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Sunday, May 31, 2009

A Weekend with Four Boys

Three of the four boys and my husband are crashed out in the living room, sound asleep. Our oldest is just watching TV, waiting for the hockey game to begin tonight. (Go Red Wings!)

I thought I would take a moment to tell you about our weekend.

Friday, I learned how to drive the garden tractor’s rototiller. I knew how to drive the tractor, but the rototiller was a new thing. It was like getting my driver’s license for the first time, I had that much fun and it was that freeing. My garden may actually grow this year! While my husband grows all our necessary food, I grow sunflowers. How can you not smile at sunflowers? I worked the boys hard, they got to put in their own seeds too but since I left them to themselves to grow them, we’ll see how they turn out. It’s all a learning experience.

At night we had a campfire in the new campfire spot the boys worked hard to build. My parents were over as an unplanned visit and most often, unplanned visits end up being sometimes the very best. This one was. We sat around talking about all sorts of things, mostly about how the state must have been in pioneer days. We were inspired, I suppose, by the mosquitoes eating us.

The day was perfect except for two things…..

1. I can’t seem to keep my boys fed. We are on summer vacation now and in one morning, they ate a bunch of bananas and half a bag of apples. They eat all their breakfast, they eat all their dinner, they eat all their lunch. They eat cookies, crackers, brownies, icecream , yogurt… I timed them. They ate all their dinner and exactly half an hour later, they were asking what they could eat because they are hungry. Anyone with ideas of what to feed them, please let me know. I need new FILLING ideas. And the craziest thing about this is that whenever I tell someone how much my boys eat, I feed them and they WON’T EAT! Only to be STARVING later. Sigh.

2. Our dog found a nest of baby bunnies. To find a nest of baby bunnies for the boys means they want to keep them for their very own. I look at them and think one more thing to feed…even more constantly than the boys. So, I tell them to leave them alone. They assure me they are just going to look at them to make sure they are okay. They do this every five minutes, I’m sure. Our dog thinks they sound like her favorite squeaky toy….we are minus three baby bunnies now. On the upside, we keep finding more. What started out as three tuned into eight, I think. But keeping the dog away and keeping the boys away…it was a challenge to say the least.

On Saturday I spent the morning lounging, which meant that I got caught. A friend of mine stopped in to see me in my robe, an asparagus customer stopped over too but R.C. was friend enough to talk to them for me. THAT is a true friend, turning a customer away when you are standing in your robe. I have learned my lesson (I hope), no more lounging Saturday mornings! It was while standing on my porch to chat with R.C. that I realized all the fish we caught the other day, well, they were still there. To say they stink, well, that would be an understatement. I looked at my porch and realized that, yes, our porch looked humiliatingly bad. S1 had set up a ‘fishing pole’ fix it shop on the tank for baby chicks – they had been moved to the coop well over a week ago. The baby changing table had been kicked out of the house, and on the porch. And then just the odd collection of boys stuff. We had serious work to do.

And we are still far from done.

So when the family reunion/birthday party time came up later in the day, this family pack was sleepy, to say the very least. We arrived at a park to have a potluck dinner and this park has a creek running thru it. Before I let the boys out, I very strongly stressed to them that they were not to fall into the creek. No matter what, under any circumstances, were they to fall into the creek.

That’s kinda like asking my husband not to farm. It’s in a boys blood to play in a creek, just like I think my husbands blood is actually dirt.

As soon as we were done eating, S2 ran to jump over the creek, missed and fell in. He layed on the ground crying, he knew he was in trouble but he told us that it was an accident. He was soaked, shoes, socks and shorts. He had to suffer thru, cuz I had forgotten to pack extra clothes, which I had meant to do but forgotten.

After birthday cake I sat on the bank watching the two youngest play. They had a little beach spot and they were being ever so careful not to get wet and still having fun. As they climbed the bank to check on something and were coming back down, the grass made it look like there was ground where there wasn’t and by the time I got out ‘don’t walk there!’ S4 had gotten too close, fell down the steepest part of the bank, thankfully not where there were any rocks, into an exceptionally deep spot in the creek.

“Get up!” I hollered to him but when he put his arms down to pull himself up, he would just go under. I jumped in to pull him out. It was deep enough that when I got out, my jeans were wet to the bottom of my back pockets. S4 was fine, though very shaken up and very cold. He kept saying “it was an accident, Moma…”and then he would cough because he had drunken in too much water. I grabbed a hold of S3’s hand, held tight to S4’s hand and hollered loud enough for the other two boys to hear that we were headed home. At those words, S3 begins to dig his heels into the ground, literally. “I don’t want to go home!” he cries.

S4 is crying “ I don’t love falling in the water.” Cough cough cough. “It was actually an accident, Moma.” Cough cough cough.

S2 is yelling “Moma, did you grab my socks? I put them next to you!”

And S1 is just hustling, he is sure I am on the war path. And he is trying not to laugh at the sight of his MOMA drenched in creek water after her stern talking to to all the boys.

It was this scene that greeted my husband, who is lounging at the picnic table chatting with his family. “oh, are you ready to leave?” he asks after I have stripped S4, who is now shaking, down and put a pullup on him then strapped him into the carseat. S3 is following right behind me still hollering that he doesn’t want to leave and walks right into the open vehicle door which makes him scream. S2 is asking if I remembered his socks and what happened. And S1 is silently getting ready for the ride home. I had returned to get our picnic stuff. “Yes,” I answered as controlled as possible, “we are”. And then I walked my squeaky, sandy, soaked skechers back to the vehicle with all our picnic gear.

As soon as we were away from the park, I stripped down to my panties. I glared at my husband and said “don’t you DARE get pulled over! DRIVE SLOW! There is no way we can explain this one away!”

So, all the way home my husband teased me, asked the boys if they wanted to stop ice cream…all sort of funny things like that. I knew this would be funny when I was fully clothed again. But I wasn’t clothed yet.

At the end of the night, as I sat on the couch to watch the Red Wings and got to thinking how badly I needed to paint my toes,
I facebooked that S4 had fallen in the creek but was drying out. Someone fb’d me back to say ‘another exciting day’ and as I read that, S3 came in bawling with a black and blue mark on his forehead because he had run into his brothers hockey stick. I called it a night, told the boys to just camp out on the floor if they needed to see the Red Wings win or go to bed and I crawled into bed and dreamed of sitting in France with one of my friends drinking strong coffee and eating some thing like ice cream that was yummy.

I think my brain is telling me I need a vacation.

Sunday woke me with sunshine. We were visiting some friends of ours home and hadn’t been there in years (as a whole family) and had decided to tag along with them to church too.

Want to watch your kids under pressure? Bring them to a church totally unlike your own and see how they react. It’s kinda funny. Their eyes were as big as saucers, they were polite and they were nice and they did have a lot of fun. And when my oldest left Sunday school he said “thank you very much but I will never come back again.” Honest, but it was because we were visiting…… I explained that to her before we left and she was left wondering what she had done to offend us so badly!

And then we spent the rest of the afternoon with friends. Who have a little girl. (and three grown kids, two of which are boys so they understand us very well) And nothing is more fun than watching our boys hang out with a little girl! And you know you are good friends when you can arrive barefoot, stay barefoot and help out in the kitchen. It was fun….

And when we got home, I noticed a new shirt on my clothes line that wasn’t there before. And there were things on my clothes line already…. It said, “just another day in paradise” from my dear friend, K.E. She had a note with it, telling me I should wear it when and then listed a few of the things my boys do.

The perfect end to a ‘typical’ weekend.

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