Because we take two cars, head counts are always dicey things. Today I discovered my second son had lagged on getting dressed. I was just about to head out when he showed up dressed for mass, and thus I did a quick text message to make sure I wasn't leaving behind any non sentient beings when we headed out the door. Then I made a run through of the house to double check.
I am haunted by the story of my uncle being left at mass to walk home because his parents took two cars.
Yesterday, my kids helped unpack the car and it was raining. So I made several soggy trips and begged the children to get their things. Putting the baby in the high chair and beginning the process of serving snack, reminding people to put away their things and preparing for homework, I did a head count...where was cupie doll?...
I look outside. Cupie doll is busy splashing puddles. She has taken off her shoes and is wallowing in the glorious rain and mud. The doors to the car on every side are open, allowing the car to experience the same joy as she.
My children are the masters of hide and seek on Sunday when I demand my weekly child tribute in the form of one hour of cleaning. Putting on "Enchanted's "Happy Working Song," does help though, as do props.One daughter will happily scrub all the bathrooms if offered a pair of plastic yellow gloves. My second son willingly weilds the swifter mop. The oldest can be told to vacumn a floor and does it. What happens though, is after I've given out specific tasks,some of the kids view these as the maximum amount necessary to return to DSland or Civ IV or Pokemon or whathaveyou...no...I want my sixty minutes.
I have explained why I need this time before...with exponents and time management, with bribes of bonus allowances for the best worker, and even treats of ice cream on Sunday...and with threats of making it 2 hours if I fail to get my one...still, I was unprepared for the lengths to which one of my children went to ensure she could avoid work.
She is the quiet one. The one who in games of hide and seek can throw a cloak over herself and not be seen. She created a cave. A cave in the back basement. A cave complete with a bean bag pillow, a night light, her DS gameboy, easter chocolate and her. I admit, after combing the house three times, I failed to check behind the stairs of the back basement, though I did search the back for stragglers over at the comics stash...she must have held her breath when I returned a second and third time.
After twenty minutes of increasingly serious searching failed to find her, I felt a slight panic.., I began calling. I summoned the children and they began calling and searching, checking closets and beds and bathrooms I had checked before.
But a two year old can find anything she wishes. Cupie doll loves playing with her older quiet sister's gameboy, so she naturally went to the back basement, pulled back the covers that made the cave such a lovely hiding place and muscled in a spot on the beanbag with her sister and started poaching the foil wrapped chocolate eggs. I might add, she doesn't bother with such pesky details as unwrapping chocolate. That's a waste of time one could spend chewing chocolately goodness.
After dinner that night, I even peeled a few chocolate kisses as a reward.
Some may have noticed I've used a few older pieces and the tone has been less light as of late. There is a reason.
We are execting our ninth child, a son. This news, while joyful, has been a bit overwhelming to all of us. We also know that he will have Downs Syndrome, but what that will mean remains to be seen. The process of testing and waiting for results has cut into my energy to write and craft and maintain this blog, as has preparing for the Erma Bombeck conference this weekend. I will try to return to my normal chipper sunnier self and if you see that the chocolate for your brain is running more dark than milk, drop me a line, it helps for feedback.