Today I started a nice breakfast, but rushed through the last of the cooking and the kids only got to eat half of it because I started too late. I buckled three youngsters into frozen car seats with fingers stiff from scraping the windows. I drove the carpool to school and got the boys there on time. Hurrah! I didn't clean up the breakfast dishes until lunchtime because I didn't feel like it.
I tackled the laundry pile, huge and Mount Washmore sized, due to all the clothing I pulled out of David and Eddie's room. We're cleaning out their closet. It's no wonder they can't keep their room clean if they have so many clothes! Most of it is old stuff that doesn't fit and has been stuffed in the back of the closet, or to-be-grown-into hand-me-downs that have fallen off the top closet shelf. I think I'll have them empty their dressers too, wash everything, and start over by picking out a manageable number of clean clothes that fit. It will be like shopping! But not.
I put my three youngun's down for a nap, then I snuggled with them until they all fell asleep. I may have dozed a little bit, too. It's the only way I can get them to sleep instead of play - when I lay down and pull the "big bankie" over all of us - but I really don't mind. It's a slower, peaceful break from the rest of the day.
I went to two parent-teacher conferences. David and Eddie are smart and friendly. They read a lot (even when they aren't supposed to). They are getting better at turning in the homework, but they still need to work on being "finishers." The message from each teacher was basically a repeat. I could have just gone to the first one, and listened to it a few times while changing out the names. BUT, due to the things I have been learning in counseling this past year, I had a different outlook to parent-teacher conferences this time. I love my children, but I don't control them. Love and control do not have to be connected. They have their agency to do whatever, and I have my agency to not have to react, to assign consequences without anger, and to love them anyway. In short, I could listen to a critique of my son - my own flesh and blood! - without feeling defensive or offended. Because his actions are not mine. It was satisfying, and so much easier to go home and have that little "Here's what your teacher said and here's what we need to work on" chat with the boys when I got home. I'm learning!
I went to a band concert and enjoyed it. I was present, and didn't take pictures or film or anything. I just enjoyed it. Of course I got a kick out of seeing Chris on stage (first time I've seen him play since he switched from tenor saxophone to the baritone - it's big!). But I also liked listening to the other bands - odd rhythms, random squeaks, and all. One of my favorite parts of a junior high band concert was the time when the trombonist over-greased his slide and it fell out with a clatter. I remember mortifying moments like that in my awkward years, too.
Knowing that it would be an odd evening, I cooked up a roast in the crockpot. A big bowl of slightly-too-soft mashed potatoes, a pan of rolls, and a bowl of buttery cooked corn stayed warm in the oven for much of the evening. We almost always have dinner together, and I love it that way, but tonight, of the ten of us, I don't think more than three ate at the same time. I put a note on the counter about what was where, and everyone helped themselves when they had time. Crazy, but it worked.
Today was a busier day than normal, but I managed to get a bunch done anyway. Go figure. If I know it's going to be hectic, then I can plan for it, and things still run mostly smoothly. Some days are just like that.