Wake up. Hear stomping, then bedroom door opening. Feign sleep. Continue to drool, arm flung over face. Hear husband say, “Yes?” and YoungestBoy answer, “Can I have a Go-gurt?”
Doze. Wake up when husband’s arm bumps my hip. “Hey,” he says, “You should shower before the baby wakes up.” I pry one eye open and squint to see the clock. It’s 7:08 a.m. Whatever happened to sleeping in on Saturdays?
I roll over and deny that morning has arrived, despite the evidence of children downstairs. STOMP! SLAM! THWACK!
I hate mornings. Have I mentioned that lately?
I shower while my husband lies in bed. This is clearly wrong, but I cannot figure out why it still happens. I should be the last person in bed. I am the person who makes the bed. It makes sense, right?
I have time to rotate the laundry (washer into dryer, dryer into basket) and fold a load of clothes. I pick up an enormous pile of cards from the floor where I’d ignored them last night. Then I get Babygirl from her room. She greets me, saying, “Sheet. Mommy. Sheet. Chair. Mommy.”
My husband showers and goes to work until noon. I tell the kids we can go to the pancake breakfast at the pool–it’s opening day–and that motivates them to shower and get dressed. I give YoungestBoy a bath and wash his hair because he has a birthday party to attend.
I feed Babygirl oatmeal. Coax her into clothes. Wrap the birthday present. Clean the litter box. Feed the kittens. Fill out the pool membership application and write a check. Get a snack for Babygirl. We finally leave the house at about 10:15 a.m.
We arrive at the pool and it’s sprinkling. No matter. We aren’t made of brown sugar. We won’t melt. We eat pancakes and eggs and sausage. The rain stops. The kids decide to roll down the grassy hill. Except Babygirl. She runs.
We leave at 11:00. I have to pick up Babygirl and carry her to the car while she shrieks and kicks and cries. She likes the pool, I guess. We are home a short time and my husband arrives home, too. I realize that I don’t need to make lunch because the boys just ate pancakes. I change YoungestBoy’s clothes and at 11:45 a.m., take him to the birthday party. Mr. Over-Protective Husband advises me to check out the party house. “Be sure there aren’t three ‘uncles’ lurking around,” he says. I roll my eyes.
Noon. I drop off YoungestBoy at the party.
12:30 p.m. I go upstairs to nurse Babygirl before her nap.
1:00 p.m. Mission accomplished. Babygirl is asleep. Husband is also asleep. I tell him I’m going to the grocery store. I have a short list, a handful of coupons and I shop fast. By 1:45 p.m., I’m back in the car, heading to pick up YoungestBoy from the party. He had a great time! His good little group of buddies were at the party. He was red-cheeked and happy.
2:00 p.m. Arrive home. Tell husband I’m taking the boys to the pool to swim. He looks at me like I’ve clearly lost my mind. But the boys want to swim, even though it is sprinkling off and on and about 60 degrees. The water is heated, after all.
At the pool, TwinBoyB immediately takes the swimming test–he swims the length of the pool to the satisfaction of the life guards. YoungestBoy wants to dive off the diving board, so I tell him he needs to take the swimming test, too. He seems tired and bobs a lot in the water and once comes to the edge of the pool–I don’t think he actually realized he was being tested. When he got to the edge of the pool, the lifeguard (a new girl with freckles) shook her head “no.” He didn’t pass! This is the boy who can dive 10 feet to the bottom of the pool to retrieve a penny, the kid who swims like a fish.
He was crushed. He swam back under the rope, though, and continued his underwater acrobatics. He practiced swimming with his arms whirling above his head. Then, while playing a chasing kind of game with his brothers, he bashed his head into the side of the pool and gave himself a lump on the back of the head. He came out of the pool, crying and I wrapped him in towels and hugs while tears rolled down his face. He was upset about the lump, but also upset about not passing the swim test. “Mom,” he said, “I feel like I’m a bad person. I will never pass the test!”
I watched TwinBoy, too, with an aching heart. He is not a good swimmer. In fact, he doesn’t really swim. His arms and legs are just not in sync with his brain and he cannot propel himself through the water. Besides that, he does not like dunking his head under water. He comes up sputtering every time. But he wants to play water-basketball with the other boys and the hoop is just on the other side of the rope. I watched him hugging a basketball under water, floating on it, and gazing at the kids on the other side of the rope. Seldom do you see such a stark picture of a kid who is not included. Usually, the rope is invisible. I hope he can learn to swim this summer. He did shoot a few baskets, but when the ball doesn’t float back within reach, he can’t retrieve it.
After YoungestBoy calmed down and decided to go back into the pool, I sat shivering because my jeans were wet from hugging soaking him. I tried to read an old Vanity Fair magazine (I’m so behind–this one was never opened, from December 2003), but mostly I watched the kids swim.
We left at 3:45 p.m. and the second I got home, Babygirl ran to me and insisted that I hold her. My husband left to run errands (pick up dry-cleaning, wash car) and I felt so annoyed! Even when he’s home–when he’s not working–he never seems to stick around! So, I had to cook dinner with a nosy, pesky toddler in my arms and underfoot. We had tacos–hard and soft–and I had to laugh secretly because my boys raved about the “meat” I cooked. It wasn’t meat at all, but a ground beef substitute called “Morningstar Grillers.”
My husband returned while we were eating dinner. Then he mowed the lawn. Finally finished, he decided to take Babygirl for a car-ride so I could practice music for church tomorrow. I sat at the piano and went over the songs while the kids make a big racket behind me.
Then TwinBoyA said, “Mom! Mom!” I turned and looked and there was YoungestBoy, sitting upright, legs crossed, head completely drooping sideways. Sound asleep. I took two pictures and then my husband returned and laid him in TwinBoyA’s bed. He slept until 8:30 p.m., and was awake and off-kilter until 10:30 p.m.
Now, this is what you call really, really tired.
My husband and I watched “The Restaurant” on television. I read the newest Vanity Fair while I watched television. My husband was teasing me about it because this is the issue that features Brad Pitt on the cover and much ado was made about nothing (his naked photos inside). I told him, “I only read this for the articles.” At the moment, I was reading about Stephen Hawking, eminent scientist who is trying to figure out the origin and purpose of the universe.
And now, it’s past 11 p.m.
Everyone is asleep. I never finished all the dinner dishes, nor have I put all my music for tomorrow in a notebook. I have no idea what I’ll wear to church tomorrow, but right now–right now–I’m going to put a chicken in the crockpot and go to sleep.
Saturday sure ain’t what it used to be. (I remember when it was a day of leisure. Now, that memory seems like a lie.)