Thursday, May 7, 2009

Getting out of the house

We usually run errands in the morning, just after breakfast. The older boys are told to dress themselves, and off they go. I hope and pray that they will do so without knocking the equivalent of one whole load of clean laundry off their hangers in the process. John proceeds to give me exact instructions as to what he wants to wear today: "Jeans that are non-clip-and-zip", followed by demands for one certain shirt and that shirt only. "Non-clip-and-zip" meaning the pants only have an elastic waist.

I go hunt down what he wants, and come dangerously close to a nervous breakdown when I realize that he has made a complete mess of his closet that I just cleaned a couple of days ago. In the process, I step on several legos, marbles, and other sharp objects in their room, whincing every single time. I can't find just the right shirt, but am reminded to get the laundry rebooted lest I positively drown in it.

The laundry room is also the boys' bathroom, and I immediately notice a very bad smell. But I can't get to the toilet and investigate because the floor is covered in just-discarded pajamas, shoes, an unraveled roll of toilet paper, and lots of dirty laundry that John scattered in an attempt to find the right shirt, with the miscellaneous toothbrush and toothpaste scattered all around.

I forget that I came to do laundry and instead start straightening up the bathroom, when I am met by John asking for his certain shirt for about the twentieth time. Ugh, I forgot, I came to switch the laundry loads. I eventually convince John that real farmers don't always wear red plaid shirts, he doesn't believe me, but he realizes that if we don't make it to the bank in the grocery store he won't be able to get a lollipop from them.

I dress Miriam, who is happy no matter what she wears, as long as it's frilly and/or pink. Her hair is a mess, and she throws a little fit about me fixing it. I manage to get myself ready to go, when one of the boys announces they can't find their shoes. Like they only have one pair. Reality is, ALL their shoes are lost because they leave them wherever they happen to be when they want to take them off.

They decide that the shoes were probably left in the loft of the swingset, and go outside. In the process, one of them steps in dog poop, the only pile that had not yet been picked up that morning (Murphy's Law), but does not tell me about it. Rather, he treks down the length of the hall and decides to wash his own shoes.

I notice the mess just as I am grabbing the baby to walk out the door. The smell is overpowering, and who wants to leave that kind of stuff all over their tile to breed who-knows-what while out shopping. I hand the baby off to Solomon, while I clean the floors and bathroom, gagging. Not the best thing to do on an empty stomach.

By the time I'm done, the baby wants to eat. While I feed her, the other kids decide it's snacktime for them, too, which involves lots of spilled food and drinks. Miriam is making a huge wet mess in front of the water cooler, because a thimble is just not the best thing for getting a drink in. Then she slips on the wet tile and, naturally, screams in pain from slamming her head into the tile. If I ever wanted to go shopping, I definitely don't want to any more, but I have to unless I want to eat nothing for the rest of the week.

It takes me several trips out to the driveway and back in the house until I have my purse, sling, other stuff I need to bring, and a large cup of water. I tell all the kids to use the bathroom and bring their own water, but they all forget or don't hear me. I have learned that selective hearing runs in our family.

I buckle in Miriam, only to discover that she has a dirty diaper. I turn off the engine (remember, it's 100 degrees at 9 am here and we need the A/C on even in the driveway) to get the keys to unlock two different locks to get into the house. I tell the other kids to play in the front yard so they won't bake in the hot car while I go about changing the diaper.

Back out we go, I buckle Miriam is, but Becky is getting fussy and tired now. Just as I want to back out of the driveway, John announces that he has to go to the bathroom REALLY bad. Do the whole key thing again.

Finally, leaving our street, the kids all announce that they are VERY thirsty because they played in the front yard while waiting on Miriam and then John. I remind them about their waters, but of course they didn't bring any. In a matter of just a minute or so, they have downed my gas-station super mega jumbo cup of water. Whatever they don't drink they "accidentally" spill in the van, on Miriam, and into the baby's seat. I don't care any more.

At the store, I manage to keep my sanity while shopping with five kids seven and under. I nurse the baby in the sling while pushing a massive cart full to the brim, juggling coupons, shopping lists, phone calls, and more trips to the store restroom.

I get to the register, and very thirsty, grab a bottle of water from the cooler. I open it and start drinking, since I have not had any water all day yet (let alone food). My order is rung up, coupons and all, and it is at that moment that I realize my wallet is not in my purse. Ugh, I forgot to check my purse before leaving the house, a big no-no because Miriam loves to pretend going shopping with it in the toy room.

I have no clue how to pay for the water I already drank, let alone for all the other stuff I'm buying. I know I have to go home, hunt for my wallet, and then head back to the store, all with five kids in tow who cannot be left in the car during any of this.

It is at this point that I seriously consider asking my husband under a pretence to come home and watch the kids for just a minute, while I skip town with the baby. So if you don't see me posting on here for a while, that's exactly what happened.

24 comments:

  1. I am so sorry you had a bad morning,as I sat here reading and laughing, I can also sympathize with you, and would not blame you on bit if you wanted to take the baby and RUN!

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  2. Oh my Zsuzsanna, what a day you poor thing. I couldn't believe it when I read it, it went on and on. Breaks aren't bad, don't feel guilty for feeling that way and actually take a small break. You probably don't want to hear this but your story is actually encouraging to me. I guess I feel Im' not the only one who runs back in the house a hundred times before one baby poops his pants and the other one wants to feed AGAIN as we are leaving... Hang in there. Keep thinking far ahead, not just THIS day. It's one of those things you will simply laugh about in a couple of years.

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  3. I can relate to some of that--especially Erika and Joseph's shoes getting misplaced, but I strictly enforce thegoing to the bathroom before we leave policy since I hate public restrooms. I miss having a dog but love my clean back yard so I don't plan on getting another one while I have little ones. Your house is always clean when I visit so I know you're exaggerating about some of this stuff. Keep up the good work.

    Raani

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  4. LOL - I love this post, sounds like my life except I only have 3 children!

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  5. I am not the only one!! Yay!! Wow, never a dull moment huh? How do we do it I wonder??? I laughed when I read you drank the water and found out you didn't have your wallet. Your children will laugh someday reading this and appreciate all you do!!!
    Jessica

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  6. Oh my! That sounds all too familiar! I can certainly relate to what it takes to get all of them out of the house! My children are close in age to yours--7, 5, 3, almost 2, and 0. haha--this was hilarious! Thanks!

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  7. ugh...I so know the feeling!!!!!!!!!! So so know it!

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  8. and I do appreciate your honesty!

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  9. Oh, Zsuzsanna, you had me at stepping on legos!! My 6 are pretty much past the lego stage (although I now have 3 lovely grand-daughters who are starting to play with them).
    I have painful memories of stepping on legos, in bare feet, usually in the middle of the night on the way to the bathroom. OUCH!!
    Praying for a better day for you tomorrow!
    Deb

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  10. I feel you. I could say this happens every time I go out. I thought you were writing about me for a minute there.

    Praying for you!

    James 5:16

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  11. I have so been there too, only I at this point would have said we're eating Oatmeal for dinner cause that's all that's left in the pantry, and I would have saved shopping for another day! Kudos to you for still going!

    Blessings,
    Christy

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  12. You mean I'm not the only one?? It's good to know there are others out there who go through the same things!! I've done the same with my wallet before...the nursing thing before...the shoe thing COUNTLESS times...sometimes I wonder if ANYONE has any IDEA what it is like...now I know!!

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  13. oh sister, we are speaking the same language. love, love, love the honesty. blessings

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  14. Urgh - I would hate to live in such chaos.

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  15. Oh, I have had many days like that! I can so relate to Miriam's hair issues. My Dd would not willingly let me touch her hair until every so often she would come to me with a mat to deal with (she often hid the mat until it was the size of my fist!) Then we would take half a bottle of creme rinse (straight from the bottle) and work it out strand by strand (an hour minimum!) I learned to just let it be what it was. As long as the mat was hidden, I left her alone - after de-matting I knew we had at least two weeks before we would have to tackle it again. I think she was about 13 before she learned (had patience!) to brush her hair properly - so they do "eventually" become self-sufficient hair brushers :)
    Blessings,
    Patti
    btw - cutting it for convenience was never a consideration.

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  16. Obviously someone (anonymous) has never lived with very many blessings - or isn't very honest - or is a tyrant.
    Life gets messy at times - and it is only those that are on solid ground that push through - and can later laugh about it.

    I suppose one could kill of a few children (by birth control or abortion) and have a prettier life - but then you begin a whole new issue. I'll take a chaotic day amd a mess to clean up over that means of acheiving a (false) peace.

    Blessings,
    Patti

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  17. Ha Ha. What a way to ruin your day. Makes me appreciate my wife more, and we only have 2 kids so far. However my Mum and Dad were both one of Eleven children. Mum from the country and Dad from a small 2 bedroom house in the City. 11 Kids all stacked up on one another at bedtime. It might be a battle having 5 children but don't stop. I have 44 Aunties and Uncles and over 150 first cousins. Growing up with so much family was the biggest blessing I can imagine. It was unreal. If for no other reason to have children, at least have a whole bunch for your Grand kids. They'll appreciate it.

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  18. Zsuzsanna,

    I am still laughing from this post! It's very cute and funny, and it reminds me of myself.

    Anna

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  19. For the anonymous commenter - having children in general can be very chaotic but the rewards are far greater than the stress. I love my chaotic life and my busy chilren. It doesn't take long before they are all grown up and the house is always clean and too quiet, I can wait for that.

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  20. Ever consider taking them to a Mother's Day Out? My church has the program, but I live in Houston =/

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  21. Well I LOVED this post. Can relate to about 1/10th of it. But I only have 2 boys (and 1 on the way)....

    Oh and Gingernator-
    I'm not sure if you've ever read this blog before.....:-)

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  22. THANK YOU Zsuzsanna for the honest and HILARIOUS post. I agree with the other posters, there is some comfort in knowing yours isn't the only life like this! This too shall pass, and won't we miss it??? Treasure every moment, difficult as that may be!

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  23. haha...thank you so much for your post. I have 6 children ages 9, 7, 5, 4, 2.5, 1 and one due in six weeks. I sooooo appreciated you taking the time to share this - with all our struggles He giveth more grace, doesn't He? It is so nice to know your family is so normal. I am sad for all the one-child families with such clean, empty, quiet houses. This is what life is all about - we were made for service. Keep up the wonderful hard work, and may the Lord bless all your labours done in Christ!

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  24. Hi Aunt! Joseph reminds me so much of John. He refuses to wear anything but this certain pajama shirt and it drives me crazy. Then we force him to wear something else and he has an attitude the rest of the day. It is so funny. I have no idea where he learned that.;-)
    -Jessica

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