Daily Foglifter: Stress contributes to heart disease, high blood pressure, strokes, and other illnesses in many individuals. Stress also affects the immune system, which protects us from many serious diseases.
Normally, Mondays and me don’t get along. Today, however, I’ve never been so happy to see a Monday. Did I have to get up at 6 am? Yep. Is it going to be another hot day that will battle mercilessly with my current A/C situation and win, making my house a glorified sauna? Absolutely. Is something guaranteed to break down, go wrong, or generally suck? 99.9% possibility. Bring it on. It’s still a beautiful Monday.
How can that be? Well, I’ll tell you. Last week was Spring Break. All week, all 5 children were home driving me absolutely bananas. I had to take them everywhere with me–the grocery store, the doctor’s office, and shopping. It’s usually just me and the baby girl making delightful trips around town, basking in the peace and quiet. Not last week. Every trip we took resulted in fighting, yelling, and general chaos. I know it was bad because when I returned to the grocery store alone TWO DAYS after going with the whole brood, the checkout girl said, “Weren’t you in here a couple of days ago with a bunch of kids?” How would she remember that unless we made a special impression? She wouldn’t. Out of the thousands of people she’s seen in the grocery store, she remembered me, even without “a bunch of kids” at my side. I can only imagine why. Maybe it was pure pity for the mother of such an unruly lot. Maybe it was my face, or rather the color of my face, when I was hissing threats in the ears of my little brutes–a brilliant and disturbing shade of reddish-purple. Or maybe it was the fact that I actually yelled, “Stop!” loud enough to be heard a couple of aisles away. Whatever the reason, I was mortified and will now avoid her line in the future.
Aside from errands, it’s also a challenge to have all the kids home all day. My usually quiet days with the baby girl transform into the kind of days that try moms’ souls. Days in which my children test the utmost boundaries of my love and commitment to them. First, they fight constantly. Things usually start off pretty innocently. A little pretend sword fighting, a friendly game of Mario Kart, or watching a movie. It always ends in yelling, name-calling, a loud Smack!, and all the kids running to me as fast as possible to blame someone else for starting the ruckus.
Second, all they do is eat. From the time they get us until they lay their precious heads down, they’re stuffing food in their mouths. I’ve never heard the words, “I’m hungry!” so many times in my life. And they’re never hungry at the same time. Here’s a brief list of what they’ve eaten this week:
- 7 gallons of milk
- 3 (2 lb) loaves of bread
- 6 boxes of cereal
- 2 lbs. of ham
- 2 lb. cheese
- 6 bags of chips
- 3 containers of Kool-Aid (each makes 2 gallons)
- 2 Value Packs of Go-gurt (each has 24 tubes)
The bank account is trembling in fear and trepidation of the summer to come.
Third, they’re LOUD, even when they’re using their “inside voices,” which isn’t often, the noise is unbearable. Add the noise of the television or those irritating handheld video games to 5 kids talking at once and you have a cacophonous mess. I suspect there will be many “lockouts” this summer.
So after the kind of week I had, this Monday couldn’t get here fast enough. I awoke in good spirits, managed to get the kids up and ready and out the door on time with no yelling. It was beautiful. Until #4 decided to be his adorable but difficult self. He walked to the waiting bus, and when he reached the open door, he shied like a racehorse being led into its stall. Instead of whinnying he opted for crying and moaning the word, “Mom-my.” His week at home had reverted him to the mama’s boy he was before he started school. This mama’s boy tendency is why we decided to put him in Pre-K in the first place. A kid tried to coax him on the bus but this only increased the wailing. Then his sister gave it a try and then his wailing became screaming. I had to get out of the car and put him on the bus. Luckily I was dressed this morning and not wearing my pajamas like I normally do. The bus drove off and I could still hear his crying through the open windows. I suspect there may be a sad face on his report today, but I’m okay with that.
Me and my baby girl returned home, sat down to watch some Bubble Guppies, and promptly fell asleep on the couch and slept for an hour and a half. She woke me up with a kiss and a “Hi, mommy” in that precious baby voice of hers. We played with some baby dolls and had an early lunch. Now she’s playing with some Tupperware and a spoon. The house is quiet and amazingly cool. Dinner is thawing on the counter, a load of laundry is in the washing machine, and the television is tuned to the classical music station. There is probably something else I should be doing, but I think I’m going to finish a book I started 6 weeks ago. (!) I’ll return to reality when the kids get home. Until then, I’m basking in this Monday. This beautiful Monday.
“Reading is one form of escape. Running for your life is another.” ~Lemony Snicket