Tuesday November 4, 2014.
Some days, after the kids are off to school, I stand in the kitchen, surveying the wreckage, mouth agape, wondering what the heck just happened. Was it a tornado? Some other natural disaster? Nope, just a morning in my life with four boys. Four fascinating, brilliant, adorable, maddening boys. The kind of boys I want to squeeze and hug and kiss while simultaneously wanting to pull out every grey hair they have given me, and then some. Some days it is a wonder I have any hair left at all. Today was one of those days.
Let me back up a bit. It all started last night: Son #2 “reminded” me at 8:20 pm (twenty minutes past his bedtime) that tomorrow is the day he is to bring in all his supplies for his “homemade” thermos project. We have been talking about it for days. Unlike son #1, he has to do the whole project at school. On the weekend, my mad scientist told me that he needs to bring hot wax, x-acto knives, sheet metal, and other materials to school for his project. I suggested he make an appointment with his teacher, to tell him about the plan and make sure it is all “kosher”. He emailed the teacher and then I didn’t hear anything else about it. Until last night. At 8:20 pm.
Which is why, at 9:30 pm, I am driving to Home Depot with his list. Normally I would take him with me, but at this point, his sleep is more important than his presence; he can be pretty ugly in the morning. I did tell him he would have to wake up early to go to Home Depot at 7 am, but it made my life easier to do it in the evening. I know I should not be doing this, that he should suffer the consequences of his own procrastination, but I am a sucker for anything linked to education. So I do it.
I got up earlier than usual and found him in his bed with the light on. Reading. AAAUUUUUURRGGHHH. We get to work. I show him the materials I picked up for him. He does thank me and we get started. He is still planning to bring wax but decided that bringing cutting knives is not a good idea. Through trial and error he figures out how many pieces he needs to cut and asks for a bit of help cutting to his specifications. There are styrofoam beads everywhere. I send son #3 up to wake son #1, as we haven’t seen him yet.
In the meantime, Sons #3 and #4 are doing anything and everything they can possibly do BESIDES eating breakfast or making their lunch. Actually, it took them over 40 minutes to eat one small bowl of cereal. At 7:50, I realized that son #1 must have fallen back asleep because he hasn’t surfaced yet. The boys usually leave by 8. I am covered in styrofoam and son #2 is vacuuming around me. After hollering from the dining room to the kitchen, numerous times, encouraging the two younger boys to get going, son #1 comes down and tells me two important things: 1) He feels like someone is sitting on his chest and he can’t breathe very well. 2) While in his bathroom, he knocked over a glass jar. There is now glass all over the floor. It is now 8:15. School starts at 8:20. Give me strength. Whose idea was it to have four kids anyway?
We load up all of the thermos materials, including a pot, grater, slab of paraffin and an electric sauce warmer (came with my crock pot). I sign in all of the kids at least twenty minutes late. I accompany son #2 to his class to make sure his teacher is really fine with him handling hot wax. Apparently he is, so I venture to the staff room, grate parrafin into a pot, melt it and transfer it to the warmer and bring it upstairs. I advise the teacher that son #2 has also brought spray insulation foam, eye protectors, gloves and a drop cloth. I wish him luck and head out. Onto the rest of my crazy day. It is 9:20 am and I already feel like I have run a marathon. Too bad I left my pedometer in the bathroom and have no proof.