Thursday, August 30, 2007

Day four

I'm on a roll now. Somebody stop me!

This morning, Dennis left for an early meeting, so I knew I was going to have to man the fort all by myself. Thankfully, he made four sandwiches before he left. I drug my bod out of bed at 5:45 a.m. and got myself ready before I snuck into Annie's (6) room and whispered to her in my cheerfullest voice, "I've got a nice warm bath going for you!"

This is the standard trick that worked like a charm when Libby (now 9) was in kindergarten and was having trouble facing the morning. Instead of the "Thanks, Mom, you are so awesome!" response I was hoping for, she simply rolled over and attempted to go back to sleep. Hrumph.

Not to be daunted by such lack of cooperation, I carried her downstairs to my bathroom, and that's when the wailing began. I guess what works for one doesn't always work for another, and, in fact, can backfire. But I had filled that tub with 15 gallons of water, and, by golly, I was determined for her to use it.

I dumped her in the bathtub, and walked out, only to realize Libby was in my bed. "Don't forget my orthodontist appointment," she said, which is code for "T minus 30-29-28..." She doesn't realize I'm on to her.

I went to the kitchen to get a cup of milk for Annie, and on my way back, Ruthie (3) met me at the bottom of the stairs. "I wet my bed," she whispered pitifully. First time in two months, and wouldn't you know, of course, it would be today, when I'm all alone. I brought the milk to Annie, who was still not enjoying her bath, got her out, and put Ruthie in. Ruthie was much more appreciative of my efforts, and hey, at least I didn't waste the water.

I went up to check on the bed. SOAKED. Her sheets, her blankets, and her pillow (I will have to throw it away). I wrapped that all up and threw it in the laundry room. Will the washer work today? Can't worry about that now.

By the time I got back from the laundry room to check on Ruthie, Annie was wrapped in her towel talking to Libby (who was still lounging on my bed I guess because she was going to the orthodontist and she thought she'd have lots of extra time because she could brush her teeth there?). Okay, so Annie's not doing anything productive, but at least she's not crying.

About this time Neal (12) strolls in and says he's going to finish up his homework. I got busy getting the bath and clothing situation under control, so by the time I made it back to the kitchen, 15 minutes had gone by, and Neal's paper had only one problem finished on it. "I think I'm just going to turn this in for a late grade," he says yawningly. "It's just really hard, and it's going to take me too long."

I could feel the hair on the back of my neck stand straight up. This, the guy who wanted to invite SIX boys over yesterday, wants to turn in late work on the FOURTH day of school? I don't think so, buddy. His feeble comment of, "It's only ten points, Mom," only fueled my displeasure. I gave him a little piece of my mind that included loss of friend privileges if he couldn't find it within himself to give it a little effort over the next 45 minutes before he had to leave for school. With or without a shower. Not a happy camper.

I left him (mouth agape) to restage the first-day picture:
Then I was off to walk Annie in to kindergarten (no crying!); come back to take Libby to the orthodontist; read Dora to Ruthie in the waiting room; take Libby back to school; take care of our vacationing neighbor's dog; and then (finally) go to the grocery store. All this by 9:00 a.m.

Time does not permit me to discuss my irritability at the expense of food for a large family, or my love-hate relationship with packaged foods. Some other time, maybe. Let's just say, no one wanted to stand behind me in the checkout line. I consider myself a frugal shopper, but I still spent a whole lot of moolah today, what with adding in $5 for a new pillow and all.

I put on a huge pot of beans for supper, that's how bad I felt. We'll have some rice and cornbread with it. Good Southern comfort food makes everything seem all better.

But now, I'm going to have me some lunch! Tonight is softball practice and kindergarten information night. I need my energy!

PS-Neal finished his homework. Amazing how a little "incentive" works, isn't it?


Anonymous said...

I am out of breath for ya hon!! Today was library day for us and some extra reading for their book lists. I have 4 of the 6 around me right now reading. Wierd being this quiet!
You did remind me about Short Man's (age 8) ortho stop tomorrow. Ugh.

Mindy said...

I am not gonna lie, you are making me feel really good about the fact that mine are not in school yet!!

Raquel said...

I have enjoyed reading the past few days posts. I like the normal day to day stuff

Laura said...

Hi Katherine, I'm home from vacation and just catching up and am getting quite a kick out of your days. I'm going to be there myself next week when my go back.

Can I just say that I love that you put their ages in brackets, that helps me so much and I wish everyone would do that.


Jen said...

I'm worn out. But love it and keep coming back for more.....

Stacey Kannenberg said...

Can I say, you make me feel normal.
The last time I called my repairman, my washer worked for him and my computer worked just fine for the computer guru too! Go figure?! You go girl! I only have two girls, (6) and (8) and run three businesses from home. So I can relate to your crazy routine!
I would love to send my books: Let's Get Ready For Kindergarten! & Let's Get Ready For First Grade! for your kids to enjoy. If interested, email an address to
Smiles - Stacey

Mary@notbefore7 said...

It will NOT be me who stops you girl! I love this glimpse of the first week of school with 5 kiddos!

Now, please tell me - when do they completely bath themselves, get out and dry off all on their own. My two girls (3 adn 4) can wash themselves, but not do their own hair washing yet...

no one seems eager to try a shower yet either...

Totally impressed with 5:45 AM. Wow!

Nicole said...

Wow!! I am tired just reading all you accomplished today...and by 9 AM!!! I am just cleaning up breakfast dishes at that time! You know, yesterday as I finished putting together my notebook for school...I told Jesus, " I just cant do it all! Lord I need you!" He brings me to this place over and over again.
SO.. I am praying that tomorrow morning God would provide you with an extra measure of grace! That He would give you supernatural sleep tonight and you would wake up with abundant energy and divine wisdom as you care for your family!! In Jesus Name...AMEN!
Katherine, again....thanks for being real. You do make me feel normal! :)

Anonymous said...

K, Yeeeeeeeee-haw! My 6 are in 5 different school programs too, only two at the same location, and NONE at the same time. I was trying to transfer our life onto a new calendar today and thought... I'm going to need a bigger calendar!

Anonymous said...

Hi Katherine,

I so love reading your blog (don't have a blog of my own). Have 3 kiddos and we do to school to, in a little rural town in far south west NSW (Australia). What I love most about your blog is that you are so real. Sometimes life is busy and hectic. Sometimes the kids do act up. But you know, God is gracious and he loves us in our struggles and our triumphs! Bless you. Mel

Susanne said...

A bath in the am before school. You are one brave lady. Wow, what time do you go to bed?

Hope you were able to stop for a nice cup of tea sometime in that day!

kittyhox said...

"All this by 9:00 a.m."

That is literally more than I accomplish all week!!

Take a deep breath, give yourself a pat on the back, and picture me doing a "Yay, You!" cheer!

You rock!!

Lori - Queen of Dirty Laundry said...

Wow, reading about your 5 sure puts my 3 in perspective. We handle what we have, don't we?

Hey, it's almost Friday!

Anonymous said...

Wowzers! You have my utmost admiration. I already get flustered with 2 kids in the mornings when hubby has to go in for work earlier than usual. You? 5? Wow!

Anonymous said...

I just have to respond to this post, because you and I are leading parallel lives! I've got 5, ages 4 - 14, and this was our morning, too.

Too funny. I feel sooo much better after reading this. You have lightened my day more than you know.

I don't have a blog, but this is my e-mail:

Here's to keeping those plates spinning!

Anonymous said...

Good morning Katherine! I haven't commented in so long - but I'm still checking out your site regularly.

You're further down this parenting road than I am (my oldest of 5 being now in grade 3), so truly your words are a glimpse into the future for me. I learn from your life!

What a week you're having. I'm loving all the details.

Chris in Canada

Beck said...

So it was a GOOD day, then? >:)
Some days are just like that, like the kids have had a secret meeting beforehand to cause as many troubles as possible.

fAiThFuL cHiCk said...

I have a timekeeper in my group, too. Our oldest (age 9), is always giving us the verbal countdown When we say, "Hey, TK", he knows it is getting on our last nerve. :)

I feel like I am 12 years old again reading your last few posts. This is what it was like in our home growing up. If it makes you feel any better, the thing I remember most was the love. Not the hectic nature of it all, just the love. That's what yours will remember, too.


Julie@HighFive! said...

I just love it! I feel soo much better knowing my everyday life is more of the norm than the "abnormal mess" that it usually feels like. When I can chuckle at the antics you describe, it helps me to relax and somewhat enjoy my own spirited kids. My 11 yo son sounds similiar to your 12 yo, the homework in the morning episode is so familiar around here, it's almost painful. I'm struggling with letting him be responsible for his own homework and suffer the consequences for incomplete or late or hastily finished work OR standing over him, making sure his writing is legible and he's putting in a reasonable amount of effort and checking for accuracy. When I know he can do so well, how can I let him do less? But should I hover?? Anyway, your realness is encouraging!

Ladybug said...

I don't know how you do it! I am glad mine are still at home. My little boy starts preschool next week and I am already stressing over it.

Anonymous said...

My 15 year old son is always so HONEST re: homework. Mom get used to it, he says. I'm a slacker and I procrastinate alot.

Hey 15 year old--I am a slacker and I also procrastinate alot. I still haven't found the time to sign your permission slip for Driver's ed. OOPS!

Actually I want him to be a student driver--More stuff to hold over his head to make him compliant.

Am I bad?

Anonymous said...

I have just recently found your blog and may I say I simply love it. I'm enjoying reading about your life and how you work it. I'm a mom of 4, 8 through 2 and we're just starting to hit some snags as they get older. You are simply an inspiration.