Every morning, it starts at the crack of dawn. Which at my house is 5:50 a.m.
“SHHHHHHHHHHH! Mom’s still sleeping!”
“I KNOW that, butt-head.”
“I’m telling you said stupid. MOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM!”
“Mom, can we watch cartoons with our cereal? We walked the dog FIVE TIMES. And we hardly argued at all.”
“Mom, can you unbutton me?” (She has on this gauzy number with impossibly large buttons on the back, which even in my un-bespeckled state I can see very clearly.)
“Mom! I can’t find socks!”
“Mom! Can we have eggs?!”
*sigh* It is now 6:15. I’ve put it off long enough. Groaning, I roll out of bed, as my dear husband pulls the pillow over his head. “Just fifteen more minutes.”
At the other end of the day, Craig is passed out on the couch after the strenuous activity of tucking Sarah into bed and reading her a bedtime story. Every thirty minutes, she parades through the living room, just to be sure we’re still there. Or to ask us to kill the fly/mosquito/moth/other flying creature that has wandered into her room.
In between, it’s more of the same. Shrieks and bickers, interspersed with periods of enforced quiet. “Reading time!” “Flash card time!” “Sock matching time!” (That last one will get them to scatter outside for ten whole minutes before they come back inside for a snack/drink/mom check.)
I love them. Really. With all my heart. But I love what’s going on here, right now, even more. Okay … that sounds bad. Can we just agree that — right now, in this moment — I love it almost as much?
My husband — my dear, sweet husband of almost eleven years — lassoed the kids and took them for a swim at his brother’s house. Without me. Sure, he left the dog. But the dog doesn’t say much.
And so this afternoon, here I am with my Diet Coke and snickerdoodles and old movie, folding laundry with a big, fat smile on my face. My own special “quiet time.”
At this rate, I just may make it till bedtime!