Yesterday was a day in chapters; many of my days feel that way, and Friday particularly so.
Chapter One, All-Nighter: Baby CJ, under the weather, would not sleep unless held, so he stayed in the bed with us all night, and nursed off and on, too. Woke feeling drained. Literally.
Chapter Two, Pediatric Dentist: After race-walking AB to school (she is the only child with “good” teeth), Kevin and I hauled F and A, plus fussy baby CJ (no teeth yet, thank God) to the pediatric dentist. Then we waited, and waited. Kids losing minds, though perhaps Kevin moreso. Finally. Dental assistant was capital W wonderful, kids behaved in chair. Then we waited and waited to see actual dentist. F in full-on three-year-old mode saying repeatedly, and sternly, “We go home now!” We were literally there for two and a half fun-filled hours. Dentist seems nice. Of course, we’ll get to know each other really well in the coming months. This was just the consulation. Result of consultation: A, eight cavities, needs to come back for four consecutive visits, starting in late November, and F, who only got her teeth a little over a year ago, has five, which thankfully will be taken care of in a one-time special extravaganza. We’re going to be selling one of the children in order to pay for this; haven’t chosen yet. Stay tuned.
Chapter Three, Home: Race to drop A at school, we wander the halls searching for his class (not in classroom) after being told by the Very Happy and Always Pleasant school secretary that we are Late. Feeling like criminals caught on the lam, we discover A’s class in the computer lab, hand in pink late slip. Kevin drops the rest of us at home, dashes to work without eating lunch. F so hungry she consumes two and a half bananas. I eat copious amounts, too, feed baby, change soaking cloth diaper, hang laundry, et cetera. Quiet time. Blessed, blessed quiet time. Except baby CJ refuses to sleep during quiet time, now, so I no longer nap during the day. Which isn’t the end of the world. I seem to be surviving just fine. Baby CJ finally goes down for a nap. I start editing a story. Yah, great timing. Can hardly tear myself away in time to feed F a quick snack, pack up gear for swim lessons, wake baby to change and feed before hiking off to school. It’s hairy.
Chapter Four, Swim Lessons: Pick up kids from school and walk briskly to Rec Centre–so briskly, kids are jogging. It’s a finely timed operation, no room for error or unexpected bathroom stops, but everyone rises to the occasion. We’re cheerful, we’re conversational, we encourage each other. Push stroller right into Rec Centre, park, throw baby into sling, grab swim gear, head for changeroom, change, use bathroom, out on the deck with time to spare. Kids meet teachers, get wet, I go upstairs and watch with baby CJ, who is not going to be content hanging out in the sling much longer. He wants to get down and move. But yick. That floor. I’m not ready for that. He’s not really, quite, either. Children shower and change, everyone still cheerful, downright enthusiastic. Now this is a good Friday afternoon.
Chapter Five, Home again. Happy walk in brisk blue-sky fall afternoon, wet heads protected by woolly hats. Cross at our dangerous intersection, nearly get run over by an older woman in a nice car who sees us and just does not care. She’s in too much of a hurry. I shout expletives and wave my fist at her bumper. Expletives sound dumb. Need better expletives. Take suggestions from children–nice pat phrase to shout after cars that nearly run us down (this happens often enough to be worth developing). Come up with nothing quite pithy and scathing enough. Feeling rattled, cart bags and gear into house, along with children. Thankfully Kevin’s home not long after, and he takes baby. Quickly chop potatoes (CSA), throw into oven to roast; sausages thawing (Nina’s).
Chapter Six, Buying Club: Back out the door, despite disastrous house and unopened bags and swim gear leaking on floor. Three children insist on coming along (fourth offers no opinion). Bags in stroller, children running madly down sidewalk to Nina’s buying club. Gather food. Stick bags in stroller. Gather more. Children have come only for the treats. F clings to legs upon seeing a “Dad” she’s scared of. This goes on and on and on. F in hysterics. I’m trying to add up numbers, make out cheque, not forget anything (which I do just about every week). Head home, pushing stroller absolutely laden with fresh, local food. Children racing down sidewalk. Haul approximately forty pounds of food into house. “Why are you so stressed, Mommy?” asks AB. Stir potatoes in oven. Nurse baby. Set table. Put fresh local food away, empty school bags, start load of laundry. Supper eaten. Teeth flossed. Dishes washed. It’s so very late. But there’s still another chapter!
Chapter Seven, Book Club: Didn’t think I’d get here. Once arrived, don’t think I’ll be able to go, as find self dozing while nursing baby one last time. Don’t bother to brush hair. Grab cellphone, re-tie running shoes, bid husband goodbye. Run. Run down the block toward book club, but as running realize lungs are opening, muscles are relaxing, feel suddenly loose and energized and delirious with oxygen. Decide to run a little further. Finally, turn back and head into book club, otherwise known as “book club.” This month we didn’t even have the pretense of a book, though we did have a topic: politics. Lively conversation ensues. This is a good chapter, a fine one to end on.
Now today, Saturday, has been one long run-on sentence. Cleaning, organizing, errands, work. And I’m going to can a 1/4 bushel of tomatoes tonight–the remnants of the romas–which I’ve already turned into plain sauce. But first, Kevin’s taking the kids skating and I’m ignoring the dishes and going for a walk with baby CJ. Mental health moment, here I come.