It started with a fight. Loud voices can be heard so clearly when one is trying to sleep. Of course I wasn't sleeping at that point, but I was day dreaming about real dreaming. The oldest boy and youngest boy each got up on the wrong side of the planet this morning. Each one blamed the other, was offended by the notion that they each should take responsibility for their own part in the fight and were willing to lose privilege after privilege before this first fight was finally resolved. "Maybe it's not so bad", I thought "we just got it out of the way early today." HA! Of course not, that would be too easy.
The second fight was after breakfast and over Legos. There was a miscommunication and words too big for the situation were used to express frustration. I reprimanded the younger who had destroyed the creation of the elder. I discussed with the older child the need to remove himself from heated situations and encouraged him to use more appropriate words to express his frustration. You would have thought I was an alien with four heads. I made sure each head said the same thing and we concluded our interview.
Just before leaving for a counseling appointment the doorbell rang. Of course, today had to be the day our wonderful social worker came for her annual surprise visit. Apparently moments before she entered my home our lovely, severely under trained, dog brought in a gift of chicken feathers from our recently departed chickens (foxes we think) and deposited them on the floor in the living room. It's always awkward when you have a guest and a somewhat normally clean room is suddenly cluttered and you feel the need to explain yourself but end up looking more foolish than if you'd just kept your mouth shut. Oh well. Our social worker truly is a lovely woman and already loves our family:) She knew we were in a hurry and as I escorted her to her car, by way of the garage so the under trained dogs couldn't maul her, two mud covered creatures burst through the outside garage door laughing and shaking their booties. The youngest had neglected to put on underwear this morning and so became an exhibitionist when his mud laden sweats fell down during one of his dance turns.
The social worker left and I ran out the door to a van that took 5 tries to start (thinking the starter is going...ugh!). We finally made it to counseling for the oldest boy when I receive a text from my eldest daughter that read "Brother #3 is naked and I can't turn on the hose." ...sigh... I finally communicated through texts, while trying to show my focused support and encouragement to my oldest son, who of course refused to tell the counselor anything because he was still throwing a silent tantrum because he lost video game privileges.
I usually stand there puzzled, or crying, on days like this. I search my mind for how my girls behaved when they were little and I am comforted. Not because they were little angels (although none of them ever yelled I HATE YOU at me or one another), but because I do remember the day they found the Tempura paint and painted the toilet, washer and dryer, their bunk bed, the carpet and the walls. I remember them sneaking into the kitchen and stealing the fresh made bread. They didn't steal the whole loaf, no, that would be too boring, they hollowed it out by carefully taking handfuls of the center and I'd be none the wiser until I went to cut some in the morning. They snuck sugar cubes and candy. They used to strip and run outside. The oldest threw mud clots and an old woman's car as she drove by...yes, I certainly got an earful for that one.
With all of the mud, language and crazy antics of my children I still find myself feeling so blessed and would love to be blessed with more. When I asked my second daughter how many children she thought we should have she said 16. I suggested we might as well have 20 to which she replied "20?! That would be too many." HA! Children truly are a blessings even with the arguments, mud footprints all over the floor, peeing in the...uh...wrong places, adolescent hormonal explosions or artistic mood swings...I am blessed by it all.