Anyway, we've been taking it easy so far this week, staying close to home and doing familiar activities. One of our usual outings includes a run* with the kids strapped into the amazing Chariot stroller/jogger/bike trailer/sleigh/rickshaw/palanquin, including a break around mile two for an hour or so of playground time.
After our run-and-playground session yesterday, I was trying to get the kids into the house quickly, without sweating on them too much, so they could go down for their nap.
So we're all standing on the deck as I fumble with the keys for the back door. Butterbean goes directly after the electrical outlet on the wall next to the door, and Cobra heads in the other direction, toward the dog dishes.
I get the door unlocked, but Butterbean is positioned so that if I open the door, I trap her behind it. Also she's playing with the outlet, which is supposedly dangerous. As I try to pull Butterbean out of the corner, Cobra picks up Stella's food dish, holds it high, and says, "Muh, muh," which is a derivation of the English "more," and means, roughly, "Put food here!"
"Stella doesn't need any food right now, Sweetie," I tell her. "We'll feed her later, okay?"
I wrest the bowl from her hand and hold onto her wrist. Butterbean is now wailing at the injustice of having been separated from her beloved outlet. Stella is trying to barge out of the partially open door so she can greet us with alternating tail-wags and fearful cringes.
"OKAY! STELLA: BACK UP. KIDS: COME INSIDE. EVERYBODY: SETTLE DOWN."
In the confusion, Cobra plows into Butterbean, who falls down, bumps her arm, and redoubles the volume and intensity of her crying. This drama, and the loss of the dog dish, causes Cobra's chin to start quivering, and tears to well up in her eyes.
Although Butterbean's tantrums are full of pyrotechnics and piercing shrieks, Cobra's quiet shuddering is more effective in terms of evoking pathos. At least from me. But I steel myself against the sad cuteness, and finally get the girls inside and the door closed behind us.
Cobra holds out her tiny fist in such a way that I realize she has managed to smuggle some contraband in it.
"All right," I say. "Hand it over. Let's go. Let's see what you've got there."
She continues clomping forward, toward Stella, with her fist held out in front of her.
"Fork it over little missy," I say, prying her fingers open. This engenders some snuffling and open-mouth sobbing.
Finally, I get her fist open, and see what it is that she had grabbed.
It's a lone dogfood pellet that she was trying to feed to Stella. Of course.
"Aww, Sweetheart. That's so nice you were thinking about your doggie," I say over the wails and sobs of the two girls.
I try to give the pellet to Stella, but by this time she's too scared from the ruckus to eat.
*Yeah, I'm running now. And it ain't pretty. Am I supposed to feel like I could very possibly die every single time I go for a jog? Back in the day, they used to talk about a euphoric "runner's high," but the only altered state I've achieved feels like a panic attack during a brutal hangover. Anyone have recommendations about books or other resources that will teach me how to run better?