Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Just a Day like any other

Many mothers say "There is nothing typical in my day" with a house full of kids. I have a few routines but typical is not a word I'd use describing any busy family home. Typical is just too ridiculous. It assumes a routine, similarity, unchanging. I think to myself 'That is not representative of my home' but it is. We have our typical just like you have your typical. My typical varies as does yours. We have crazy days, we have busy days, and we have just days.

Dad is the first to wake leaving to face the dread of traffic by 6:40am. The big girls wake up at different times to prepare themselves for school. Leah our 6th grader has to depart the house by 7:30am to catch her bus. She wakes when the day is dark and the house is quiet, usually a little before her father walks out the door. Together they share quiet conversation paired with some banging around in the kitchen. Laughter and soft conversations filter their way upstairs. I often make my way downstairs shortly after Leah's alarm clock goes off and certainly after that laughter has gotten too loud. In my typical librarian fashion I greet them with a "shhh! the baby still sleeps" while they look at me innocently as if they we quiet as church mice all along. The kitty, Lincoln is always awake in the early morning hours. He is hopeful that someone else will be duped into feeding him a second or third breakfast. Unfortunately for him we are on to his greedy tummy and he is often ignored until he is shooed outside. Variation comes in the form of the sleeping baby. Some days she is up at 6:30am to see her Daddy off. Other days she wakes in time to see her biggest sister walk out the door. And very infrequently she wakes only to see Olivia off. Olivia being a 4th grader who walks to school has the most time to prepare for her day. The short walk to school gives her plenty of time to be ready to arrive at school by 9am. She rises at varied times too. Our resident night owl she will sometimes sleep in until 8am.

Through this all I buzz around the kitchen and living room doing various household tasks. Helping pack lunches, breakfast cooking, baby distracting, laundry folding, and general tidying up. All around me the people I love are moving around doing this or doing that filling me in on their day. Conversations of new games they invented, tasks that need to be done, meetings to attend, friends they want to visit, books they recently read, birds they see outside, and everything in between spill from them. The whirlwind of my mornings seeing them off is replaced by silence.



With the quiet house to ourselves the baby and I get on with our together time. She scoots around looking for little things that lurk under the tables. Taking advantage of her distraction I work diligently through my chores. I could have 10 minutes or 20 minutes to complete something on my daily list. Once she become upset we will sit together on the floor and play cars or draw. As the minutes tick away we find new distractions to pass the time. I steal away every so often to squeeze in another task hoping that she won't miss me much. Lunch comes around and then nap time. While she slumbers I take on the bigger chores working quickly so that I may have 10 minutes to knit a few rows of her little sweater. Lesson plans and bills, laundry and mopping they rotate through the week until they are complete. Oh, we can't forget a little morning snuggle time with Lincoln. 




As the afternoon arrives the littlest one wakes ready for a snack. She munches away as I consult the pantry getting the final ingredients set aside for supper. If the sun is shining and the wind is not fierce we will take a short walk around outside. The fresh air and prospect of seeing dogs makes Adelynn happy. Refreshed from our walk we will go about more playing. Maybe kicking the soccer ball, pushing our wooden cars around, or mixing up a bowl of beans and pom-pons. As the late afternoon sun shines in through the front door Adelynn will play in there waiting for her girls to come home. I take advantage of those minutes to knit while she plays in on that rug. Eagerly she sits watching all the kids walk past our home searching for those happy faces she loves so very much. Squeals of delight clue me in that Leah is home. A burst of loud "hellos" and baby giggles tell me yes, yes she is home. Minutes later another big "hello" and another round of laughter tell me that all my girls are home. Chatter fills the house. Everyone is talking the baby is eager to babble about her day too. Smiles on those bright faces bring the cheerfulness home.



The evening hours bring with us homework, play, and practice. Homework is done while Adelynn seeks their attention. Curious she searches through their papers eager to work on her own assignments. Mama in the kitchen I begin to prepare our supper. As each school girl completes her lessons the first done will take Adelynn to the basement playroom. Supper simmers or bakes I continue to finish any incomplete chores. We take our meal together talking of our day and things to come. We clear the table and clean up finally shutting off the kitchen light. Leah will make her way to the sitting room to practice her viola. Olivia and Adelynn will romp around the basement making up games. I rest a moment listening to Leah's music knitting a little more. Soon Dad will be home eager for a late supper and many kisses from all his girls.



The bedtime round up begins with more laughter and general loud noise. Chasing the kids around the house cause quite a commotion. Baths are rotated and pajamas put on. Teeth to brush and kisses to give. Tucked in bed they giggle a little bit longer sharing the details of their day to Dad. I am rocking a tired baby to sleep knowing that my time holding this little girl in my arms is growing short. Soon she will be chased around to bed telling her Dad her stories being tucked in with his big strong arms. The house is quiet we are all in bed the soft purr of the cat at my feet can be heard. To sleep we go eager for another day just like any other to begin tomorrow.

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