Because most philosophies that frown on reproduction don't survive.

Friday, April 05, 2019

Take Me Out

Toward the beginning of Lent, I was flying high and ready to take on the world, and so, in what I thought was a moment of strength but was certainly a moment of weakness, I agreed to my 10-year-old son's request to play baseball for the parochial school. The fellow is a total rookie, has barely ever thrown a ball and certainly never batted one, but friends, my old man is a great student of the game and somehow I couldn't say no. They say a sucker is born every minute; I personally took the sucker slot for the whole week of Ash Wednesday.

Reckon to yourselves that we are not a sports family; that we have never had to follow a sports schedule; that we already have children signed up for ballet, tap, drama, taekwondo, voice, Boy Scouts, and religious ed. Reckon to yourselves that in the month since Ash Wednesday, Darwin has been away ten days. Reckon to yourself that the baby is 21 months, and that today I caught him banging someone's new toothbrush from the dentist (the one with the Stars Wars cover, not the one that plays "What Does The Fox Say") on my bathroom floor, but I wasn't worried about it because I'd just bleached the bathroom floor yesterday, because yesterday I'd come up looking for the baby and found him sitting in the toilet -- in the toilet, I say -- splashing someone's old toothbrush around, and I stripped him down and dropped his clothes in a puddle on the floor, and then after bathing baby and changing him, I came back up to gather up the laundry, and found that the cat had pooped on the wet shirt, so I dumped that in the toilet and took all the laundry down and then I bleached the floor so that it would be clean when he scrubbed it with his sibling's toothbrush the next day.

Reckon to yourself that I stood out in a cold park yesterday for an hour and a half while small fry tooled around the swings and slide, waiting for the baseball boy's practice to end, and today I have caught a cold.

Reckon to yourselves that today I screwed up the time table by ten lousy minutes, and so I missed the window to pull a child early from drama so I could go back home, pick up the other two, and go to the taekwondo classes that we've already paid for (while the new driver drove another child from tap to a late arrival at drama, because the early departure and the late arrival don't overlap).  In the end, no one went to taekwondo, and I took my budding shopper to the grocery store, where I spent more than I meant to and stayed later than I wanted to, and the upshot was that the four youngest were not in bed until 10 pm.

Meanwhile, Darwin in in Chicago, sleeping on a hotel bed, eating at classy joints, talking to people who wear name tags.

So yes, I'm feeling the slapdown of humility against my early Lenten pride, when I thought I was finally getting my life organized to do things, only to discover that I was relying on my own strength. And my own strength is mostly sufficient to meet obligations and get dinner on the table at the precise time when everyone is home, and to keep the dishes and laundry turning, but not to also do things I like, such as reading or writing.

Next week the games start -- on Tuesday and Thursday! I thought games were played on Saturday mornings? -- and then things are going to get really interesting as we have to travel around Columbus on weeknights. Especially since on the night of his first away game at a parish I've never been to, the oldest three are driving down into Columbus to tech a play for some homeschooling friends and so I may find myself schlepping three younger children to be bored in the stands -- including the 21-month-old, who doesn't need a toothbrush or a toilet to get into trouble.

Remind me of this next Lent when I start feeling uppity about what I can get done. Oh, and remind me to finally call the locksmith, so we can latch either the bedroom door or the bathroom door (I'm not particular, just so's we have one line-of-defense door that actually stays shut) so baby can't get into that toilet again.


mandamum said...

Ah, this sounds like my life, only I have a 2.5yo and a 8mo, so not exactly the level of chaos of a 21mo, but with more doorknob skills and an intense desire (on the part of the 2.5yo) to feed his sister (the 8mo) pointy toys.... and my about-to-be-licensed driver will only be able to drive herself around for the first year, not even siblings, so the possibility of the 2 (in my case) eldest driving, say, to VBS volunteer duty, is nonexistent till next summer. But I routinely miss the "10 minute window" to return the massively overdue book that must be walked in and paid for so the account can be used for more holds "on the way" -ish to ballet, because after I drop off, the library will be closed until tomorrow.... But I am already painfully aware of my limitations (partly from a previous experiment with taekwondo, where the times were always ridiculous, resulting in 2x as much driving as it should have), so we're only doing Ballet and Confirmation Class out of the house, and I try to get the grocery run mostly done Saturday so I can leave everyone else behind, and even that is often too much. I used to be very good at accomplishing things, back before I had children. I'm starting to think a large household needs more than one on the housekeeping staff who can drive, can pay for things, is not at work elsewhere most of the day or off on business trips multiple weeks of the month in order to function smoothly....

Jenny said...

Ohhhh. Yes, I know this life.

My sportsing advice is this: Summer rec league softball. They get their team sports itch scratched, nobody cares if you miss for vacations and such, it's over in two relatively lower stress months.

Ana Maria said...

Welcome to the club! Spring is sports madness in our home with only the smallest not playing anything. We abandoned summer baseball a few years ago and I can honestly say I do not miss it. To be a total cliche, you got this!

Kelly said...

We have used these flip door locks to keep shorter kids from being able to open doors that we don't want them to open.