Tuesday, March 24, 2015

A Day in the Life

Have you ever wondered what life with five kids would be like?  Imagine booking a babysitter a week in advance, to go out for a quiet anniversary dinner with your spouse, only to discover that the night before your date, as you're getting everyone ready for bed, one of your kids not only tells you that they have a school performance tomorrow, but also that they need a white shirt and black pants. This child of course has neither because he is the oldest child and there are no hand-me-downs. So, you cancel the sitter, put off the date, throw some clothes on (as you were already in your pajamas), ask your husband to review the Social Studies information with your fifth grader for his test tomorrow that will account for the majority of his entire marking period grade, drive to the store at 8pm, discover the only available black pants are a size too big and have been sewn incorrectly and have a hole in the seam. You have no choice but to buy these pants anyway and are lucky enough to find an appropriate white shirt. You rush home, change back into your pajamas and dig out your little sewing kit, only to find that you don't have black thread, just gray, but it'll have to do because now it's 9pm and who's really going to be looking halfway down the leg of your eleven year old as he's crammed on stage with 150 other eleven year olds? As you're sewing, your nine year old appears and says her loose tooth is STILL hurting and she needs some medicine. Then, as you sneak into the bathroom to wash your face, you hear your five year old, who was supposed to be asleep an hour ago, coming down the stairs to announce that "tomorrow is Reading with Reptiles Day", whatever THAT means.   She is sent back up the stairs and you collapse on the couch, vowing to find time to iron those new clothes before your kid hits the stage tomorrow. Twenty minutes later you can hardly keep your eyes open, so you stagger down the hall, chug some NyQuil because you've had a never-ending cold for three weeks, and then pass out in bed. The alarm clock jolts you from sleep at 5:45am and you quickly go over your day: a few hours at grandma's, a quick trip to the gym, a shower, run one child to swimming class, run home to get the others off of the bus, throw SOMETHING in the oven for dinner, run back and get the child from swimming, go back home and finish the dinner, gather the family for meal time, throw everyone in the tub for baths because it's bath night and soon we'll be leaving for the school performance and there won't be time afterwards, and then we'll be off to the auditorium. Everyone will sit quietly for about six minutes and then they'll all start to FEED off of each other: little pokes, laughs, the baby won't sit still. And if the baby won't sit still, then the other kids won't want to either. Pretty soon either you or your spouse will be standing in the hallway with up to four kids because they were disrupting other people and of COURSE you chose to sit right next to the guy who's filming the show for families to buy! Forty-five minutes later it'll all be over and we'll sprint for the car, and head for home. But don't forget: tomorrow is your Kindergartener's day to bring in a special book to read and WHERE IS HER FAVORITE BOOK?! And your first grader has his performance tomorrow and when did his pants get so short?! So you drag out four bins of used clothes before you find a pair that he'll actually wear and pull out a collared shirt that he will hate and promise him that he'll only have to wear it for THIRTY minutes on stage, but you're pretty sure he knows it'll be longer than that, and he's twitchy just thinking about it. Oh, and as you're having the kids pick out their school clothes for the morning, you notice your older daughter has laid out her clothes, including your size Adult Large sweatshirt from high school that she's been told NOT to wear every. single. day. but she does anyway, and frankly, you're just too tired to argue with her tonight. And then you read everyone their books and tuck them into their beds and give each child five kisses, because they've insisted that anything less than five is uncaring and you've insisted that anything more than five would just be ridiculous. You turn on the hall light and close their doors to just cracks and descend the stairs and finally, this day is at its end. As you're washing your face and brushing your teeth, maybe you think, "If I only had three kids things would be so much simpler," but in your mind you know that three is just as hard as five and in your heart you know that you'd never want it any other way.