Monday, March 17, 2014

Muddy Waters

The kids were off of school today - yes, all of them. And yes, that rarely happens. And yes, I had grand plans for taking them to the Great Outdoors somewhere.

And G-d had other plans. Remember the  how we learned to expect the unexpected and the car that would not start? Today's challenge, should we choose to accept it, was to stay home and sane. At the same time. I guess I could have booted up the computer and let the kids take a bash at MathBlaster (or whatever its newer cousin is called). I could have called in sick (well, I've got three vomiters on my hands). But I didn't. I saw the day through with flying colors and I deserve all the pats on the back I can get.

It was a hot day, so I got out the hose - yes, I do know there's a drought on - and we filled our favorite spot in the backyard. And oh the ecstasy of mud. We painted the garage door and the backyard patio.We went wading, and contrary to Polly Chase Boyden's assertions we do know how nice the mud feels between our toes. Oh so squishy and squiddgy and MUDDY. We painted ourselves and each other a deep, deep brown.

And how sweet we sounded as we splashed and we laughed and pitter-pattered in bare feet on cement flags.

Not to be outdone, our bathtub now sports an inch or two of tantalizing grunge.

Sunday, March 16, 2014

G-d loves me

I bring as proof this evenings events.

After a morning spent in the car with six kids delivering packages, I was pretty beat. Thank heaven for a nursing baby, I had my excuse to go sit in a quiet room while Daddy took care of the little monsters  cuties. Once I and baby were refreshed, I saw to the refreshment of the others. That done, I was finished for the day.

But. But. But. We were hosting a dinner party for 80 (together with some friends - that much of a super mom I'm not!), and had to be there. The other moms and I did what moms do best - kept our kids from killing each other, and our menfolk fed. The menfolk joined in some spirited song and dance, and kept things lively for us.

Everyone's plate full, all of our children gainfully (or at least not dangerously) employed, off I went to a side room,designated as a play area for the gazillion kids in attendance, to feed Bubbles. Ahhh, a quiet corner in a hubbub is my favorite place to be. Did I say quiet? Frankly, I don't know what I was thinking to expect a moment of calm with the world whirling as it was. Just as I had gotten settled, Careful came to find me.

His tummy ached. I put it down to too much candy and too much fun and empathized gently, still sitting with the baby. Bad move. Careful tearfully moved away to "play quietly nearby until I'm done" and in doing so let loose.*SKIP TO THE NEXT ASTERIX, ALL YE FAINT OF TUMMY and don't say I didn't warn you! Yes, he vomited. Yes, his half digested dinner. Yes, all over somebody else's toys and carpeting. And Yes, the rest of the gazillion kids piled in to see what was going on, grinding the stuff into the carpeting, and trailing slime as they went to tell their mothers and brothers.

* Okay, so I can definitely handle this. All I need is some seltzer, some paper towels and about two more pairs of hands. I deposited Careful in the Professor's care hugging a garbage can. I left Bubbles with milk dripping down his chin and began the search for a few good hands. I came up with some paper towels and a water jug, and made it work. I made my apologies, and (as things were nearing an end anyway) piled the kids in the car to head home. Daddy would follow later with the Professor once he had seen things through.

I turned the key in the ignition, thinking only of warm bubble baths for all of us followed by cozy beds. A grating, rust-flaking filled the car. Once, twice, thrice. I stopped - hoping to rely on the "try again in a minute" method, when we heard a loud ticking in the silent night. "It's a bomb!" Sporty yelled. "Why aren't we getting out? Where's my Daddy? Why isn't he driving us home?" (Shout out to our family on both sides of the Atlantic: Today's date of 14 Adar explains Daddy's absence at the wheel.)

So, we dragged everyone back inside, leaving them with strict instructions to sit together on the veranda. I grabbed a friend and fellow hostess and we tried to jump start our car. Nothing doing. Technically we could have walked the seven or eight blocks home, but we had no stroller on hand, and some very tired kiddies. In the meanwhile, Careful found himself a spot in full view of, well, a lot of people, and repeated his earlier performance with much gusto. And tears, as his Mommy was nowhere to be found. In the throes of the moment he forgot that I was outside working on the car, and forgot that he was supposed to stay put with the others.

In the end, we left a 'will not start, please do not ticket' on our car, found a guest to drive us home in friend's car and piled in. Our friend only requested we carry a bag for Careful. Once seeing us safely home, said guest turned around and returned the car to starting point.

Now, what would I have done if we had the same scenario . . . on a lonely road on the way home? In an unfamiliar park, miles from home? I tell you, G-d loves me!

Thanks for this post are due to my brother, Mr. Tidy, for reminding me that my work on this blog is far from finished, and I'd better get back to writing.