Today was one of those busy days. One of the Moms in Ryan's class asked if her son could come home with Ryan today (they're good buddies) because the first graders were having their Mother's Day tea, and she was going to attend with her daughter. She has four kids also, around the same ages as mine, so I asked her "What are you doing with everyone else? Because they are welcome to come over too, if you have no one else to take them."
And so it was that today, in addition to my four, I was going to add three more, plus the extra two neighbor girls I give a ride home to everyday anyway. My clown-car van can only hold so many people, and I'd planned on making two trips (I'm just down the street from the school), when I remembered my friend Jane volunteers for our 5th graders class, and has a van...so of course I enlisted her help. She brought home my kids, and we all made it safely home without anyone getting an elbow stuck in their ear. Jane rocks!
I didn't mind, really. It's hard to spend one-on-one time with your kids when you have a few, and I know this, and was happy to help the other Mom out. Hey, when you are outnumbered, you gotta stick together!
After they all left, Mr W challenged me to a game of Pokemon Puzzle League. We get really worked up about that game in our house, even though it's an older one (one of the 'ancient' Nintendo 64 system games)...there's a lot of trash-talking and bellyaching going on when we play, but it's just too much fun. Time flies. It was nearly 6:30 before I realized, oops, I need to make dinner. In a minute, after I finish winning, I thought. Suddenly, Mr W's pager goes off. Uh-oh. He's on call this week, doing accident reconstruction, so I know he'll have to leave soon, if the page is legit, and it is; so out the door he goes, when to return, nobody knows, but it's gonna be a couple of hours at the least. Sigh.
It's the usual feeding frenzy at dinner time, we hang out and watch t.v. but I fall asleep, of course, and miss the last 15 minutes of "Numbers" on CBS. If Mom knocked out, that means surefire bedtime for all. I tuck 'em all in, and doze off again in Audrey's bed before getting up and turning off all the lights; checking doors, kids, dogs; just the usual nighttime stuff. I'm shutting down the computer when I decide what the heck, I need to check my email--it'll only take a second...
And I discover in my mailbox that I'm an editor's pick this week. Holy cow!! There's a lot of alerts for me to read, too. What's this about my picture? Oh. I'm that pick this week.
Welcome, everyone! :)
I'm basking in the glow of all the email I have, reading the other picks, and emailing all my friends when I hear Audrey start to fuss.
Nightmare? Just looking for Mom? I'm not sure which, but momstinct sends me down the hall, and I enter the room just in time to hear the distinctive pre-upchuck cough...oh, no. Poor little miss is puking, some really nasty "chunky-industrial waste puke" (love that line from "Hunt for Red October"--sorry about the visual, lol).
"Mommy's here," I murmur, grabbing a wipe and praying Ryan sleeps through this. I clean her up, and catch when she heaves again, and try to lay her back down so I can finish assessing the damage. Move her to the couch, strip her bed, and start to wash her sheets, blanket, etc. Poor baby! I should've known something was up, because she'd had an upset tummy all day and wasn't that interested in eating. She settled down fine, though, with no more puking so far. Probably just a little bug that'll hopefully pass quickly and exclusively through her.
And just like that, I can go from the high of my good news tonight right back down to earth.
Kids always have a way of putting you right back in your place and readjusting that perspective so that it remains true to them.
The cool thing is that they do it without any effort at all, they do it just by being kids.
It's the parenting part that takes work.