The first week without our usual school routine has been a little strange.
Obviously, there’s the whole “kid who had throat surgery” thing. Sam had a little scare last night and had to go to the emergency room. Andrew took him while I stayed home with the other kids and ate my feelings from Sam’s ice cream stash. Fortunately, he was given the all clear and they were home by midnight. I wiped the dairy products from my face and greeted them with relief before we all fell into bed.
Sam is doing much better today, but we’re on high alert here until the scabs are fully healed. He’s been such a trooper and I’m so proud of him.
Meanwhile, the rest of the gang is completely lost without their gang leader. Ian has a sinus infection and has joined his twin on the couch, so my middle children are leading the pack. Which means there’s some power struggles, the occasional coup, and a lot of bouncing off of walls and ceilings. Who knew that Peace In Our Times relied so heavily on the influence of two eleven year old boys?
I know we’re only two days into this summer vacation thing, but I’m already flailing wildly for things to entertain everybody. We put the pool up over the weekend but discovered a huge leak and my plan of Swim Them Into Exhaustion On The Daily hangs in the balance.
The youngers have recently developed an obsession with playing with my jewelry and trying on my shoes. I allow it on occasion, but with Andrew working in the same room as my closet, I have to curtail their activities during the week. So I stuck a large tree branch in a pot, dragged it into my bedroom, and let the kids hang all my necklaces on the tree.
They felt helpful, I felt free to cook dinner without answering eleventy-hundred questions about what was for dinner. (Bless the poor child who asks me after four others have asked before him. I often want to turn to him and say, “Look up and see the thin thread that hangs between you and me losing my sanity. Tread lightly, dear one, and do not ask what you do not wish to receive an overly-dramatic response to.”)
Later, Andrew stared at the now lilting tree by my bedside table. “Are you really going to use that?”
Lucky for him, I responded with a snort and a resounding, “No. That was just to keep them busy. I’ll have them take it down in a day or two and get another thirty minutes of peace.”
Which is when I realized that it’s not even June and I’m already inventing impractical solutions to household issues just to keep the kids occupied.
Somebody send a bag of Play-doh or something…
The tree didn’t survive 24 hours because Finn knocked it over in a sudden gush of admiration for my bracelets. Willa cheerfully unloaded every necklace for me and I’ll toss it back in the yard where it came from once it stops raining.
Finn was properly penitent. I heard him crying in my bedroom and saying, “I sow-wee, Mama. I sow-wee.”
Then he ran to me and buried his head in my lap. This was a much sweeter conversation of grace and tenderness than what I usually get from him…
His favorite TV show is Peep in the Big Wide World. He binge watches it on Netflix like it’s West Wing or something. One day, as I was changing his diaper, he asked me, “Is there poop in there, Mama?”
“No,” I said.
“Oh… It just Peep?”
Potty training is gonna be a blast with this one!