Poor Holden. Again, this morning at 5:30 we heard him walk quickly to his bathroom and drop to his knees, soon to emerge and that sad little voice say he doesn’t feel well. He was given the most sensitive little stomach known to man. It was his ear again, that painful thing. After some chewable Motrin and an ear canal full of numbing drops, he was scooped up by Daddy and they were off to snuggle for the better part of three hours in the bunk beds, all tangled up in campfire sheets with soft little snores escaping.

Ewan and I jetted out the door for some mid-morning yoga while I dialed up the pediatrician’s office begging for a slot this afternoon to check out that ear. Thank God we booked the last opening, and thank God I had the foresight to leave a 45-minute window open to get us there. Holden asked me to pull over a few times along the way, so afraid he was about to get sick. Finally, I yanked out his booster seat, made a makeshift bed out of the picnic blanket that lives in the back, and tucked him into it as cozy as could be praying the whole time that I wouldn’t get pulled over or in an accident with him flying free in the backseat.

After what seemed like hours, we made it. I pulled up right in front of the building and carried him to a bench by the front door, then parked in the 10-minute spot, keeping my eye on him the whole time. Yep, another illegal thing. By this time I felt like I could plead my case to anyone who had questions about my decisions on how to transport my kid or where to park my car and they would understand. And if they didn’t, well, let’s just say (as my friend Hannah puts it), that the box that holds all of my &*$% together for me was about to come undone, and that might have been a little scary for anyone to witness.

Oh what a day.

An hour later, temperature taken, heartbeat listened to, ears thoroughly checked, and Toy Story and Elmo stickers placed on both boys’ bellies, we were off with his new prescription in hand and he was feeling much better. Not one emergency stop on the way home, and yes, he laid down on his picnic-blanket-bed the whole way, happy as could be that his churning stomach had finally taken a rest.

Ewan, on the other hand, had a fantastic day. And oh, boy, he’s getting funnier.

We hear random squeals and “conversations” more and more these days, and are even starting to witness the occasional chewing out of a toy that has somehow misbehaved. Not an emotional fit there, mind you, but a thorough scolding complete with a pointed finger. Today, it was a small stack of Legos that received that short-lived wrath, and then on he went on an adventure up the stairs. He’s an explorer, that one.

Then, there is this face. This is the funny scary face, usually accompanied by his fingers behind his ears, pulling them out and forward a little bit. I have a sneaking suspicion that this is his flirty face which I’m sure, in his mind, will have little girls everywhere swooning.

Ewan’s big discovery this week has been Holden’s old Tonka truck. Holden never really used it. Well, not true. Soon after we gave him the truck, he drove it right into our brand new refrigerator and left a dent, only to say, “sorry momma,” with big sad eyes and turn around and crash it into the wall, taking a small chunk of pretty paint and sheetrock right out of it. The truck was banished to the basement until yesterday, when I realized once again that we bought this house to live in, so we’ll figure it out as we go.

I have not regretted that truck’s reintroduction one bit. There have been peals of laughter; giggles so intense that with the inhale comes a snort. How on Earth is it possible to go from feeling like you’re falling apart from watching your kid be in pain to falling apart and about to pee your pants from laughing at the other one? Oh boy do I love those two maniacs. From my toes I love them.

Later, there were snacks on the couch much to everyone’s surprise (big mistake on my part; squished grapes between the cushions are disgusting), a movie on the tube, and peace was once again restored. Holden felt better, Ewan was eating non-stop, and I was just breathing and watching and loving them.

Now, at the end of a tired day, I hear them again. Those little sighs and soft snores, the subtle shifts in their blankets and I know that they feel safe and happy and…better.

And that is all I need.