Friday, November 7, 2008

Fueled by Chaos

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.


Laura ~Peach~ said...

LOL we spent a YEAR with cory refusing to shower... he would go in turn on the water let it run dump a cup of water on his stinky head call it clean then put the same dirty clothing back on... seem like it was about age 8 ... finally one day he stunk so bad I went in the house got a bottle of shampoo and literally hosed him from head to toe in soap and water... he thought it was great fun playing in the water and he finally did not smell like a wet dog any more... for a while... I have asked him a couple times why he went to the trouble to pretend ... I am still waiting for that answer... kids... its all good! Teens thats a whole nother story....

As Cape Cod Turns said...

That is classic! And the fact that he was so matter of fact about it!
And I am a little jealous that Mr. Checkered helps you in all the homework/housework thing. You are one lucky girl!

Mental P Mama said...

Oh now that is funny! We used to have DEAR time when my kids were younger. Every night at a certain time, we would Drop Everything And Read. DEAR time was 30 minutes long. I miss those days so much!

Unknown said...

THis really has me laughing and smiling this morning!!!

I would love to live in your house. I bet ya'll have a ton of fun!

Great post and I hope you characters have a wonderful weekend.

I just love you guys!!!


Julie said...

so is this what I have to look forward to with boys? oh my

Betty said...

haha. I real boy! Gotta love ´em!

Pancake said...

too funny! wait until they get older and try and disguise body odor by adding cologne

Dr.John said...

Thanks for reminding me of the joys of parenting.Since we survived that time and are now into grand parenting which is different I forget those wonderful years.

Grandma Tillie's Bakery said...

oh my word--this reminds me of a friend that waits patiently until her son goes to camp to burn the one set of sheets he will sleep on all year long. Yes, she washes them regularly, but she said the boy smell has become embedded in the sheets LOL

Jeannelle said...

Great recounting of a family evening! It seemed I was there.....could almost see, hear....and smell it all! My friend with seven daughters called this morning.....her life sounds like yours, a constant roll of keeping up with the many activities going on for the members of the household. She is a bright lady, a math teacher by trade, but a stay-at-home mom right now. She says she has to call me once in a while so she can hear me reassure her that she's doing the right thing by staying home. She is......she'll never regret it.