Betty Duffy

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Quick takes: snowed in

Thanks Jen for hosting this wonderful Friday Tradition .

It is Thursday as I write, and yet, I am wearing my Saturday pants. It’s bad when Saturday pants start to become your everyday pants, especially when they’re fleece and add another ten pounds to the ten pounds you are already overweight. People start to say you’ve let yourself go.

Of course…people…what are those? It’s been awhile since I’ve seen one. Except for the five short ones who are snowed in with me—six if you count their friend whom my son calls every snow day at about 7:30 in the morning (I’m sure their parents love us). Anyway, he’s here too.

And since the fun began even before 7:30—the fun of spitting in one another’s hot chocolate, and wrecking one another’s snow forts, and turning over the Monopoly board, and planning covert missions into sister’s room to wreak havoc until she shrieks—I feel like the world owes me a pair of Saturday pants.

I was going to go to a party today. It’s Irene’s birthday and I had a sitter lined up, and I know that she and Pedge were on the other side of town today clinking their champagne glasses together, while I stayed here in my Saturday pants.

I was pretty proud of myself for finding a babysitter, though. I saw her at Wal-mart, wearing a letter jacket, looking for vegetables from the freezer section, checking her list, which she held in the same hand with her car-keys. She had a nice looking face—pure—but not so innocent that she didn’t know the kind of trouble she could be getting into if she were a different kind of girl.

Truth is, I’d seen her before, a couple years ago at the Church festival, had asked her mother if she babysat—and her mother said, “Oh yes. She doesn’t drive, but now’s the time to get her before somebody else does. She’s a good girl.”

But I wasn’t going anywhere back then, and I’m only almost going places now, so when I saw her in the aisle at Wal-mart, I asked her if she still babysat, and she said that as a matter of fact, she had just quit her job, and was looking to pick up some sitting hours. I took her number down on the backside of my Cheerios coupon, and asked her what she liked to be paid. “Oh, whatever you want is fine with me. I don’t really do it for the money. I like kids.”

“But do you like FIVE kids?”

“Yeah. I babysit for my nieces and nephews all the time, and there’s six of them.”

Really, if God had created a template for the perfect babysitter—it was this girl—and here she was on a platter in the frozen foods section of Wal-mart the very day before I was about to cancel my presence at a party due to lack of a babysitter.

Nevertheless, I had to cancel my presence due to snow.

So anyway, it’s a tough life. I think about that sometimes, especially when I’m watching my kids and the way they treat each other. My four-year-old, I can tell, longs for a kinder and gentler world, where people share toys and refrain from name calling and sing songs together like he does with his classmates at preschool.

The other day he came home after his preschool picture day with a little satchel that said “I’m special at blah blah preschool” and there was his smiling face airbrushed on the satchel, looking very special. And then he comes home, showing off his satchel, and immediately one of his brothers calls him turd-face, and I just think, “It’s good he’s special at school.”

“Deficit-smefishit” I’m pretty sure that’s what Barney Frank just said on C-Span.


Emily J. said...

Keep some snow on the ground for us!

Mil said...

Can I just say thank you for this post? I love your part about the 4-year-old being special at school. Having five children also, I often think, "who do I think I am trying to raise these children? Was God crazy??" Its nice to know our life is normal, whatever normal is.

mrsdarwin said...

My good pants news is that My Saturday pants are a pair of Ann Taylor curvy jeans that disguise all the little flaws and make me look almost svelte. My bad pants news are that those are my only pair of pants, since I haven't lost enough pregnancy weight to fit back into any other pair. They're starting to get stretched out from overwearing and overwashing, so I fear the day is coming in which I'll either have to spend a miserable day pants shopping under the fluorescent lights or spend a vast deal of money to replace this exact pair - even down to the siza, since I haven't lost any weight.

Anonymous said...

Just the thought of being trapped at home with 5 (or 6) fighting kids makes me want to cry. I wish I knew how you do it. I wonder where the dream that I'd have two sweet kids who love each other and enjoy each other's company came from? What a nonexistent non-reality that is.

kate said...

no snow in SoCal but I recognize the dynamic you describe - 5 kids'll do that to you no matter what the weather if you're stuck in one place with them.
I hesitate to comment further but oh, what the heck, if you can't offer unsolicited advice on the internet, where can you offer it? My 5 are now almost completely grown. Youngest is 16. 4/5 are living at home right now due to 1) illness 2) grad school 3)just graduated, applying grad school and #5 - last minor child, junior in high school. #4 is the only one absent - away at college. WHat is intriguing/shocking/gratifying to me is how kind my kids are to each other now that they are grown. It actually was something my daughter commented on when she went away to school - couldn't believe how nasty her friends were to their sibs. Long story short - nobody was allowed to call their sib a "turd-face" when our kids were growing up. Instant consequences - probly a swat or isolation, depending the age. It wasn't ME - it was their dad who set an absolute standard on speech - and who quoted from scripture at the dinner table:

"...brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things."
I on the other hand thought he was being a little extreme, I mean kids are kids and they will fight. And, yes, they did. BUT - a standard was set, if they were caught there were consequences, and in the long run, it mattered.
I don't mean to assume there were no consequences to the name caller - just sayin'.....

Jennifer @ Conversion Diary said...

I laughed until I cried. I love this post.

And here was I, grousing about having to blast the air conditioner in December. I'll now go add that to my gratitude journal.