As Simple as Potatoes

My children are special.  Yeah, yeah, I know, all moms think their kids are special. But seriously, mine have have this totally special, inborn talent to make things complicated and messy. Deep down, past the annoyance of the actual mess or complication, I kinda admire their spunk, their creativity, and the fact that there is no such thing as “bored” around these small people.

It was a beautiful fall day today and  I was trying to get some sewing done – Soren is ready for a new Sunday outfit and I wanted to knock it out before starting on the girls’ stuff, which is much more fun to make. But I was refereeing outside every few minutes… Five kids competing for two bikes, no fence between our driveway and the neighbors’ yard, skinned knees, playing in the car, coming in for water, opening and closing the garage door, etc. Soren came in and since potato salad was on the menu for tonight, I thought if I could keep him occupied in the house for a few minutes that would help the situation, so I asked him to peel the potatoes.

potato peeler
large bowl for peels
pot for peeled potatoes
… all set on the floor.

So he enthusiastically dived into the task. I knew there would be some kind of mess (I’ve been a mom for almost 7 years and I’m not delusional) but figured it would be worth it. So I move about 10 feet away and get back to my sewing work. Pretty soon, Christina comes in to see what “Brother” (as she endearingly calls him) is up to, and is immediately jealous. So she and Agnes (who appeared out of nowhere) start fighting over the pot. Soren, meanwhile, is finishing up his first clean potato and he’s done a decent job. I congratulate myself on a good idea and tell him to put it in the pot.

Unfortunately the couple children still outside needed my attention again and I went out briefly. Upon returning I checked the progress of the potato peeling, thinking there might be a couple potatoes done by now. Instead I find four plastic plates, a bowl, and a serrated peeler added to the tool list, and the peelings being divvied up among the plates. What was conspicuously absent were the peeled potatoes.

“Um, Soren, where are the potatoes  you already peeled?”
“Christina took them.”
“Christina!! Where are my potatoes? I need them for dinner!! What have you done with them?”
“Oh, I threw them outside on the grass. I’ll go get them.”


So of course the remaining outside children come in. Now we have five children competing for two peelers, potato peelings everywhere, dirty, grassy potatoes, peeled fingers, attempts to take the potato peels to other parts of the house, peeling way past the skin to turn the potato into nice shapes, potato peel eating, dumping out and refilling the potato pot, etc. After I took away their extra dishes and tools they kind of lost interest in the project leaving me to finish it up. So I did, thankful that they actually left me some potatoes to eat for dinner tonight.

I did the job, quickly, I thought, and headed outside to check on the children only to find them playing in the neighbor’s yard. (This is the neighbor that has the 8 yr old granddaughter they befriended early on, so they had the neighbor’s permission, but still.) The best part is that Christina is standing on the little porch seat under a tree, naked as the day she was born. As soon as she saw me coming she started running around giggling and shrieking. I picked her up, collecting her clothing as I walked back to the house and brought her inside through the back door. I set her down and turned around to help Agnes up the steps and shut the deck gate. As I did so I saw Christina’s little buns streaking back over toward the neighbor’s house… she’d pulled the ol’ through-and-through…

Long story short: I didn’t quite finish my sewing project, but at least the potato salad came out great.

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3 Responses to As Simple as Potatoes

  1. whteroses says:

    Wow, Sarah, and I thought my afternoon/evening was exasperating! I hope to have your outlook on things when I have 5 of my own!

  2. THIS is why it is so important to start having children while you’re still young and energetic!   Fabulous story!

  3. Love it!  You and your kids are the perfect partnership of awesomeness and chaos!

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