Life is absurd. And life is precious. Family is a lot of both.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Summer Work Hours

5:30 a.m.: Nudge the husband who missed his 5:00 a.m. alarm and remind him he wanted to get to work early today. Make coffee and pull out leftovers for lunch. Kiss him good-bye and sit down with first cup of coffee.

6:35 a.m.: Hear kid's alarm blaring for 10 minutes and finally go down to his room, turn off the alarm and lecture him (if that's him beneath the pile of pillows) about responsibility and eating a good breakfast before football practice. Head back up for a second cup of coffee. Find car keys in a hurry when he's running late and tells you he forgot to get a ride.

7:03 a.m.: Pour out the now-cold coffee and fix another cup. Sit down to check email. Hop up when the toddler starts yelling, "Mommeeeeee!" Change his wet pants. Toast the frozen waffles and find an episode of Imagination Movers quickly in order to get back to the still-barely-warm coffee.

8:30 a.m.: In come the grade-schoolers yawning after being up way too late last night. Offer cereal when they discover little brother ate the last of the frozen waffles.

10:00 a.m.: Finally take a shower.

11:30 a.m.: Look around and realize there are now seven kids in the house and they are all getting  hungry. Pop Cheese Pizzas #72-73 of the Summer into the oven and crack open Juice Box Case #103 of the Summer to feed them all.

1:00 p.m.: Realize the garden hose has been on full blast for the last 77 minutes. Muddy kids came inside 48 minutes ago.

2:00 p.m.: Discover the toddler is still napping. Debate whether to deal with him being up until 10 tonight or being cranky right now for having his nap interrupted. Decide upon the former and sit down with a new magazine.

2:03 p.m.: Growl at the muddy kids who shrieked by the toddler's bedroom door and awakened him. Deal with his crankiness until the next episode of Doc McStuffins comes on.

3:10 p.m.: Panic when the hamburger that was supposed to be defrosting in the fridge overnight is found still rock hard in the freezer. Locate a teenager to run to the store and buy two packages of hot dogs and hope there is a box of macaroni and cheese shoved in the pantry somewhere.

4:30 p.m:. Do the happy dance when kids are invited to swim with the family next door. Spend 30 minutes locating swimsuits, flip flops, and goggles that still have their lenses.

5:00 p.m.: Clean the kitchen to get ready for dinnertime..

5:15 p.m.: Lose it a little bit when the swimmers (who got bored/had a fight/want to watch TV) stream in the front door and drop wet everything in the hall.

5:30 p.m.: Whip up grilled hot dogs and macaroni.

5:35 p.m.: Stifle frustration when the kids tell you they're not hungry. They ate pizza at the pool.

6:30 p.m.: Locate the toddler by following the trail of sand from the backyard to the basement.

6:40 p.m.: Plop the grainy toddler into the tub and sweep up the sand.

6;50 p.m.:  Locate the toddler by following the trail of slippery bubbles.

7:00 p.m.: Wrestle the toddler into pajamas. Collapse in the rocking chair and grab a story book.

7:01 p.m.: Hear shrieking from the bathroom that the user needs toilet paper. Wonder for the 8,243rd time why no one checks before they go.

7:15 p.m.: Daddy's home! Give up on the toddler's bedtime.

7:30 p.m.: Stand like an ATM handing out cash as the teenagers peel away for their evening plans with friends.

8:15 p.m.: High five the daddy for finally getting the wired toddler to go to bed.

8:45 p.m.: Locate the grade schoolers playing down the street and reassure them that they really do have to come inside as it's getting dark.

9:17 p.m.: Find the bathroom a muddy, sandy, bubbly mess after baths are done.

9:45 p.m.: Agree to 15 more minutes.

10:15 p.m.: Realize it's been 30 more minutes.

10:30 p.m.: Crawl in bed and try to finish a chapter of a book.

10:45 p.m.: Kick the husband who cracks a smile and asks, "So what'd you do all day?"

11:01 p.m.: Growl at the kid who pokes you in the shoulder and proclaims, "Can we go to the movies tomorrow? It's so boring around here."

11:19 p.m.: Dream of winter and its routine, cozy evenings, and beautiful snow.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Evolution of the Snow Day

Day #1: Yes! They called, they called! No school tomorrow! Let’s all do the happy dance and stay up late. Good morning! Stay snuggly in your pajamas.  I’m making a hot breakfast from scratch. Yes, we’ll play outside soon. Eat up and then grab your snow gear. Shoveling is fun! Sledding is fun! Snowmen are fun! Come inside to thaw out with some hot chocolate. Yes, I have marshmallows. Let’s watch a movie while dinner simmers in the crock pot. Pick a game and we’ll all play together. Phone rings. Yes! We get to do it again tomorrow.

Day #2: No you may not stay up until midnight. Good morning. Already?  Little ones are up too early, older ones are up too late. Turn down the cartoons. I’ll fix you some frozen waffles. No, we are not out of the good syrup. Time to turn off the television and play outside. How can you lose a boot overnight? You came in with both of them on your feet, didn’t you? You don’t know? Seriously.  Mom, he keeps taking the best sled! Mom, can I go to a friend’s house? Mom, there’s nothing to eat in this house. Leftovers will reheat just fine for dinner. Who was supposed to shovel the other side of the driveway? If you can’t agree on a movie then we’ll just watch my favorite travel show. No? Kids?

Pleasant weekend. School on Monday. Another storm? Make a list for the store.

Day #3: No, I’m not making breakfast. You slept so late it’s almost lunchtime. Have some cereal. Can ____ come over? There is nothing to do. Here, I made a list of chores. Fine, go outside to play then. Put on whatever snow gear you can find. No, it doesn’t matter if your boots match or your gloves are too big. Where is the good sled? Who broke the snow shovel? What’s for lunch? Frozen pizza. Neighbors challenge a snowball fight. Perfect outlet for all this energy! Back inside, baking cookies. What’s for dinner? Is there leftover pizza? Husband calls, need anything? Please grab a bottle of wine. The phone just rang again. Yes, it’s true. Another snow day. I don’t care if you stay up until midnight. Just let me sleep.

Day #4: Are you people ever going to get up? You’re going to be sorry when it’s time for school tomorrow. Yes, school. Remember that place? Sure, have cookies for breakfast. Where is my coffee? If I hear the Sponge Bob theme song one more time, my head might explode so please TURN IT DOWN. Damp socks everywhere. Muddy boots in the bathroom? Yes, you have to shovel again—it snowed again! Which is why you are out of school again. We’re out of frozen pizza? I’ll turn on the stove for grilled cheese. Wait, who ate all the cheese? PBJs for lunch. Did I hear the B-word? You’re BORED?! Here’s that list of chores. No, I’m not kidding. Just find something that is semi-dry and get outside to play. Yes, it’s cold. it’s SNOW! You prayed for this snow so go outside and enjoy it. I am locking the door. Go play! Hot soup for dinner, time for one more game, warm baths, loads of laundry, another funny story. House is finally still. 

 Two parents yawn and raise a toast to family fun. But mostly to the blessed quiet of sleeping children and a phone that does not ring again.