I told you I was going to enjoy this week, and I am. Just not for the reasons I expected.
We've been working on a daily routine with the girl... by "we", I mean "I" while my husband stands back and keeps a running commentary on my efforts. His complete lack of faith in my super-routine-maker skills is awesomely heartening. I can do anything with him by my side... as I flip him the bird and show him what's what ;)
Mondays he doesn't work so he's home with me and the kids. This week, (since Thing2 is an adult and can take care of his damned self) we have Walter (13), Alex (11), Goofy (7), Little D (5), TS (3), and the grandbaby (the girl, 2). So, Monday morning, I took Thing2 to work around 6-6:30. When I got home, the girl was sitting up in her bed calling for Papaw so I sat her at the kitchen table with some cereal. The others came trickling in one by one. They were fed, dressed, the house was cleaned...ish, things were going as they usually do. Lunch came and went and it's nap time. Alex was laying in his room, watching TV, I had the other 4 in the other room laying down. One was crying, one was glaring, one was listing all the many ways and reasons that I'm a jerk, and the other had his eyes closed trying to get this thing over with. My husband comes in to sit with (read: distract) the grandbaby and tells me that I am just mean. I looked at him, considering my words carefully. Sitting there, thinking of all the many things I want to say to this man... I nod. "Ok. Good luck." and I walked out to leave him to get them to sleep. Priceless, I tell you! absolutely priceless.
Tuesday night, as each kid finished eating, I threw them in the shower, soaped them up, rinsed them, dried them off, and handed them their PJs to go dress themselves or find help. Alex was the last at the table as I showered the grandbaby when Alex ran out of food. I asked my husband to either sit with her or sit with him to keep one occupied while I dealt with the other. It wasn't long after that we had a showdown in the office. I told that man I was not killing myself to keep up without getting help. I told him it was ridiculous that he couldn't load the dishes I already rinsed, move the clothes I already washed to the dryer, and/or sit with either Alex or the baby since I can't be in both places at once. I told him when he came home from work Wednesday and the house wasn't clean, I didn't want to hear a word about it.
He was mad. He was mad because I was mad because he's eating! Can't he eat!? Didn't I eat!? Yes. Yes, I did. I ate a bowl of chili, standing at the kitchen counter, guarding the hot stove, stirring the spaghetti noodles... and it's too much to ask him to eat at the kitchen table!? *curse words* I asked Thing2 to switch the laundry, Walter to load the dishwasher, my brother to watch the kids, and I went to lay down for 30 minutes before bed time.
Next thing I know, my husband is taking over bed time. and I let him. I went out to the front porch to sit with my brother and enjoy the show. We laughed so hard each time the girl inched her way out of her bed to sit in the floor and grab a toy, then stand up and pounce on her bed while my husband concentrated on his phone. After several texts from my brother detailing the girl's actions, my husband looked up at the front window and glared at us for finding it so damned funny. He shut the TV off and tried to get her settled. After about an hour of watching, I took pity on him and went in. I cleaned up the toys, moved her bed away from the wall, and settled in for the wait. 15 minutes later, she was sound asleep. "Mean", HA!
Wednesday morning, my brother surprised me with a day off work and plans to go to story time with us. I don't even remember what happened, it was a normal morning, when my brother looked at me wide eyed and at a loss, "Is it always like this?" Yes. Yes, it is. After herding cats at the library, dealing with 2 temper tantrums, and checking out 30 books, we left there with my brother more determined than ever to get the kids away from me for a few hours to give me a break. (and he totally took back the acting like our mother comment from when I exploded at my husband.)
He thought it might be a good idea to let them nap before taking them out so we lay them down. and the girl showed me she's so familiar with nap time rules that she can so take over my job. My brother reached over to scratch TS's back. No touching at nap time. The girl gave my brother a dark look and put her finger to her lips. When I got the text that the girl's mommy was on her way to get her, I stood up and gestured at the girl to follow me. She gave me a dark look and put her finger to her lips. I had to laugh, "Girl, don't shush me! Let's go." Once I pried her from her bed and she saw why, she was so excited to see her mommy :) After nap time, my brother loaded up Walter, Goofy, Little D, and TS to take them fishing.
And then there was one. Me 'n' Alex. For an entire afternoon.