Monday morning I have to admit I thought it was President’s Day. I don’t even know why. Maybe from all the inaugural talk on Facebook? Who knows. At least I knew the most important thing, which was that it was a school holiday. Waking children up at 6:30 was not required Monday morning, but by noon I sure wish I had sent them off for the day.
I tell you this: in a house with 5 boys it is impossible to ever have enough food. I fed them breakfast, I fed them a snack, I fed them lunch, I fed them another snack, and just as I was getting ready to cook dinner I found two of them hiding in their room eating the family size package of sausage I planned on using to feed the entire family tomorrow, and that’s after they polished off an entire box of clementines (those cute little oranges kids love so much).
When the bill collectors call and ask “where’s the money?” I simply say “my kids ate it.” And I think they would quite literally eat the dollars if I let them. Saturday we were all sitting in the car when the youngest two starting snacking on their homework. Seriously, they were biting off the paper and chewing it up. I turned around and said “don’t eat that!” and they both just looked at me and swallowed! I’m not kidding, the dog didn’t eat their homework, they did.
Of course this wouldn’t be the home of the ZOO CREW if that were our only mishap of the week. The other night I was trying to write a blog, and catch up with my favorite bloggers. The children were playing in the yard when I heard a blood curdling scream that jolted me from my chair. Expecting blood or broken bones, I managed to leap to the front door and yank it open in less than a second only to find my nine year old spraying everyone down with the water hose. Apparently, they had a mud fight, and Tucker decided I would be mad if they tracked it through the strangely clean house, so without hesitation he started hosing them with ice cold water. I guess 42°F and soaking wet beats making mom mad!?
There is probably truth to that, especially when the floors are freshly mopped!
Despite all the little moments of chaos that surround me, I seemed to have hit my stride, FINALLY! It’s only taken me 3 years to get the hang of it, but somehow the Disaster Zone is turning around. I’ve conquered the mountain of laundry (most days at least); everyone has clean socks to wear, dishes are done, floors are mopped, and my mother could even show up and look under the beds. (Well, only if she comes today, under-the-bed-clean has a short life.)
The more organized I get, the more in control I feel. To make it work, I had to cut down on how many days a week I go to work, but losing a few dollars is well worth making this mess manageable. Don’t let me fool you though, I still don’t have it all together. I spend half my time refereeing fights between brothers and wishing I could find a way to keep them quiet for just ten minutes a day. I still can’t get them all in the car in the mornings without an Act of Congress, and I think we all see just how hard it is to pass an act through Congress.
This morning, we were on our usual journey to the elementary school. In the front seat, just like most days, our little dachshund was trying to nose past the rat terrier for a spot with his head out the window. This is their daily doggie outing. Only this morning, as they hung their heads out the window to bid the children farewell, my son Trenton thought he needed to open the front door of the car. Why? I couldn’t begin to imagine, but both of the dogs fell out of the car in the drop-off lane.
It scared the bejeebers out of them! The dachshund, Jasper, happens to be the dog who moved himself in here last Christmas, right after our boxer died. He was obviously very timid and we later learned he had been kicked, beaten and was abused by his former owner. He snuck in, hid under the kids’ beds every day for weeks until I finally said he could stay. It took a long time for him to stop shaking anytime anyone tried to pet him. (Our zoo is something like the Island of Misfit Toys, only we take it all the kids and pets who seemed misplaced!)
After falling out of the car, Jasper didn’t know what to do. He ran in circles, scared to death. People were trying to help, but the more they called him the more scared he got and I…. well, I had to get out of my car, in my pajamas to catch the little rascal who had taken to hiding under the car. It was quite the spectacle, but it just goes to show that NO MATTER HOW CLOSE I COME, I just don’t think I’ll ever make it to NORMAL!