Our evenings look like evenings in most other homes, I suspect. There's homework, there's sports, there's music lesson, there's simply life. So Checkered and I juggle and borrow time from one activity to pay the next. We tag-team a lot, and somehow the kids get to school, and get home. We get to work and the house eventually gets clean. The dinner gets made and eaten. The dog gets walked. And we fall into bed each night thankful for our family, our lives, and even our busyness.
But sometimes in the midst of our nightly chaos, something or other gets overlooked. We've failed to make the next day's lunches. We've forgotten to do some of the homework. We've missed a bath or two. We've never thought to check the next day's calendar and have not shown up for very important appointments. We don't try to live this way - it just seems to be how we currently roll.
One night recently, while three of the kids studied for tests and Checkered and I quizzed them and took care of house chores, I remembered that my youngest child's October reading log was due, but it was fairly empty. In my naturally unruffled and calm demeanor I hollered, "Get your books and get in the living room NOW! We have to read!!!" (I will deny this when he will surely one day announce his hatred of reading.)
So my child and I cozied up together and plowed through the book, Dust for Dinner. We talked about what the Dust Bowl was and what it meant to families to lose their farms. We talked about Sponge Bob. We talked about the kids in 1st grade. We talked about what we should eat. And while we were having this intellectual reading time, another child of mine walked through the room and announced, "I think the dog pooped in here, but I don't see it." We all sniffed and agreed with his astute observation. Then we read another entire sentence of Dust for Dinner before another child of mine walked in and yelled, "Why do you boys always have to fart?! Is that all you ever do?!" That brought the other boys into the room and they began to brag about their farting prowess.
But then we all decided the puppy poop/boy farts odor was not diminishing and I was sitting in a veritable cloud. I started to sniff. It wasn't the dog. It wasn't some boy's backside. It was my reading partner's feet all cozily encased in socks.
"Child, when did you put these socks on?"
"The last time we went to church."
"But today is Wednesday and we went to church on Sunday."
"But you took a bath last night."
"Yes, and then I put my socks back on. These are my favorite pair of socks, so I sleep in them every night so I'll be ready for school in the morning."
72 hours and counting of straight sock wearing.
A cloud of noxious foot odor.
A's on those kids' tests the next day.
A completed October reading log.
Tons of laughter.
And a sneaky sock thief/fairy during the night.
Yes, that's how we roll.