So I was making dinner this evening, thinking to myself, This is great! Homework done and the four boys are outside playing baseball. Wow! What a long way from a few years ago where making dinner meant holding one while the other climbed up my leg and two more raided the pantry for Cheerios.
I had that LOOK AT ME ROCK THIS DINNER THING moment. YEAH, I’VE GOT THIS DOWN. . .Let ME tell you how it is done. . .
As a matter of fact my friend, Amie, a mother of three year old twins, asked me last week, “How do you even get dinner on the table? Everyone is crabby and hungry and hanging on me.”
I commiserated, remembering how challenging those days were. But, now, I thought, LOOK HOW EASY THIS IS!
Scott, finished his work day and came into the kitchen. “Where are the kids? It is so quiet.” That reader, is your first clue. A quiet house and parental industriousness does not mean that you are in fact at the top of your parenting game.
“I know. Isn’t this great. Maddie’s upstairs. Marc, Luke, Will and Dylan are playing baseball in the backyard.”
He looked out the window toward the backyard. “The boys aren’t back there. Maybe they’re in the front.” He went to the front door and peered out. “Nope. They’re not there either.”
Not yet panicking, I said, “I saw them go in the back. Check in the play area.” This time he went outside and looked around. He quickly returned to the kitchen.
“I found them. Where’s your camera?”
“Where’s your camera?”
“Oh, you’ll have to see this. . . the garden hose is stretched across the patio to the play area.”
Anything involving the hose is not good. I followed him outside. I quickly thought of the NUMBER ONE MANTRA of all moms: IF THEY ARE TOO QUIET. . .IT IS NOT A GOOD SIGN. I had totally disrespected the mantra in my self-talk about superior parenting skills.
There, busy in the mulch, were three boys. . .with shovels. . .digging a swamp. . .naked. Industriously, they had dug a big hole and had filled it full of water. Really, dear reader you might ask me, “Exactly HOW LONG were they out there and why didn’t you check on them?”
Marc, the only one somewhat dressed, was directing the project. I didn’t know whether to be impressed with the size of the swamp, which was swallowing a tricycle, or with the fact that they were thoughtful enough not to get their clothes all muddy. (Which in retrospect wasn’t the situation. They had taken off their clothes BECAUSE THEY WERE WET AND MUDDY.)
So, yes, Amie. . .I can make a dinner like this now that everyone is older. . .
Just don’t ask me where my kids are or what they are doing. And, no matter what age, never disrespect that mantra.