etc. But the girls have been taught about calling 911, because it well may happen at some point. I just have to take it one day at a time and be vigilant about testing. Praise the Lord for the kind of technology that makes it possible to monitor my status, moment by moment. It makes for an interesting ride!

The Wonder That Is Kindergarten

Today I was in Katey’s kindergarten classroom helping some of the kids with journal writing. Sometimes, Katey’s in my group and sometimes, not. I love getting to work with my daughter, but, regardless, I enjoy being there.

I love that they get to write in a journal of their own, even if it is only a sentence or two. I’ve never kept a journal. I lack the discipline to make it a daily habit. But it’s fun to be able to look back on the journals our girls have kept in school.

The idea is to have the kids write one sentence at first, and then two related sentences as the year progresses. They can write about anything they’re thinking about. And then they draw a picture illustrating their sentence.

My job is to translate their “kid writing” into English. Some kindergartners are writing pretty well, and some just jot down some letters and tell me what it says. There’s one little guy who very carefully and deliberately makes his letters, head down, looking for all the world like he’s working on a novel. He takes great care to write the letters firmly and correctly. But they don’t make words. I was surprised by that on my first visit. But by the end of the year he’ll likely be writing words that make sense to someone other than just himself.  Another boy zips his pencil along and is usually one of the first ones done. And I’ve never seen him misspell a word! He uses long words, like “favorite” and “rainbow” and he spells them correctly! I’ve asked him how he knows to spell these words and he just shrugs and looks blankly at me. Impressive, if you ask me.

I’m in the classroom usually once a week or so, and I’ve enjoyed spending the time getting to know the kids. They can be hilarious. I get to hear the kinds of things they talk about — the jokes they think are funny, the TV shows they watch, the pop icons they know about. I get to see how they interact. I’ve heard some things that  have surprised me, coming from 5 and 6 year olds. It gives me insight, too, into some of the subjects Katey talks about; some of the dances she brings home, etc. Her latest is, “I’m sassy and I know it, know it, know it!” which is accompanied by a strange little dance that looks like she’s punching someone very tall. Reportedly, one of the boys in her class taught it to her. (I was relieved to realize that she was actually saying the word sassy, as it sounded a lot like a different word the first time through.) Life in our house does look a lot different now than it did before school entered the picture. 

All this to say kindergarten is a great time! They play, they socialize, they learn. Too soon the cares and responsibilities of first grade will impose themselves on these little people. They’ll be gone all day, they’ll play less and sit more. I think of this year as a magical beginning to their schooling. And I hope that when they look back on this time, they’ll think so, too.

I’ll Tell You What Happened to Winter

Admittedly, this has been one of the milder winters I can remember. And I hear lots of local folks wondering aloud where winter went this year.

Allow me to clear up this conundrum for you. Winter has been RIGHT. HERE. It may have been an almost snow-less one; it perhaps has not been below freezing (or far below) most days; and I have — to date — shoveled the driveway only twice. I’m not claiming it’s been arctic, or even close. But it has been winter.

Let me tell you how it looks from my anemic perspective. There are any number of indicators that the Icy Season is indeed upon us, if only in a Pennsylvanian fashion.  And here’s how I know:

  • I look outside and see a sad excuse for sunshine — in the middle of the day. The gray, Eeyore-looking, cloudy day. This, when it happens day after colorless day, is sure to alert you to the presence of winter.
  • There is frost on the car. Granted, it may not have been snow most of the season, but scraping icy frost off the windshield of a car in the morning means it’s winter, folks!
  • It hurts to get into my bed. Not because of arthritis. No, it’s because the sheets are freezing. Our bedroom is situated directly above our garage, which is not heated. Therefore, for all intents and purposes, neither is our bedroom.
  • It’s painful to be outside — I mean, even to walk to the car, in the garage — And that’s because it’s winter, people!
  • My hands bleed because they’re so dry. (It’s a little better when I stop washing the dishes, but then that creates other problems.)
  • And my hands catch like Velcro on the laundry I’m folding. (I hate that!)
  • I find myself sitting, holding a warm cup of coffee primarily to restore feeling to my fingers. Sometimes I just keep reheating the same cup without drinking it, just so I can wrap my hands around it.

I know many of you love this strange, dreary season. And I wonder about you. Just a little. As, I’m sure you wonder about me, smiling my way through a hot summer. I’m not saying I don’t very much value my air conditioning as soon as it gets uncomfortable. But at least the days are typically bright and long and I can walk out my door without having to stop and think about putting on my coat and gloves. And then I’m able to come home without hanging up four coats and putting away the little gloves and hats that tend to land anywhere but in the basket where they belong.

You may be able to tell me how to circumvent some of the above listed problems. You may even be thinking, “Park your car in your garage, you nitwit!” Well, I do, and therefore haven’t had to scrape frost off my car, most days. I’m simply letting you know that frost (which I see on my husband’s car, not parked in the garage) is one way to tell that we have not escaped winter. I’m trying to make a point here!

So, although you may not have had the snowfall you’ve been looking forward to, and although you may not have been able to ice skate on your driveway, and though you haven’t had any frostbitten appendages this year … I’m here to tell you, winter has come to town. Now, without further ado, let’s just  move right along to spring!

Coincidence? … I Don’t Think So

The other night as I was tucking the girls in, Allyson — my first grader — said, “Henry kissed me.” I must have looked askance, because in response she wrinkled her nose and said, “I know!” I asked her where he kissed her and she pointed to her forehead. (Well, okay … I can deal with that. So far, so good.) Seems they were playing Star Wars on the playground. She was, of course, Leia, and he was Luke. (Even better! Brother and sister.)

The very next day, on the way home from school, Katey announced that Alex kissed her. I asked where he had kissed her. (This is where you expect me to say, “On the playground.” Right? … But no, sorry.)  She pointed to her cheek. (Phew!) I asked why he had kissed her, and she said she thinks it was because she laughs at his jokes. (I thought that was kinda sweet.)

Neither of the girls seemed all that impressed; neither did they seem entirely grossed out by it. Their father, however, well … that’s a totally different thing. I have been keeping him up to date, and he’s been handling it well, all things considered. He has thrown around words like convent and shotgun, but I’m guessing that’s to be expected. He’s been dreading such events for a very long time, so it’s only natural that he might be a little anxious about now.

What I wonder now is this: Is it a coincidence that these two happenings have …  uh, happened so close to Valentine’s day? Because, really, otherwise, wouldn’t it be hard to believe that both girls got kissed for the first time (as far as we know) on consecutive days? I have to say, making a big deal of this particular holiday in elementary school seems ridiculous to me. Is this not just setting kids up to have skewed ideas about love and romance? Why do kids that young even need to know about romance? I mean, really.

If this trend continues, we may just skip the entire month of February next year.  I think I could talk Jeff into that …


Superbowl? Is that tonight?

Let me tell you what goes on with us on Superbowl Sunday. Inevitably, at some time during the day, we hear from someone — most often, at church — that it is, in fact, Superbowl Sunday. And we normally nod and say, “Oh … is that tonight?

Then we decide to go out to dinner. The reason for that, should it not be obvious to someone, is that the diners are typically all but empty on the night of the big game. Since it’s rare for us to go out for a meal, I, for one, look forward to the Superbowl. Perhaps that isn’t the reason you look forward to it, but … it works for me! (This is not to say that this happens every year. But it’s happened for the past three years, so it is becoming a pattern.)

If you’re savvy, you probably realize by now that we don’t fall into the category of football fans — not even a little. Neither do we follow baseball, or basketball too closely. Tennis, however … well, we’ve been known to watch a match or two, from time to time. But not with any regularity.

(If  you happen to know my older brother, or Jeff’s brother, for that matter, it should be stated for the record that neither of us has been disowned. That we know of. Things may change once this post goes up. I’ll let you know!)

Indeed, I grew up in a family of sports fans. And I was a huge Phillies fan for a long time. (I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia.) I even collected baseball cards, once upon a time. But that was probably my brother’s influence, as much as anything. What he had a passion for, I became interested in. (He’s that cool!) I loved playing softball, too. But, when I got married and left the house, it all changed for me.

Jeff is more of a sci-fi kind of guy, and I used to enjoy Star Trek with the best of ’em. (Mind you, don’t call me a Trekkie, or a Trekker — there is a difference, you know — because, while I really enjoyed watching the shows for a while, I wouldn’t have been caught dead at a Star Trek convention. I have my pride.)  And so, I lost touch with the sports world, and I didn’t seem to mind, as far as I could ever tell.

When I heard, however, one of my daughters ask, tonight, “What’s a superbowl?” I realized just how far I’ve fallen. And, though you may gasp in disbelief, I really don’t feel too bad about it.


A Day In The Life, Part 2

In my last post I gave a glimpse of what a day looks like at our house, but I stopped the narration right around lunch time. What did the rest of yesterday look like for the Caddicks, you may be wondering? Or, then again, you may not. But I’ll tell you anyway. Just because I can … 

When we last saw our main characters (because, to call them “heroes” would just be ridiculous) Katey had gotten new shoes —and they sparkled — and she and mom were off to the daily adventure of afternoon kindergarten!

(Here, I’ll transition back to first person, because … it just feels weird.) After dropping off my girl, I made several stops, which included — you guessed it — stopping at Turkey Hill (a local convenience store) for an 84 cent Diet Coke. (And that’s for  thirty-two ounces. I know, pretty good!)

ANYway … I went home and composed a little bit of a blog post before going to the bus stop to pick up the girls. Allyson was still coughing. I handed her the inhaler and we came home. Some homework was accomplished and they played for a bit. Supper was in the crock pot, so I didn’t have much dinner prep to do.

Around this time, I’m led to believe my blood sugar dropped. I really couldn’t tell you, as I don’t remember that period of time too clearly. Which only confirms that my sugar was, indeed, low. I seem to remember playing hangman on the computer with the girls as we waited for Jeff to be done with his workday and come downstairs to supper.

And Allyson was still coughing. So, after dinner we were trying to think what we might do to help her. The inhaler couldn’t be used again, as Allyson had, on her own, taken another puff an hour after I had given it to her. It was decided (after we talked to our eldest about self-administering prescription meds) that we would try something similar to a Neti Pot (but a little more child-friendly) to try to clear out the nasal passages and hopefully stop whatever draining was causing the cough.

Now, she’s been using nasal sprays for about a year. But the day we introduced that mystical phenomenon to our then-six year old was a day that will not  happily be remembered by parent or child in the Caddick household for a very long time. Indeed, it was a disaster. Enough said. For that reason, I had, shall we say, doubts as to how this new device — intended to ease her discomfort — would go over. But I couldn’t have been more wrong.

I decided it would be better for all involved if I stayed in the kitchen while Jeff took the reins. She was definitely nervous. After all, she was going to be squirting water into one side of her nose, only to feel it rush and drain from the other. But he showed her how it’s done first with his Neti Pot, and the next thing I knew she was running out to me in the kitchen proclaiming that she did it! and how much better one side of her head felt! This was followed by lots of high-fives and her talking like a little adult, while she explained to me exactly what it felt like. Then, I watched as the procedure was done again, to the other side of her nose.

I have to admit that I was utterly shocked by the success. This child of ours has so often struggled with fear of new things. And this was one of those telling moments when, as parents, we actually see our child maturing right before our eyes. I can’t tell you how amazed and delighted I was.

So, after a short victory dance it was time for the kids to get ready for bed. The girls and I are in the middle of reading “A Bear Called Paddington” before bed and are really enjoying it, so the plan was to get to it in time to read a chapter and still get them to sleep on time. However, right about then we got a call from a friend who lives about an hour away who suddenly had a free evening and wanted to stop by for a visit. So, we told the girls they’d be gotten to bed and then when our friend stopped by they could come downstairs and visit for about 10 minutes. Meanwhile I did some quick cleanup around the house.

So, the girls were off to bed by about 8:30 and we visited with our young friend until the wee small hours of the morning. (It’s been several years since she’s come over.)

And that was our day. There were a few setbacks, some small victories and at least one large one, and a visit with a friend with whom we enjoyed catching up. It was a good day, all-in-all. And now, on to tomorrow …

A Day In The Life

I’ve been thinking about doing a post like this for a while now. Perhaps I was waiting till I had a good day, or until nothing embarrassing happened on any particular day. Well, time’s up. I’m plowing ahead …good day or embarrassing.

I wake up at 5 o’clock this morning. Not because I’m going to the gym or anything like that. No, I wake up at 5 today because my daughter, Allyson, is coughing and needs her rescue inhaler. I give her the two puffs that should ease the coughing and tell both girls to go back to sleep. (I might have implied that it was the middle of the night. Not sure.) Neither am I sure whether they actually go back to sleep. But I manage it, which is really what I’m most concerned about, truth be told.

Then, at several minutes before 7 I get out of bed and make it known to the school-aged people in the vicinity that it’s time to get up and get moving. Shortly after this, there arises a discipline issue that requires my attention. At 7:45 the kids are making progress (one, more than the other) and Jeff, who has listened to me handle the morning’s “issue,” graciously reassures me I had handled it well. (This is probably the most satisfying moment of my entire day. It’s amazingly helpful to hear that he agrees with how it was done, being as there are always moments when I second guess my decisions in such matters.)

Allyson is still coughing — a lot — at the breakfast table. When I check to see how many puffs are left in her inhaler, I discover the counter reads zero. Duh! Suddenly, I’m doubtful that she got any of the necessary medicine earlier this morning, so we get out the new one and do it again. I decide to drive her to school and go in and have a short conversation with the school nurse about the fact that a cold this week is making her chronic cough worse, and we discuss strategies on how to help her today.

With Allyson safely, if not healthfully, deposited at school, Katey and I head out to find some shoes that fit her little feet. I realized earlier in the week that the shoes she’s been wearing were purchased for her exactly a year ago, which could explain the funny little hitch-in-her-git-along when she wears them. Why does it always take me so by surprise when my kids grow out of their clothes? I always get a feeling, something like, “What! You’ve grown aGAIN?! Where’d that come from?!” It really shouldn’t be a mystery to any parent, I realize. At least until their kids have a graduate degree. They grow. It’s what they do. And we’re off to the shoe store.

Katey informs me that she needs to have pink shoes. That sparkle. I inform her that she needs to have shoes that fit, and if we find them in pink, and in our price-range she’ll be one lucky little kindergartner. As it turns out, the store is having a sale, so I also get Allyson a pair of cute boots for five dollars.  (Did you know that “boots look teen-ager-ish”? Or, so I’m informed by my youngest.) We find a cute little pair of gold-ish shoes for Kate. And they sparkle, they fit, and are on sale. So, the fact that they’re not pink is okay, even with Katey. It’s a happy trip and we head happily home, where we’ll work on getting lunch before heading back to school to drop off the other child.

Well, it seems that if I were to tell you about an entire day in the life of the Caddicks, it would take way more than one blog post, and you would be exceedingly happy that you don’t live here because it would be too much excitement for one day. So let’s just call this A Morning In The Life, instead, and be done.