Monday, July 16, 2012

Under the Same Roof

One afternoon during the first week of summer vacation, in a very weak parenting moment brought on by all of my children being disobedient and hard to get along with at the same time, I threatened to get an apartment for myself to live in alone for the summer while all five kids were home all day, everyday.

(I told you it was a weak moment. It is actually quite RARE for me to blurt out threats that I have no intention of carrying through with.)

I'm pretty sure the older three children ignored my threat and knew I was simply blowing off steam, but it took a few days for Drew and Joshua to quit asking, "When you going to an inpartment?" or "When are you going to stop living here?"

I didn't end up getting an apartment for a variety of reasons, but probably the main reason being Mike's paychecks don't seem to be quite big enough to rent a hide-out an apartment for me.

Well, and also because of the fact, I'd miss out on all sorts of things, that though make me truly want to pull my hair out in sheer frustration, endears me to my children at the same time.

Things like...

The flowers in bloom that are irresistible to little hands picking them.
The extra laundry from days spent working outside, that seems more like playing to a kid like Luke.
Or the fact that every time I turn around it seems somebody is having a meal or a snack. I can't seem to keep enough groceries stocked in the house or keep crumbs off the counter for any length of time. (I was actually quite happy to find Drew had taken his bar-stool and cereal bowl to the pantry shelves rather than the more traditional way of not eating in a pantry. There was less clean-up.)
The fact I help Drew dress and undress about 391 times though out the course of a day. It is rare to see him with clothes on after about 3pm. I'm usually too rundown by then to even care, let alone actually dress him when he goes back outside.
The too-oft evenings when I declare "Whatever" is for dinner. This means, "Mom doesn't care, eat whatever you want." It's my children's favorite menu item. It helps that we have well-rounded Luke around to serve up a good-old favorite...fire-roasted hot dogs for nights when a balanced dinner is the furthest thing from my cares.
Watching a child work hard, despite the unfairness of others doing nothing but observing all the while cooling off from the summer heat eating popsicles.
The craft supplies left scattered throughout the house and yard due to Megan's on-going interest in anything and everything creative and homemade.
The baby doll stuff left EVERYWHERE intermixed with absolute tender displays of affection and love towards plastic babies that Ellie plays with daily.
Smiling at the fact Luke obviously forgot the Nair incident of early June, and trusted a different sister with full control of his hair the other night.
(Don't be fooled thinking Luke is a "reader." He is not. He simply chose to be obedient that night and got his reading done by the deadline, despite wanting his hair cut too.)

Actually, now that I think about it, maybe we can find a way to balance my sheer frustration and endearing children...
With Luke's hard work and Megan's creativity, perhaps Mike's shed in the corner of the backyard could be transformed into some sort of separate living quarters for me. Calculate in that Ellie could become the real, live mom instead of playing house all day long and we may have ourselves a solution to my frequent feelings of despair by late afternoon. Except Drew and Joshua aren't plastic, and they may not ignite the same tender displays of love and affection from Ellie that plastic baby dolls do. That could become a problem.

Don't judge me. I am a worn-out mother of five in the middle of a 12-week summer vacation with children home from school. Clearly I am not in my right frame of mind when I'm considering living in a shed in the corner of a garden that one of Luke's seven chickens currently resides in alone.

Lucky chicken.

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