Today didn’t start great.
But let me begin somewhere else. A few months ago, back when we had Arthur’s lovely speech therapist Katie, she remarked on how amazing it is that we all eat breakfast together every single day. I didn’t think it was a big deal at all. It’s just what we did, and I think it’s important that we eat together.
Fast forward to our everyday lives with two kids in school. Everything is different. There is a lot more hustling. We have exactly one hour between getting up (or coming home from the gym, in my case) and heading out the door. So I’ve found myself feeding the kids at the small kitchen table while hurriedly sipping my coffee and emptying the dishwasher.
But I’ve missed sitting with my family at the table over yogurt and granola. So this week I’ve made an effort to make it happen, but OH.MY.GOD. It literally meant not brushing my teeth (sorry, gross), not finishing my coffee (same as before), not taking a shower (luxury), and constant bickering. So we’ll have to see if 10 minutes of joint yogurt-granola-bliss is worth the 10 minutes we’re missing for everything else.
Oh. Also, Arthur. Did I mention Arthur? The child that screams bloody murder as soon as Papa lovingly suggests it’s time to put on socks. And shoes. Shoes. Incredibly offensive shoes. Every damn morning it’s the same spiel, and no one really knows why. It just annoys everyone to bits and pieces.
By the time everyone is situated on the bike and the morning playlist is running (in today’s case: “Best of Prince”), Arthur is feeling “super super Entschuldidum” That means “super super apology” for all you non-German, non-Arthur speaking folk. And then we kiss and make up and sing to 1999 like we don’t have a care in the world.
But I still had a frown on my face and guilt, anger, frustration on my mind.
After drop off and during my solo bike ride home, I was still moody. So I went shopping for Christmas decorations to make our home more festive. Then I came home and saw that Jeff had cleaned up the kitchen, made all the beds, got the laundry ready, and straightened up all around. It was just the right gesture at just the right moment.
Then I did our 50 pounds of weekly laundry. (Why do we wear so many clothes? Use so many towels? Sheets? I don’t know.)
I was still kind of grumpy. Then I saw that the Christmas lights were being put up on the trees lining our street. I stopped by the flower shop for our annual poinsettia and a smile from our neighbor-friend Estela. I started decorating our home. I listened to Christmas tunes.
Then I folded all of our laundry. And I know that most people hate that task, and I kind of do too, but today I was reminded of how much I adore my family and all of their inside-out socks. Just kidding. Boys, please learn how to not have every single piece of clothing be inside out. Thanks.
Then I picked up the boys, was greeted with hugs and stories (Arthur) and the latest math problems and Octonauts drawings (Julian), and we headed home. We bought donuts and muffins. Our friends came over for tea and coffee and treats. The boys were annoyingly loud. They kept banging stuff, jumping on furniture, dragging things into places they don’t belong, ignoring the voice of sanity (me).
Once our friends had left, I put the boys in the bath, and when I realized they were still hurting my ears with all their noise, I closed the door and poured myself a big glass of wine.
After bath I confronted my children with the fact that tonight there would be no Octonauts on TV (more on this another time). I made them a cozy nook on the big window sill with blankets and pillows, and they watched the flickering lights on the trees. Then Jeff came home, the boys declared there was “no more electricity” and turned off all the lights and on their headlamps. Jeff and I sat in the kitchen over bourbon and wine, by candlelight, while our non-Octonauts-watching children roamed around.
No TV was probably the best decision I made today.
This was long, and sort of random, probably. But tonight I feel warm and fuzzy towards my very loud family and not so sad and loser-like as I did this morning. Thanks to friends, love, wine, and the good ol’ Christmas spirit.
Also, letters to Santa.
I hope Arthur still writes the same ‘R’ when he is 25.