A Master in Surviving

Dearest Darling,

I am surviving. We are doing well. Child 5 poured all the cups out onto the table, put the cereal everywhere, and crushed crackers into tiny pieces. My allergies were acting up, like a ton, so I took a Benadryl which promptly caused me to pass out while reading numerous picture books to the kids. I don’t know what they did. Probably found my phone and turned on a tv show. I woke up because you texted me. Thanks for that, I think. I listened to some Weezer, did the dishes, and did some laundry, but nothing amazing. I double-checked that the neighbor could pick up children 2 and 3 then off I went to pick up child number 1 from school early. He had that appointment remember? I could tell by his face that the day had been rough. Turns out he got a referral for sliding down some ramp in the school.

The conversation went something like this:

Me: Why would you slide down a ramp at school?

Him: I don’t know. Why not? Everyone else does it? They don’t get in trouble.

Me: Don’t you normally get caught doing the things everyone else does?

Him: Yeah

Me: Maybe don’t do those things.

As you can tell I really dropped some knowledge bombs in his lap. I think he will be forever changed. We made it to the appt., and I had to go in and talk to her with children numbers 1, 4, and 5 in the room too. It was fun. They turned a lamp on and off over and over again. She had one of those Newton’s Cradle things and the kids managed to get it all tangled up. Then children 4 and 5 and I left to wait in the waiting room. It was pretty dull. The magazines were from 2013. Luckily, I brought my phone. They played games and kept refilling their plastic cups with water from the water jug in the corner. It was here I learned that child number 1 misbehaved in class to the point the teacher emailed you. I know that was not what you needed. It wasn’t an email like-Hey, your kid is awesome, and I love his original ideas. Keep up the magnificent parenting job. No. It was more like-So your son, once again, disturbed the whole class during Math. I was busy helping other children, and he didn’t want to do his work, so he didn’t. I thought you should know.

In the car we had another discussion about behavior.

Me: So buddy what happened during Math today?

Him: Oh, did teacher email you? He said he would.

Me: Well, he emailed Daddy who is away for work this week. Do you think that is the kind of thing Daddy wants to deal with when he isn’t even here?

Him: No

Me: So what happened?

Him: I didn’t know how to do my math and he wouldn’t help me so I was bored.

Me: I believe you did know how to do some of it because it was simple multiplication.

Him: I had already done that. Then there were word problems I couldn’t do. I couldn’t ask for help because I was in group 2 and he was working with group 1.

Me: Did you try to ask for help? Did you quietly read the word problem out loud to yourself? Did you ask a friend or neighbor for help?

Him: No

Me: How about you try those options first before you go about disrupting the class. Also, no electronics today.

Since we have some variation of the conversation almost daily I am sure my words are finally starting to sink in.

At home waiting for us is a big box. It is the boxspring for our bed. All I have to do is assemble it. I start making dinner, kids start doing homework, and so of course everything is moving along like clockwork. Other than the fact that child 5 is grabbing my leg sobbing and won’t let go. I am walking around the kitchen and he is just attached to me. Everyone wants water or juice or milk in a certain cup of a certain color and they all want it now. Child 4 is drawing pictures and keeps showing them to me and is upset that I am not drawing with her. I am still trying to make dinner. The cat wants food now and pencils need to be sharpened and it seems I am the only one who can do any of this. Finally, dinner is ready and minus 1 kid everyone hates it. They all get up from the table and leave. So it is just me and kid number 2 sitting there eating dinner. Of course, I tell the other kids there will be no other food given to them or snuck out of the pantry.

Time to move on to the box. I opened it earlier, but I forgot to cut off on the plastic bands holding the bars together. There is a large kitchen knife right there. I grab it. I cut the plastic band off and with it and chunk of my finger. I screamed some lovely vulgarities that might make a sailor blush. Blood is everywhere. Between my fingers, pooling in my palm, going down my arm, and on the floor. There happens to be a towel on the counter so I hold it on my finger. 1 minute-still bleeding. 5 minutes-still bleeding. 10 minutes-still bleeding. Crap. I am not sure we have bandaids because the kids think bandaids are stickers. Holding the bloody towel on my finger I dig around until I find one on the floor of the hall closet. I wrap it around the finger. Still a lot of blood. I find a second in our bedroom. I wrap it over the other one. Still blood but it seems contained. Now it is time to take some pain pills and put this boxspring together. I make child 1 help. I can’t really use my hand and he got in trouble at school today— seems like a good idea. Let me tell you. Not as easy as it looks on that little paper. It took well over an hour. When two people who are not very mechanically minded try to assemble stuff it doesn’t always go well. Especially, when one of them is now drinking beer and unable to use both hands. Finally, child 3 comes in and child 1 leaves. This child in more mechanically minded but also just 6 so his use of fine motor skills isn’t the same as an older child. Still, who am I to talk? Finally this stupid box spring that cost me part of my finger is done. Time to move the heavy mattress off the brand new bed frame. This ends up requiring children 1 and 3 plus me. When it is done I just fall on the bed and think, I will never ever get another bed ever.

Now it is time to start putting all the kids to bed. This is a whole thing. The books, the water, the teeth, the where are you gonna sleep, fine you can sleep in my bed I don’t care just go to sleep ritual. Child 2 comes home from Religious Ed. class, and I have time to just say hi to him. I have to put child 3 to bed. Then child  2.  Finally, child 1. I have more beer. My finger still hurts. It is like 9:15. Time to chat with you on the phone briefly. Time to watch tv a bit. Time for bed.

On a side note- this AM my finger was still bleeding. Like a ton. I took off the bandaids and blood everywhere. The kids were little freaked out. So was I. I couldn’t look. I just wrapped it in paper towels and drove them to school. After that I went to Urgent Care. They put some fake skin on it and wrapped it. The bleeding stopped. Thank God. I really need to clean our floor. I will put that on the list for later.

Love you,


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