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24 Hours

It has been quiet here this morning. Stuart gingerly carries Charlie into the house. Home from the hospital after surgery to repair an inguinal hernia. He lays Charlie on our bed. Charlie rolls on his side and curls into a tiny ball. Stuart and I discuss whether or not we should take him to the bathroom. He is on our bed and not wearing a pull up. Wanting to save the mattress wins out over not wanting to disturb our little guy.

The deed done, we tuck him back into our bed where he sleeps soundly for four hours. The house is still. We make great progress with schoolwork.

When he stirs, I bring him orange juice and "ball cheerios" (Kix cereal) He asks for more juice. More juice means another trip to the bathroom. I hate this part. Charlie tells me, "Somebody cutted me, Mom. Somebody glued me."

The rest of the day passes with Charlie lying on our big bed watching PBS Kids and Veggie Tale videos. The big kids crowd around to see the incision. Charlie stacks blocks on the floor at the foot of the bed. Faith and Claire sit on the bed and play with the miniature things we got for Charlie's recovery. Charlie is covered up in small bears, glittery doves, and tiny clothespins. The girls use the doll sized clothespins to clip doves all over the pillows.

When it is time for bed, we brush the menagerie of toys into a bucket, sweep the big guys out the door and tuck Charlie into a pile of blankets on the floor by the bed. His hands, face, and legs sparkle with the glitter that has fallen from the doves.

In the morning, I encourage him to use the potty. "Charlie, you need to go the bathroom. You had a lot of juice and milk last night."

"The juice and milk want to stay in me, Mama!"

After he is dressed he wants to be carried to the playroom where the kids are folding laundry and watching cartoons. He lays on the sofa and eats...and spills... cereal. When the kids are done, I move him to the sofa in the living room, cover him with an orange blanket and bring him his "dudes." (His collection of small stuff.) He clips the clothespins to the blanket and dive-bombs the doves into his lap. John brings out two plastic for himself and one for Charlie. They use them as bows without arrows and pretend to shoot at each other. Charlie "shoots" his dudes and his sisters for the next hour.

The first sign of recovery is when he stands on the sofa for better aim. He climbs down from the sofa and builds slides and obstacle courses out of blocks for his cars. He fights with Faith over which car she is allowed to drive. He wants to go outside. He uses his usual method to convince us to let him have his own way. He hops up and down. Ouch! He flings his body at me. Ouch!

School progresses. I have to read much louder today to be heard over the sounds of car wrecks and temper tantrums. One child is always on play duty so that I can work with the others. Things are back to normal.

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