Sunday, October 22, 2017

Little Sis through the eyes of Big Sis

10.22.2017 -- Inkspiration

I have a love-hate relationship with Sundays. I love that it's a day where I get to spend it mostly with family, and where I get to go to church. It's also a day that can be challenging because I spend it mostly with family and I get to go to church.

Last weekend, while we were talking about punctuality, my sister told me that "the rule" is 30 minutes per child, which is to say: in order to get to church on time, you must wake up 30 minutes earlier for every child you plan to take to with you. I think I stared at her for a moment. My mouth may have been open. In my mind, my thought process went something like, "No wonder we almost never get to church on time."

*Also, my very reliable aunt told me that some people (ahem) are genetically wired to be late. I have mixed feelings about that, too. Part of me feels relieved. Part feels defiant. part of me feels shame about feeling relieved. Part of me feels proud about feeling defiant. Part of me feels anxiety about feeling shame about feeling relieved. I could go on and on, people.

Put simply: It's a challenge for me to get my kids to church on time. It is. Because I'm lazy.

I like my bed. I especially like my bed when my children are asleep and my husband is in bed, too. It reminds me of years and years ago when we could sleep in. It's so cozy and peaceful. It smells nice. From my bed, I can't see the dishes in the sink or the crumbs on the floor or the piles in the laundry room. I can just gaze over at the man I love as he sleeps (or pretends to sleep) next to me.

In order to get to church on time, I have to trade peaceful snuggle time with my husband for work. If you have never herded children through a morning routine, then you might be unacquainted with the type of work it is, precisely, but it's work.

For the redhead, it's all about reminding and redirecting without being too overbearing. Humor is always good, but too much silliness begets too much silliness. For the blonde, it's about...  I... I can't.

I'm honestly getting exhausted just thinking about it.

We did all right today. We were only 9 minutes late. In her own words, this would make my sister want to "punch someone in the face," but I live a life where we are sometimes 50 minutes late. It's all relative. That's what I tell my kids, and that's what I tell myself. I'm open to the idea that it might be some kind of personal mental thing. I actually do get annoyed when I'm late. I get anxious. I feel embarrassed. But I get over it.

Do you know that this blog post isn't. even. about. church or being late or sleeping in? NO!

The heading is "Inkspiration." This is because one of the (really great) topics of discussion today was recording family history. There are many ways to do it. That's one thing people agree upon.

Another point of agreement was that-- however it's done, it's incredibly valuable.

So here I am again, on my blog, typing away. Warts and all, it's my contribution to the oeuvre.

I have a baby on my lap who is tired but not sleepy. She is surprisingly agile with her legs and feet. She keeps trying to swinging her legs over onto the keyboard.

I have a quiet basement full of children who protested when I explained that the other side of staying up late over the weekend was an early bedtime. I'll give them credit though, they could tell I was serious, so they didn't mess around much. The blonde and the redhead are probably still reading, but that's fine. I just needed a some quiet.  The redhead is reading a book from the I Survived series--one about tornadoes. The blond is reading one of the Diary of a Wimpy Kid books. The brunette likes to read and reread books. Daddy read with him tonight.

It used to be that I was a little more picky with what they read. It's very much like before our picky eater arrived. Now I understand. (I'm not saying it's not my fault. I'm saying their will is stronger than mine in these ways.)

We had guests for dinner tonight! Brian's mom and sister came and I felt like it was a total mess. (Dinner wasn't ready when they arrived. The table wasn't even set, and half the things I had intended to make for dinner weren't even started. The counter was cluttered and there was dirty laundry strewn across the living room.) But no one died, and the house was considerably neater than when wegot home from church.) We just simplified the menu and everyone ate. The whole point was to see them and to eat, not to win a prize for a perfectly executed five-course meal. Perspective is not just for drawing.

After dinner, the youngest was showing off her walking skills and enjoying the attention of Grandma and her aunty. She was carrying around a doll, giving it hugs and kisses. The three older kids started in on some very high-spirited, loud play together, bringing their baby sister into the mix once in a while. After a nice visit, Grandma and Aunt Nan left to visit the Katoa cousins, taking with them an adorable red, white and blue plaid skirt that Grandma had made for Elizabeth, Aaliyah being the right size to wear it.

The three older kids played a lot together today, mostly on the Xbox. After dinner, though, they were running around like.... well.... like tired, excited, happy kids. To use a term I was raised with, the "roughhousing" started when the redhead found an ace bandage on the floor that the brunette had been using to wrap a sprained ankle (gym mishap). The kids started experimenting with our considerable stash of ace bandages and made the redhead into a minimalist mummy. (Halloween is coming!)

I let them play--running, shouting, screaming, laughing--for about an hour before I got the idea that they really should be going to bed early.  I had taken the youngest out onto the porch to chill out a bit and I realized that if I just went inside and explained what was expected (early bedtime), the kids would probably fall in line. There was some complaining, but nothing I didn't expect.

What I wish I could capture most about this period of my life is how deeply I love and adore each of my children. And I would have none of them without my husband. It really is AMAZING, and nothing I would miss out on for the world.