Saturday, June 5, 2010

Texas Rain

“School’s out for summer….” I didn’t realize this was an Alice Cooper song as I tool around my house humming it under my breath in great anticipation for what is in store for us these next several months. I’m banging my head a bit as I try to clear the decks in anticipation for having two more bodies along with their clutter underfoot. With four kids in the house, there is always evidence of chaos in every room. Try as I might to be a clean-as-you-go person, I get overwhelmed as soon as I put the last load of laundry away. Then it’s on to my office, a bona fide disaster area. Now I know where Danielle get’s her piggy tendencies. I tried to blame it on her father, but looking around at the piles of admin, I must confess it is from me.

Like January 1st and a fresh set of New Year’s Resolutions, I meet the first day of summer with a load of things for the kids to do which will both benefit them and reflect keenly on me as an organized and dutiful mother. Chore charts, activity lists, maximum hours per day of screen time, organized camps and family vacation time round out the calendar. Trips to the library to get the classics and special science and geography lessons will slow the softening of the brain. I believe I have crafted a balanced web between being overscheduled and underutilized time for we all know what that leads to. It begins with the “Mom, I’m bored!” chorus which leads to sibling bickering which leads to blows which leads to mother roaring at the kids and sentencing them to solitary confinement as I make my own retreat to the liquor cabinet.

I hope I last longer than the kids in the adherence to the strictly laid rules and standards. The drive for allowance money for more treasures usually starts to wane after two weeks, which is generous. It’s actually more like one week when the tedium of manual labor sets in. Of course, a good fever virus or case of head lice can completely upend our routine. We had both today, for example, as Sabrina snoozed on the couch in a Benydryl and Motrin coma, I spied a vermin sneaking through Caroline’s hair. BUGGER! I don’t have the time or the will to comb through Kiki’s hair nor the staying power to get her to sit for duration of a painstaking nit bomb. Danielle had a case of nits a few weeks ago and I thought we had been thorough in the eradication of this pest. I was wrong.

I ran to the store cursing the cursed and wondering why this was happening to me again. We have not had a case of head lice since Danielle was in kindergarten more than 6 years ago. Then her case erupted the day before I was having surgery to reconstruct my reconstruction. Tonight, Tom and I are headed to what promises to be a very fun grown-up party right in the hood. Of course , one never plans to have this kind of thing happen but what stinky timing. Am I being punished for neglecting my children while blogging or trying to figure out what is the allure of Twitter really? Is this a wake-up call to renew my laser like focus on kids kids kids?Perhaps.

I’m enjoying a little me time blogging therapy as I recharge and get ready for round two – dinner, a vigorous comb-out, and an attempt to work a little magic on my own hair. Caroline says ‘I like your clown hair, Mommy.” Last year at this time, I had no hair, so I’m trying to keep perspective on this latest curve ball over my home plate. We all get them, in different shapes and sizes, but it’s better to strike out swinging than watching the ball go by. Even in Texas, it rains a little.

Enjoy your summer – I know we will.


duaneu said...

Don't forget to pack those umbrellas. We're having the coldest, wettest spring EVER.

Anonymous said...

Diane, you've painted a picture of family life with humor, perspective and heart. It's those exhausting challenges in life that remind us that we're human and desperate for God's guidance. LOVE your writing style and honest glimpse into your day-to-day experiences. Hugs! p.s. Lice MD works wonders. (Spoken from a lice terminating mama warrior!) Love you! KH

Susan, wife of 1, mother of 4 said...

Oh Diane, I feel your pain! I'm sorry to hear about the lice. They are the most persistant little pains in the rear. We used mayo. Smear it all over her hair, put a shower cap on her and have her sleep in it. Wash her hair when she wakes up in the AM and the lice will be GONE (they get smothered in the mayo). Her hair won't be greasy. It will look normal. We tried everything and that worked best for us. GOOD LUCK! I'm so sorry to hear the latest curve ball that life has thrown you....and it's NOT because you were (finally) taking some time for YOU!)