This morning, there are four, count ’em four, children in my house. Those of you who are keeping up
(and have elementary math skills) should quickly be able to deduce that two of said-children do not belong to me. How did I go about collecting these extra children? I’ll tell you….
Due to our camping trip this past weekend, and a severe case of Mom-brain, Mags wasn’t able to attend the sleep-over that a friend was having for her birthday. In order to appease having to miss the highlight of the summer (in first grade terms, a birthday party-sleepover is tantamount to a Hollywood Oscar party), we invited that friend to come spend the night at our house instead. So, one extra kid I expected.
The other, I sort of picked up over the phone. Yesterday afternoon the phone rang:
“Hi, this is [kid’s name], who is this?”
“This is [MamaGirl], A-Man’s mom.”
“Oh good! Listen, I need somewhere to stay tonight.”
Well now, dear readers, what do you say to that? Exactly what I said…
“Well, see, my sister is having a sleepover tonight and we don’t have that much room at our house. So, I was wondering if I could come spend the night with A-Man.”
Now, I don’t about the rest of you, but I have a real hard time saying “No” to other kids. I may say it to my own kids 1000 times a day, but when it comes to other people’s kids, for some reason, I just can’t say no. And besides, what kind of ogre would I be if I condemned this poor boy to an evening of being cooped up in a small space with two middle school girls? Oh, the horrors!
As a side note, when I related this story to my own mother, she said:
“I would have killed you if you had done that!”
“Um, Mom… you do realize that’s how Krissy and I set up every single sleepover that we had for years, right? It was always YOU ask my mom, she won’t say no to YOU.”
And she does know that, I think sometimes she feels like she should be indignant on my behalf. She’s pretty awesome that way.
The little ones, I finally managed to get into the bed a little after 10. The big ones, I usually let stay up until they pass out (for sleepovers, not every night). Usually, when we have sleepovers, I make a thick pallet of blankets on the floor in A-Man’s room. When I check on them during the night, there’s usually boy-parts spread all across the room.
When I went to bed, around 1am, I looked in on the boys. Mine was passed out in his bed, the other was wide awake, playing video games.
“You might want to try to get some sleep, bud.”
“I can’t really fall asleep.”
“I’m not really comfortable on the ground.”
Hmm… not much of a camper is he? Both of my kids will pretty much sleep wherever they finally drop from exhaustion, but hey, that’s cool. No problem. A-Man woke up, groggily slid down to the floor and promptly went right back to sleep. We’re flexible.
So, about 1:30, I finally managed to actually put my butt in the bed. I knew I wouldn’t go to sleep right away, so I read for about 30 minutes and, around 2am, finally turned off the light. I tossed, I turned, I tried in vain to distract myself with thoughts that don’t cause me a panic attack. It didn’t work. Around 2:30 I was wondering how much my books for next semester were going to cost, and by 3am, I was back online, in the dark, logging into the University bookstore website.
The big kids are plenty grown enough to get up in the morning and fix themselves breakfast without any assistance from Mom and I hoped that I had kept the little ones up late enough that they might actually sleep in. Yeah, right. It was not meant to be.
At 8am precisely, I was awoken to a small tap on the arm – which was a lot nicer than the ringing
phone in my face or the scream drifting up from downstairs of “MOOOOM!” that I usually get – and after what seemed like a whole 3 and a half minutes of sleep, they were all ready to go again… and eat again. Do you know how much two 12-year-old boys and two 6-year-old girls can consume in a 24 hour period? Try it some time, but take my advice and stock up first.
So, a bleary eyed and slightly cranky mom stumbled down the stairs, started a pot of coffee and threw some french-toaster-stick-things into the microwave. I poured myself a steaming hot cup, even though it was already nearing 90 degrees in my kitchen and found myself a tiny, little sliver of salvation in the bottom of that cup. Is there anything that coffee won’t fix? We should try throwing some of that Columbian goodness at cancer and see what happens. Okay, maybe I’m getting a little ambitious, but I’m pretty sure that coffee might be the answer to all of the worlds problems. Or least all of MY problems. Okay, fine. If nothing else, coffee solved my damn problems this morning. Okay? And my gratitude extends far beyond the waking-up abilities that it bestowed on me this morning. Why hell, it worked so well, I might just have to do it again tomorrow morning!