Half a dozen kids and their different shades of red. and blonde.
This afternoon was a lesson why half a dozen kids and important phone calls don't mix. I'm writing this down so I won't forget this crazy life that I wouldn't trade for the world.
I hit a car today. Thankfully no one was hurt. I was pulling into a parking space and just didn't give myself enough room. Scraped up a little spot on the car parked next to me. I was mortified...especially since I'm usually super conservative about making sure I have plenty of room. Not the case today.
As a result, I had to make a couple of phone calls this afternoon to the insurance company to square things away with the other driver.
That's when the chaos came....how does one make important phone calls with six children in the house?!?? I still don't know how it's possible because it surely doesn't work for me. Texting is my lifeline but unfortunately not a possibility in this situation. So I start by making the phone call out on my front porch away from the distractions. 5 seconds in Molly is screaming from the living room right outside the front windows. I hang up. I go in. She's fine; she just missed me. Meanwhile kids are coming out of the woodwork to tell me something, need help with something, I'm hungry or something, I spilled something. So I step it up a notch and lock them all in the backyard with Hudson in charge of Molly and tell them I have to make a phone call with no interruptions. I go back to the front porch. I make the call. While on the phone, I hear screams and yells for the next few minutes while I'm talking. I'm finally through and hang up. I will hear from the claims adjuster again sometime today or tomorrow. I go out back to discover Henry has been chasing and spraying everyone with a hose in my (grass-less) backyard so now they are all covered in mud. Showers are a must.
We still have homework and chores that must be done, and I need to make dinner in the midst of answering tricky math questions, quizzing for spelling tests, and Jake needs to read aloud to me. Half of the boys go in to shower. I'm trying to keep a dirty Molly off the countertops and from stealing chips while I'm making dinner and overseeing homework. I eventually begin running her bath water. I then go check in on the boys who should have been out of the shower by now. Bathroom is trashed; all three have been out for a while but the water is still running. I proceed to very sternly reprimand them. Meanwhile Nate comes in with phone in hand which he has answered, not said a word to the other end, but hands to me mid-sentence as I'm chewing my kids out. Who knows how many seconds that poor man heard my desperate conversation with my kids. Mortified again. Since this phone conversation is now immediate and unplanned with no quick plan of how to escape away from the kids, I head to the front porch again and hope for the best. Molly follows me, and unfortunately Duke takes this opportunity for freedom and escapes through the front door that Molly has left open. Every time Duke escapes, which happens at least once or twice a week (or a few times in one day), we need the car to drive around the neighborhood in hopes of coercing him back home. He loves the chase and never has any desire to be caught. Unfortunately today I have no car and have no idea how I'm going to get him back. And of course, all while talking on the phone with the claims guy who is recording this conversation, in which I am pleading guilty to the damage done to the cars. Thankfully a miracle happens today. Duke heads straight across the street to his best dog friend Charlie's house, whose back gate happens to be open. Duke makes a bee line for the open gate, in hopes of finding Charlie in the yard. So I'm on the phone talking through the details of the accident, pleading guilty, and trying my best to answer his specific questions, while Molly is running beside me yelling, "We need to get Duke!" Then Henry comes bounding out the door, in accusatory mode, to find the one to blame for his dog escaping for the hundredth time this month. All while I'm on the phone. Praise the Lord all goes well; conversation ends; we corner Duke in the yard and slip on his leash; and head back home after a catch up conversation with my neighbor Amy and sweet smiles from her sweet baby boy. Duke gets a quick few minutes with his best friend Charlie, and we head home across the street. Back inside we lock the front door so Duke won't escape again. I go back to the kitchen to pick back up with dinner and homework. Then I remember Molly's bath water. Another miracle upon miracles. It was at the very brim of the tub without overflowing. I turn off the water and feel it. Ice cold. All the hot water had been used up from the shower earlier before when the boys had left the water on for who knows how long after they had gotten out.
And so my evening continues in a very similar way for the next hour and a half before Brian gets home. Dinner is ready, but homework is still not complete for some; chores are not finished; and rooms are definitely not cleaned. My laundry is still piled on the couch, and the kitchen will need to be cleaned for the 10th time today.
Sooooo, if I owe you a returned phone call or I don't answer your phone call, or I forget to call you back, you'll know why.
Life with half a dozen kids. And a dog.