My day yesterday began just after 6am. I awoke to find O sleeping next to me. And, when I say next, I mean sleeping with his back smashed against mine. I have been waking up this way for months, as O has been making the trek down the hall to our bedroom every night. I’m still not sure how or when it started, and, although it is not something that I wish to continue, I have not yet done anything to stop it.
I left O sleeping in bed and walked to the front of the house. As is typical, A was sitting on the couch watching TV. She is, and always has been, my early riser. She will sleep in if she goes to bed later than usual, but that also increases her chances for sleep walking. We first discovered her sleep walking last summer, when M caught her trying to get out of the house. It is generally frightening and we have found that she is less likely to sleep walk if she is in bed early. And, in bed early, means awake early, even during summer vacation.
I passed M in the hallway, as he was on his way to shower. I gave him a quick “good morning” and continued on, hoping to get a moment to sit peacefully before the craziness of the day began.
Sometimes in the early morning, I will take time to exercise. But, not yesterday. Just wasn’t up for it.
By 7am everyone was awake and M had taken off to work. He had to drive out of town again, so he had left the house early. I spent the morning assisting the kids with getting their breakfasts, and when I was sure that no one would need me for 10 minutes, I took time for my shower.
Once we all were ready, meaning dressed with our hair combed and teeth brushed, we headed to the grocery store. Because of the heat, I was anxious to get to the store early, so we could get home and remain there the rest of the day.
I spent my time in the grocery store, and pretty much the rest of the day, alternating between enjoying my children and being annoyed by them. It is a fine line sometimes, especially when the girls get to giggling, which irritates their brother, who starts yelling for them to be quiet. Then, I realize that O‘s tolerance for noise is not too much different from mine. It is at that point that I separate the girls for a brief period, just enough time to get rid of the giggles.
We also baked bread, put together puzzles, and built a zoo. The kids played together for awhile, with two pretending to be animals, while the other was their owner. If you know my kids, you will automatically know who played the part of the owner. Because of this arrangement, the game didn’t last long.
After lunch was rest time. It is definitely a time of the day that I look forward to. O still naps, for about two hours, and the girls are required to have an hour of quiet time, separated from each other. It was heavenly.
I also got a lot of reading done yesterday, even after rest, while O played with his trains and the girls were painting. It was one of those days when it was enough for me to be in a central location in the house, accessible to all, but not necessarily involved. Those types of days, have been coming more often, since O is getting used to having us all home, and doesn’t feel the need to have me nearest to him all day.
I made dinner. Or, more accurately I put together a dinner of sloppy joes and Caesar salad for the girls and I. O had his usual chicken nuggets, pasta and watermelon, with ketchup, of course.
After dinner, the girls did their clean up and chores for the evening, which included emptying the dishwasher so that I could load it again. Then, the girls decided they were in the business of hand and feet massages. So, while taking some more time to read, I got my hands and feet massaged. And, the best part, I only owe each of them a quarter, which they so generously told me I could pay them later.
O watched Thomas while I wrote and the girls got ready for bed. Throughout the movie, O asked me questions about his movie. Even though he already knows the answers, he asks me questions like, “Which engine is blue and has the number one?” Sometimes I know the answer and sometimes I don’t. He often gives me multiple choice, which only sometimes helps me get the answer right. If I give the wrong answer, I am corrected and we move on to the next one.
With 10 minutes to go before bed, I informed O that I was going to set the bedtime timer. Everything just seems to go better when there is a timer set.
When the timer rang, it was time for potty and teeth. Last night, we got through it with no resistance, thankfully. Then, it was a story for O and me going between all three bedrooms until every child was satisfied that I had answered all their questions and met their needs for the day. Why is it that bed time brings the most philosophical and theological questions? Maybe there is some avoidance involved.
This process takes the longest with O. He must ask me all of his usual questions, get the nail that has been bugging him all day cut, and decide if he wants to be snug in his covers and how many covers he wants, if he wants any at all.
The rounds of bedroom hopping and questions, ends with the dreaded question. It’s the one I hope he forgets, but hasn’t for months, “Mom, can I sleep in your bed tonight?” If I say no, it will start a huge meltdown and since I am so close to some time to myself, I desperately want to avoid that. So, I say, “Yes, but you have to sleep in your bed first,” hoping that he will actually sleep in his bed all night. Probably won’t happen. And, so it continues….