Tonight was one of those nights. It started with a mad dash from work to pick up my oldest from baseball practice. No, it’s not spring yet and yes, the season here has already started. And yes, I am just a little bitter about it. Especially since signing our son up for this league was my husband’s idea but he can’t pick our fella up tonight because he is working late. Again.
In fairness, he rarely works late but for the past three weeks, he’s had a big project that has left me consistently home alone. Well, not truly alone but, alone with our five kids on hectic weeknights and busy weekends. I think I”m burning out and if tonight is any indication, our kids are too. This is how it unfolded…
The baseball pick up was seamless. I was on time and we were on our way home in no time at all. Then the gas light went on. No, we didn’t run out of gas but yes, it was another pitstop on the way home to my four other children, all of whom greeting me at the door like this:
AAAHHHHH. WAAAAAHHHHHHH. HE DID IT! SHE DID IT! AAAAAAHHHH!!! WAAAAHHHH! I DIDN’T DO IT!!!!!
OMG, I thought to myself, this is going to be a doozie. My daughter was coming down the steps bawling that she had just “bashed” her head into the wall. One triplet was screaming and holding his hand out. It revealed a very swollen finger that had apparently been slammed in a door by the young lady with the head wound. With my coat still on, I went to the kitchen for ice packs. When I opened the freezer, another triplet demanded frozen berries. When I said “No, sorry buddy, we have fresh berries so let’s eat them first and save the frozen ones for another day,” he went off the deep end. “I WANT FROZEN BERRIES! FROZEN BERRIES, FROZEN BERRIES, FROZEN BERRIES!”, he wailed, adding to cacaphony of the wounded with ice packs.
At that point, my oldest asked (again), if he could go play basketball. He hadn’t had dinner, hadn’t taken a shower, hadn’t finished his homework and had already asked twice and been told no. I felt like screaming at him but knew that if I joined in the din, things would only get worse. So, I said yes, under the logic that having one less kid in the house during this most witching of all hours would only be a good thing. So he left. And then there were four. And me.
I didn’t know what to do. Three were screaming and one was scheming, whispering to the Berry Boy that he should just go ahead and help himself to those frozen berries. I was exhausted; they were out of control. It was 6:47. “It’s time for bed,” I said, not knowing what else to do. The wailing persisted as we went upstairs but quieted down as the library books came out and we read about baby bears, a platypus and a mouse named Geronimo Stilton. At one point, as I was getting their toothbrushes, I looked out at the setting sun and thought “this too shall pass” as I took a deep breath. And it did. Thank God!
By 8:00, four of them were in bed and sound asleep. My big guy was back from basketball, showered and together we ate dinner. We talked about his day and he revealed that he’d gotten his report card. We took a look together and it was good. Very good. He’s a good kid. They are all good kids. And, like all of us, they have bad moments and we have bad days. And nights.
Tonight was the exception, not the rule. Our house, like most, I believe, is like that old nursery rhyme, “When it’s good, it’s very very good and when it’s bad, it’s horrid.” Tonight was horrid. But it’s over. Tomorrow the sun will rise again and a new day will begin. And, like most days, I suspect it will be very very good.