The summer works best when I trail the kids around the house and yard and neighborhood, reminding them to be nice, reminding them to pick up after themselves, making them snacks and meals (sometimes with their "help"), cleaning up after snacks and meals (sometimes with their "help") and, of course, filling in the ongoing holes in their abilities to do any of these things independently. Keeping my cool no matter what.
Gah. It's so ridiculously boring and yet, so necessary. I feel like I need to apologize, because I should probably be singing about how lovely and wonderful and fulfilling it all is to be home with my kids (and doing all these things). But really, I have to spend a lot of time fighting with myself to stay focused on the task at hand (kids: reminders, eating, cleaning), rather than floating mentally away into my own world, mentally doing all the other things that I'd like to be actually doing.
Taking care of three kids this summer is much easier than it was last summer. Or the summer before that. I'm thankful for this. Life does get easier. Having a child under 2 years-old in the house was more urgent-feeling and more time demanding. However, I still feel like it's risky to sit down at the computer and do something of my own – like type out a post for this blog. It's downright amazing how quickly the 2 year-old can find the pencil that the 8 year-old left on the floor and shade the walls with graphite while the 5 year-old laughs. Or how the 8 year-old can pull all the Christmas lights out of the box and string them across the basement "restaurant" while the 2 year-old is getting her diaper changed and the 5 year-old is pulling ice cream sandwiches out of the freezer to serve at the "restaurant." Or the 8 year-old attaches straps to ceiling fan blades while the 5 year-old helps the 2 year-old climb to the top of the bunk bed. Or they decide to cut up a bunch of food and play food photographers while I used the bathroom with the door closed. As I've mentioned before, it sounds sort of funny when I type it out. It maybe, even, used to BE funny to me. But nowadays, my eyes kind of well-up with tears of frustration at how fast the chaos blankets our home. My sense of humor is still lacking. I'm hoping it returns within the year.
|Noah's photo, not mine.|