A Philosophical Discourse on Ideal vs. Real

…or, How My Day Didn’t Quite Go As Planned.

Dave is coming home today from a long weekend trip with a couple of his brothers.

My plan for today was to have some breakfast, and then spend some time bonding with the children in a calm, idyllic outdoor setting, wherein I would sit off to the side and do some crochet work while watching them out of the corner of my eye run through the field playing nicely with one another. After this, when we were all simultaneously in a state of readiness to leave, we would trot home, basking in warm feelings of cameraderie, which would induce my children to cheerfully contribute to the house cleaning and readying that was necessary to welcome Papi home in style.

(Insert screeching record sound here.)

Here’s what actually happened.

Nobody could agree on a breakfast, so I finally said “Eggs it is, we’ve run out of time.” Only two children ate the eggs. Nobody would get dressed, preferring to run around naked, and unimpressed with the promise of a playground outing.

During breakfast, someone came by to pick something up and I neglected to re-chain lock the door. The kids finally got dressed and wanted to check the weather to see how appropriate their outfits were. The next thing I knew the house was dead quiet. I walked through the kitchen in time to see Agnes sneaking out the open front door. The kids were all in the parking lot running around in small rain puddles. They seemed happy, and for my part I didn’t mind sticking closer to home, so when they claimed they would rather splash than play in a playground I acquiesced.

The next thing I knew, Miriam’s foot was bleeding from stepping in some broken glass that was off in a corner, having discarded her shoes as usual. Into the house we went to clean and bandage the wound. Strict orders for everyone to remain in shoes were issued. Playing resumed, and then it was decided that we should take the idyllic nature walk that I’d first envisioned. Off we went to play.

Running in the field and looking at shrubbery suited for a while, and the kids found they could hide in some bushes which they found exciting. Then Miriam discovered some “woods” (a few trees deep) and went exploring and pretended to be lost. (We could all see her.)

And then they discovered the dirt. Someone started drawing in it with sticks. I do want to encourage dirt play, I think it’s therapeutic and educational, so I didn’t object. Then they started using puddled water to create mud, mud balls, and mud cherries. Fun stuff. Then Christina got the idea to make me into a mud mom. I was chewing and spewing mica for a while after that. After they had piled up thick mud onto one another’s heads, though, I grew quite weary of this particular chapter and longed to return home. But of course, they were having as much fun as kids in mud. Fight number one ensued. Mom won, but at the expense of the cameraderie.



The girls took off running back to the apartment (which I didn’t appreciate since we had not yet found Jireh’s shoes), but in the interests of safety I needed to follow them. (Goodbye, butterfly flip flops. You served us well, for all two weeks we had you.) I got their mud covered butts into the shower. A bath was NOT an option. They had too much caked mud on them, it would have simply redistributed on their skin in the water. So for ten very long, very loud minutes, there were blood curdling screams coming from the shower.

As though in response, the hall fire alarm outside the bathroom started blaring. I shut it off and returned to the torture chamber. Wow those kids were screaming loudly. Oh no, wait, that’s the fire alarm again! I dismantled it, threw it somewhere, and returned to finish the rub a dub dub.

Sigh. Five squeaky clean children. And there was lunch to consider. Quartered PB&J and that was overwith. Now to clean the house. I started running into motivation problems again. Miriam’s foot hurt (tho it was fine while playing and running outside). Everyone else pretty much just ignored me. So I started just working around them. I got started on changing my bedsheets. Everyone loves to help with this job. It’s so fun to hook the corners of the fitted sheet, pull and straighten, and oh of course jump up and down on the bed while doing it. We finally made some progress amidst the bed jumping and I turned around to see a very helpful-minded Christina taking off Agnes’ diaper.

It was Jireh who first noticed “Agnes has a poopy tush!” I ran into the bathroom to clean off Agnes, and then notice… Oh no! Christina, what are you doing? The dear two year old — who couldn’t be bothered to put her own wet diapers in the diaper pail and who, as a result, has turned my home into a veritable minefield of urine-soaked diapers — was actually in the bathroom, swishing the poopy diaper in the toilet as she has seen me do hundreds of times.  I quickly put naked Agnes down, thanking Christina profusely, got the situation contained, and returned to my room to continue the bed making.

Agnes was still naked, I noticed, and stepped toward her, stopping to notice a very moist and unpleasant sensation on the bottom of my bare foot. I guess it wasn’t all contained in the diaper. Next crisis, to clean up the carpet. And my foot. I handed Jireh the pillow case I was holding and said, “Jireh, will you please put this pillowcase on that pillow over there?” and at the same time shouted to Soren not to step in the poopy spot on the floor until I had cleaned it. Somehow this confused the command, and the next thing I knew, I walked out of the bathroom with two clean feet to find that Jireh had placed my naked pillow on top of the poopy spot and was jumping on it.

I screamed for a couple of minutes and then went to place the pillow and other items in the laundry room. Two days ago, I was caught up on laundry. Now the pile is threatening to be taller than I am.
And oh, right, Agnes was still naked. I diapered her and haven’t yet noticed any damp spots that would indicate she made nefarious use of her naked time. But then, I haven’t searched everywhere.

After I sent the kids to their room to clean or sleep, I didn’t care which, I kicked into overdrive and got the main area, kitchen, and master bedroom cleaned up nicely and the still-awake kids in front of a library-rented movie in the hopes they won’t mess it all up before Dave actually walks through the door.

So much for my cooperative day-dream. Still, I suppose all’s well that ends well, and if it hadn’t happened like this, would you have gotten your daily laugh today?

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This entry was posted in A Day in the Life, Parenting, Soap Box. Bookmark the permalink.

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