But I love them a little more when they are all gathered around our low white coffee table, each working on their own summer homework. And by summer homework, I just mean some printed pages of math, maybe a journal entry. Isaac “works” on writing his name. Susanna scribbles on anything she can find, including the coffee table, which is Ok since it is a painted-garage-sale treasure and the scribbles come off with Magic Eraser.
We keep it simple.
Because I mean, it gets intense. When it is two o clock and already they have done homework and chores and bubbles and played outside and colored, and asking what are we going to do now? it starts to feel like we’re living in The Neverending Story.
So then we watched The Neverending Story. Which is, unfortunately, not quite neverending enough for me to get dinner done. And contains pretty unfortunate special effects.
And then I started paying them for extra chores. Ben washed the outside windows and scrubbed out the bathtubs and cleaned the shower and put away two loads of laundry and read ten books because he was so motivated to buy a Spiderman web gun for seven dollars. Abby did dishes and laundry and read ten books to Isaac so that she could treat some friends this weekend at the local coffee shop.
And mama kept her sanity, loosely interpreted. (I mean there was that day I called Tim from inside the locked bedroom and suggested it was time for him to join us for lunch, but you know. . . anyone would do the same.)
We made quite the scene at the library, all six of us and armloads of books. Susanna’s beribboned pony-tail could be seen bouncing throughout the entire children’s section, including behind the checkout desk, at which point she was kindly ushered out. Around that time, Ben and Isaac began to fight over puppets behind the puppet stage and I decided it was time for us to check out. But the family with four kids in front of us was faring a little worse as the youngest proceeded to pitch a lay-on-the-ground fit right in the midst of us all, so I felt a little better. I smiled at her and told her there was no rush. We’re all in the same boat.
Ben told me in no uncertain terms that he did not want to do the summer reading program for the library, but he thrust books at me that he wanted me to read to him “for free.” Crazy kid. These are the kind of conversations that are slowing breaking my brain down into a neurotic mush. I whistled at Tim as we exited the library and told the kids they had a good-looking daddy, Abby was epically embarrassed.
But later when every child was settled into a cozy spot with a snack, a drink, and a pile of books, they were all cute again. And it’s like that, it seems. Ebb and flow and I’m losing my mind and then, cuteness.
Date night and yoga and my sanity returns with a smile. It’s worth it. The piles of books are worth facing my fear of librarians. The chaos of six is worth it to include all these little people who make up Team Haupt.