It’s easy to blog about all the great things I and my family are doing. That’s what I want to share, right? That is what my grandparents and parents want to hear about. Spontaneous “field trips” full of adventure and discovery, meeting new friends, climbing rocks, Thanksgiving wiener roast, beautiful weather, developmental milestones, artwork. Yes, how quickly our lives become sunny, perfect bliss. Well, I do have more positive things to share, but to try to balance things out a bit (portraying reality) here are some things from the darker side.
- We’re finding mouse poop just about everywhere in the house – in dresser drawers, floors, closets, window sills, and, yes, kitchen counter. I’m a little on the anxious side about the giant food order I brought home last weekend from the co-op. (Plus side: So far they haven’t gotten into cupboards, and I caught one mouse in the six traps I set last night. Though disappointed it was only one, that is better than none.)
- I can never, ever, ever get away from my kids. It’s not that I really want to get away from them, at least, not just for the sake of getting away from them itself. But running even the simplest errand(s) with five kids is never simple. (Plus side: I’m sending my sweet hubby to work with lists and he’s squeezing in errands wherever he can.)
- Graeme has to go to work every Sat. and Sun. because his OR day is on Friday. This precludes us from planning weekend trips as a family. It could be years before this changes. Maybe. I don’t know. (Plus side: He is rescheduling his OR this weekend so that we can go away as a family on a trip that I anticipated I would be going alone with the kids. )
- We have a three year old that prefers my company above all else. He likes to talk to me, to have me play his games, to have me address him as “zookeeper” or “leopard” or whatever it happens to be in that game, and to talk, talk, talk to me. He craves my attention no matter how much I give to him. And I do try. If he’s not getting it he is interrupting me or harassing someone else. (Plus side: Lately, he’s been really enjoying Miquon math sheets in the morning, along with his brothers. In fact, we’ve been having great “math mornings” lately, which is an unusual, but welcome turn of events. Everyone is working on Miquon Math at varying levels, except for Zach, who is mostly working on Hands on Equations.) He also loves to drive his John Deere, which is a good diversion when he’s bothering brothers. The trampoline is getting a lot of use, too, but he sometimes won’t go because he wants me to jump on it with him. (Another plus side: This forces me to jump on it sometimes and it is always one of the most fun parts of my day!)
- Our Little Miss Perfect Sleeper started waking up at night about one month ago. It started as a regular once a night feeding, progressed to a twice a night feeding, and then an every-tw0-hours waking, crying, growling. This spread to her two brothers with whom she shares a room. This amounted to two grumpy and annoyed parents. Ultimately, it drove Graeme to the couch for a few nights. (Plus side: Things have settled down again to the once a night feeding with no waking brothers. Phew. I can live with once a night. )
- Noah refused to go into the pool at his first swimming lesson last week. I tried coaxing, reasoning, cajoling, and – in desperation – bribery. Nothing worked. If he was terrified of water I wouldn’t have made such impetuous attempts. In fact, I wouldn’t even have signed him up. He loves water. He loves swimming. He loves pools. Leading up to the lessons I did much mental preparation. We talked about his lessons, what to expect. He was going to go in. However, faced with the reality of walking away from Mommy – even though I’d be watching from the pool deck – was just too much. Once I realized how dug in his heels were I gave up and we enjoyed watching the other three boys together. (Plus side: All week we talked about it and he was going to go in. Grandma asked him on the phone if he’d get Mommy to take pictures and send them. We had the camera packed this week. He was definitely going to go in. Right at the edge of the pool, on the verge of going into the water he backed out. AHHH! GRRRR! (felt Mommy) “I’m not going in yet“, he said. “Noah, then when?” asked Mommy, hint of desperation creeping back into her voice. “Ok, ok, I’ll do it”, and in he went. He never looked back. Now that we’ve broken through that barrier he’ll be fine every week. I hope not to eat those words.)
- Do you ever wish you didn’t care so much about what you and your family eats? Some days, when I feel like the whole day is spent in the kitchen, I have that thought. I wonder what it would be like. I almost – but not really – wish for such a reprieve. I wish I wasn’t so picky about bread and could eat Wonderbread just as happily as the home baked wild rice variety. I briefly wish my kids were as keen on packaged granola bars as they are on the ones I make. But then, I really don’t wish all that. (Plus side: It is cheaper to bake than buy prepackaged. We know exactly what we are eating. It tastes better. I guess I can thank my grandparents and parents for raising us on such good food – homemade, fresh caught, home grown, just hunted, authentic Italian, etc. – for instilling in me a taste for real food. I don’t think it’s a bad thing that my own kids are getting that. Side note: they all love hot dogs and some have a sweet tooth. They just appreciate home baked.)
- There are days where I forget to even look out at the lake because I’m so busy – almost frantically – trying to meet the needs of all of my little darlings, educational and otherwise. (Plus side: When I do remember to look outside…. what a view!)
I am thankful for all of the great and good things that we have. The point of this post is not to complain, but to let you know that my life, our lives, are real too. It’s not all glamour. Many a night I go to bed thankful for this prayer from Lamentations 3:22 and 23, “It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Indeed, great is his faithfulness and new are his mercies each morning!