The last seven days. In a nutshell.

Last Tuesday Megan came home with a sore throat. We didn’t leave the house all day and I was in need of some adult interaction so I was determined to go to church playgroup Wednesday morning.

Tuesday night, Megan started running a fever.

Wednesday at 10 am, she got a positive strep test. Started amoxicillin. She took a long afternoon nap on Wednesday and by that evening she was fine.

She stayed home from school on Thursday for good measure.

By Friday, we were ready for action. Megan went to school and Gavin had his last swim lesson for the month.

Saturday Christopher helped some friends move while I took the kids to our monthly champagne brunch. We only have to go downstairs to feast on omelettes, fruit, and pastries. It’s awesome. In the afternoon Christopher took Megan and Gavin to clean out my car and then we hustled to the ward chili cook-off/pinewood derby races. It was a fun activity but Benny didn’t last long. We also are bummed we live so far away from the church.

Especially because Sunday was a busy day as well. Three hours of church. One of Christopher’s co-workers joined us for Sacrament Meeting so I tried extra hard to keep the kids reverent, and that was exhausting. Choir practice after, and then Christopher went home teaching and I brought the kids home, sent them all to their rooms for quiet time (we had eaten lunch at church) and made a pot of beef stew. We took short naps, ate, then headed back to church for Great to Be Eight, a program for the kids turning eight this year. Eight is one of the most special birthdays in the church, because the children get to be baptized. There were six kids, and the parents got to talk a little bit about why their child is special. The primary leaders talked about Achievement Days, Cub Scouts, the Faith in God program (goals the kids make a set from age 8-11). The highlight was a trip to the empty baptismal font (in the next room). The kids thought that was so cool.

Monday morning was excellent. I walked around Target and Ikea with the boys and we had a blast. When Megan got home from school at 3 pm, we headed to the Y for Gavin and Megan’s March swim classes.

Gavin was signed up for an advanced preschool class at 3:30. When I was told that the class didn’t exist, it was in the computer wrong, I just about blew a gasket.

There’s this book, Raising Your Spirited Child, that’s kind of my parenting Bible. I first read it when Megan was a toddler, and it was a lightbulb-over-the-head kind of moment. I just re-read it, and I realized how both Christopher and I are spirited adults. One of the characteristics of spirited people is how they deal with change, or daily transitions. In a preschooler, this would be manifest as a temper tantrum when you leave the playground, or get them out of the bath. In me, this would be me freaking out when Gavin’s swim class is cancelled. Freaking out.

I knew I was being a little scary because Genevieve (the aquatics director) looked a little terrified. She told me there was a stroke clinic at 3:45 that he could join.

I wanted to say, “Hello? Why didn’t you say so?”

When we got home, I figured the kids would be exhausted. Dinner, pajamas, bed.

I didn’t count on Gavin’s meltdown.

Of course, how can I blame a five-year-old for behaving so badly when I, myself, have issues?

It was a rough evening. It ended with Gavin, asleep on his floor, with nothing but a juice box for dinner.

We agreed later (Gavin and I) that he would sit at the dinner table with the family, even if he is not hungry.

We also agreed that if one of us is angry, we will say a code word that means “cool down.”

Today was much smoother.

It SNOWED. Can you believe that? Thank goodness it didn’t stick, but it was freezing cold and we didn’t go anywhere.

We built a fort with blankets.

We read Magic Tree House books. Ben took a long nap and Gavin had quiet time in his room and I should have taken a nap, too, but I paid bills and did some landlord business instead. And read people’s blogs.

When Megan got home, we played some more.

I made spaghetti for dinner so there would be no complaining. Then all three kids took a bath and we talked to Daddy on Skype.

A much smoother night.

Now the house is quiet and I’m going to not watch TV so I’m not tempted by Lost. I have to wait for Christopher.

I just got the University of Virginia magazine in the mail. I don’t know why, but I always read the obituaries of the young people.

Under 2010s, there are two names: John Edward Jones and Justin D. Key. John was a Mormon med student. He had a wife and a daughter and a baby on the way, and he died in a cave that I have spelunked before. Justin was a Darden student who died of the swine flu. Both John and Justin were loved by some of my close friends, and I saw how their deaths affected their loved ones.

Life is precious. Make sure you kiss your babies tonight.

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3 thoughts on “The last seven days. In a nutshell.

  1. I am normally spirited, too. And when I'm pregnant, I would be considered HIGHLY SPIRITED. Just ask the lady at the pediatrician who informed me yesterday that, even though we've been going there since September, they never received Hendley's records and could not give her whatever shot she needed. Glad a swimming class did work out for Gavin. That boy has turned into a fish in a hurry!

  2. This confirmed it (not that I needed confirming, but hey) that we really should be next door neighbors. We live 2 minutes from the church and you can buy a house here for about 6 months rent there, so I guess you'll have to come here.P.S. I love your writing.

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