Sunday, August 15
8:00 a.m. I'm awakened by a skinny five-year-old boy who has sneaked into my bed and has been slowly worming his way closer to my body for the past several minutes. I smile without opening my eyes, knowing it won't be long before he won't want to do this anymore. "Cuddle me, Mom," he says sleepily, his face turned into the pillow. I lift my arm and he snuggles closer.
10:00 a.m. I cut up pineapple and strawberries for the boys while cinnamon rolls I extracted from a tube bake in the oven. Its their favorite breakfast and I feel, for the moment, like The Most Awesome Mom Ever.
10:05 a.m. I pour my coffee and sit down to eat and realize that there are still groceries we bought the night before that haven't been put away, and more dirty dishes in our sink than should ever be allowed there. I try to work up the energy to care about either.
Because I have spent my entire Saturday with two kids, by myself, catching up on laundry and cleaning the rest of the house (including two out of three bathrooms) I decide I'm going to eat and read instead.
12:15 p.m. The boys are getting restless, but I can only expect them to play Potato Heads for so long without it turning into wrestling Potato Heads, right? Trying to determine if the plastic wading pool will hold water just.one.more.time, I look out at the backyard and see how long the grass has grown since our shed was overtaken by honey bees earlier in the week. Sigh. The riding lawn mower is inside the shed and well, can't be accessed without the bees attacking. I don't want to be attacked by bees right now. I want to find something fun to do with my boys on this beautiful sunny day that isn't 958° before its Monday and I'm back at work. I pull out the ol' Lappy and do a few Google searches.
12:30 p.m. I curse the God-forsaken hillbilly hick county we live in for lack of information on their parks website. There is a picture of the damned park I want to take the boys to, but no address, price or hour information. I find (in a picture on a somewhat unrelated PDF) the hours of the splashpad at that park. I think I know where it is, but my children are running down the hallway and "baseball-player sliding" into the living room all while doing a running commentary of their pretend ballgame at the top of their lungs. I decide its a good idea to wake The Hubster after his refreshing four hours of sleep and ask him quickly for directions to the park so that he may (hopefully) get to go back to sleep for another hour after we leave and the house is quiet again.
1:00 p.m. A bag has been hastily packed, swimsuits secured for all parties and everyone is belted into the car. I realize its lunch time but the kids reassure me they're not hungry.
1:10 p.m. We're driving through town looking for an ATM. When I find one, I pay more for the ATM fee than I did in Midtown Manhattan. I can't quite seem to get my car to do the posted 25 mph, so I set the cruise control as I navigate the "downtown" area. I pass two gas stations where bored looking teenagers sit under canopies selling their family's fresh produce, one brat fry and one charity car wash. I am, for the moment, enamored with small town life again.
1:13 p.m. We leave "downtown" and hit the beautiful Wisconsin countryside. The boys are singing "Sweet Home Bam-a-Mama!" in the backseat. Somehow, that's completely perfect, and I smile, angling the rear-view mirror so I can see them dancing along.
1:30 p.m. We successfully find the park and splashpad and each of us is pretty darn excited about it. To my joy, not only is it completely enclosed by a wrought iron fence, but its FREE and there are plenty of benches for parents. Had we actually planned our day a little better, we could have used one of the picnic tables outside the splashpad that are also conveniently in the shade. I see several smart families picnicking together there and am more than a bit sad that I don't have anyone else to hang with for the day.
2:30 p.m. I give up asking the boys if they want lunch. Its apparently clear that they will continue to run their fool heads off around the splashpad, partaking in imaginary games with the other kids until they drop over from exhaustion. As suspected, a promise of Happy Meals changes their minds. (If I know nothing else, I know a small town will have two things - a Wal-Mart and a Mickey D's.)
3:30 p.m. We've had fast food, soda and ice cream. Not having any other plans for the day (for a change) I ask the boys what they think we should do. I pretend to consider it carefully when Will shouts, "GO TO MORE PARK!" but really, I think its a pretty fan-freaking-tastic idea. Back we go.
3:45 p.m. I get a phone call from my brother asking if he and his fiance can come over to look at old pictures for the slide show they'll be having at their wedding reception. I tell him no problem and am glad to have something non-kid-related to look forward to.
4:30 p.m. We've spent more time at this tiny little (but awesome-tastic) park than we've spent doing anything else relaxing and just fun since moving to the 'burbs of the 'burbs, but its time to call it a day. We head home with the windows rolled down, everyone singing along to the radio.
5:00 p.m. Crap. I realize my brother and his super cute fiance will be at our house in less than an hour and, um, those dishes are still waiting for me.
5:40 p.m. Double crap. Dishes have been loaded, boys' toys picked up, but the grill has just run out of gas.
6:00 p.m. Chicken is in the oven, salad is made, and photo albums brought up from the basement.
6:10 p.m. Brother and super cute tiny fiance arrive and we begin perusing old photos. We laugh at the ridiculous faces my brother always seems to be making.
6:12 p.m. We laugh harder at my mother's lack of picture taking ability. Each shot from our early years is 80% wall/curtains/Christmas tree and 20% kids.
6:45 p.m. Dinner is on the table. We eat. I've forgotten to make any sort of potato to go with our meal. Crud.
7:00 p.m. The Hubster calls to say he won't be able to make it home for dinner for awhile. I make a plate and put in the fridge for him.
8:15 p.m. The Hubster finally gets to come home to eat dinner. I fight with the boys to get them into PJs and the rest of us go back to looking at photos. I think the boys are jumping on Nick's bed, but they're not fighting, so I let them be.
8:40 p.m. I wrestle the kids into bed. This task is made exponentially harder by the fact that their uncle is in the kitchen and they want to "look at pitchers toooooo!" I promise them that their uncle can come back another time and play some more.
9:00 p.m. My brother and his cute fiance leave. I'm happy to have given him some pictures of his childhood. After all, every photo that exists of us four kids is in one single shoe box. I'm proud of the fact that when I was sixteen, I bought my own camera and started taking pictures.
I start thinking about that. About how, at some point, early in my life, I became the family photographer, event planner and organizer. I realize there weren't very many family events I wasn't at, though how would I know? There wouldn't be any pictures to prove an event happened, period. I start to laugh at myself and then realize how absolutely exhausted I am. I realize my bed (and my book) have been calling my name, and who am I to turn them down, after all they've done for me?