Saturday, July 2, 2011

I Don't Even Know Where To Begin . . .

Dear Mom,
As a reminder to everyone reading, I have 3 children.  My oldest, The Teenager, is a 14 year old boy who thinks he could--and should be (!)--running the country.  My middle child, The Diva, is 11 and likes to think of herself as the next American Idol (think:  lots of singing to Disney music into a wooden sock darning-thing-turned -microphone!  My saving grace is that there is no Justin Bieber in the house.  Yet.)   My youngest, The Pipsqueak, is a nature-loving 8 year old girl who would rather sleep in a tree house than in our house.  They are all happy and healthy.  And --- in a term coined by other parents who are trying to be nice about my "active" children --- all three of mine are "spirited".

For seven years now, the kids have been on a summer swim team.  Every day during the summer, we all wake up at 7:15 to make an 8:00 swim practice.  They swim until 10:30.  For 6 years now, I have been asking, "Are you sure you really want to swim this year?!"  They beg to swim.  We have made friends with so many neat people; one of them being a family like ours.  The parents are our age and they have 4 (!!!) children, the oldest being a few years older than The Teenager and all of their other kids are my kids' ages.  Due to a very sad circumstance, I have been a part-time mom to these 4 children this summer.  (My friend was in a very serious car accident and was in ICU for about a week.  She broke a lot of bones, tore some internal organs . . . . she is FINE and she is home now but there will be about 8 weeks of rehabilitation and therapy.  She is in a wheelchair, sleeps in a hospital bed in her family room . . . . )  I have been taking her children to my house several days each week so that they can make it to swim practice and swim meets without too much disruption and worry.

When I haven't had children, I have been working.  Starbucks.  And I had a very large photo shoot--the annual swim team photo shoot--team and 190 individual swimmer photos to edit and process.

Yes, I think I am crazy.  The younger girls have washed the dog (several times.  Poor Keeper!), painted rocks, baked cookies, made glitter globes, did face paint and dress-up, rode bikes, picked vegetables and planted flowers with me --- sometimes in just 1 day :-)  The boys have played Risk for several days in a row, made bonfires and roasted marshmallows, mowed the grass (yes, even the boys that aren't mine!), and have played some occasional video games --- sometimes in just 1 day :-)

Anyway . . . . . . . all of that to say this:  we finally had a day yesterday where I didn't have to work and I didn't have anyone else's children.  We did nothing.  At one point I asked The Teenager when he last showered.  This was our conversation:
Me:  "When was the last time you showered?"
Teenager:  "I don't know, Mom.  I swim every day."
Me:  "That doesn't count.  And that's gross.  . . . . Really, when was the last time?"
Teenager:  "Really.  I don't know."
Me:  "Go.  Now."

And because that left me speechless, my little Pipsqueak decided to pipe up:
Pipsqueak:  "Um. . . . . . should I tell you that I lost my toothbrush?"
Me:  "Yes!  When did you lose it?  How have you been brushing your teeth?"
Pipsqueak:  "With my finger!"
Me:  "When. Did. You. Lose. Your. Toothbrush?"
Pipsqueak: "I don't know.  More than a week ago."  (Said in a tone that was meant to reassure me that since it has been more than a week and she has been using her finger to brush her teeth and she's just fine, I shouldn't fret over a lost toothbrush!)
Me:  Opens linen closet, pulls out new toothbrush.  Hands it to Pipsqueak. "Go.  Now."

I looked at The Diva.
Diva:  "Going.  Now."

Ahhhhhhhh, happy carefree summer :-)  I wouldn't want it any other way!!!  :-)