Have you seen the blog Illustrated With Crappy Pictures? It’s written by a mom who shares stories about her life, illustrated with cute pictures. It’s pretty cool. After writing my post last week – My Day By The Numbers, I thought I’d try sharing one day in pictures – with remarkably rich commentary, obviously. So here it is…my day as a stay-at-home mom of five kiddos.
“Good morning Suckers!” That’s how raccoons refer to us humans with the tasty garbage. But answer me this, if they have such handy prehensile hands and feet why don’t they be a little tidier when eating? Dumping the contents of the compost bin all over the walkway is just rude!
Sometimes your grumpiest, most likely to explode child asks to ride scooters to school. Sometimes when you are a little bit (actually a lot) afraid of said child, you say yes to avoid any upset. Sometimes when you have an inconsistent relationship with reality, you agree to escort five children, all on scooters, to the not-so-nearby school. Sometimes because experience is the greatest teacher, you are smart enough to take a trailer/stroller along to carry backpacks and possible small humans who have grown weary of their scooter.
See? Experience. On the way back from school drop-off I had five scooters and 3 children in and on the trailer. It was totally easy to push.
You wouldn’t know it from the picture, but eating is mostly what my kids do at the park. Eating is how they acclimatize to a new setting. It’s also how they evaluate their setting throughout their stay. Finally, in preparation for leaving any setting at all, they must enjoy a few final nibbles – strength for the journey of course.
By the time I indulged in a little selfie action on the way to the school for a 3 pm pick-up, I had been run ragged by my 2 year olds, dealt with Wife’s dead battery (in her car, people! Sheesh!), driven to and waited at the mechanics and run home to pack up snacks (for crying out loud the bloody snacks) to feed the kids upon their arrival at gymnastics. A parent can feel a little sluggish after such a day, (which was not anywhere close to being done). What to do? Red lipstick and sunglasses obviously. If my children are going to zap me of all my energy, I am going to look fierce while they’re doing it!
Thank the heavens and Wife’s pay cheque that we have a loving and frighteningly energetic caregiver who is able to do so much that I cannot, including, but not limited to entertaining the children and preparing dinner at the same time. With me you get one or the other, never both, and as a favour to my family, never dinner. Anyway, so Tita Liza happily welcomed the girls and I home after gymnastics with dinner ready! Wahoo! And even though Liza thinks I’m edging towards totally ridiculous, she helps the kids choose and put on their tomorrow clothes before dinner. (Pajamas are for regular sized families, without multiples. We go from today clothes to tomorrow clothes and embrace any wrinkles that come from sleeping in one’s clothes. This tomorrow clothes business is totally optional for the adults in the family.)
Eating one of his favouite meals is hard for Mr. Lee. Asking for seconds and being given not one but two plates holding the desired spatatoes (sweet potatoes) is really, really hard.
Given Mr. Lee’s extreme crying, I chose to focus on happier members of the Silverman-Akande crew.
I’m not saying this is the right answer for everyone. And I’m not saying that I am proud that this is the right answer for me, but seriously, alcohol – don’t parent after 5 pm without it.
That’s Z under his cap with the humungous, unbendable brim. He is our resident bug collector. He may or may not respond to directions when he is working hard as an entomologist. This makes me feel both proud and profoundly irritated. Interestingly, I feel these same emotions when he leaves a jar full of bugs inside the house.
I am not the only parent in our family who makes decisions based on hope rather than reality. Wife decided after dinner at 7pm she would do a little gardening and scootering with the kids (and our provincial election candidate Jonah Schein).
Not surprisingly Wife and I divide and conquer at bedtime. She does The Middles and The Big and I do The Littles. Wife is a little show-offy about bedtime because she seems to get her kids (except Z) tucked in around the time I manage to get mine to head upstairs. Please note that while bedtime efficiency is not my strength, I am kinda the best at all other things!
Occasionally my lovelies allow me to choose their bedtime story. When they do, I use the opportunity to select books that promote love, kindness and gratefulness. We have a basket of “character development” books. The children rarely independently select books from this basket. Does this mean that they are making a deliberate effort to not develop a positive character?!?
I’m really not good at putting the kids to bed. Is this the face of a child who plans on staying in his bed and going to sleep before 9pm? No! No, it is not!
Eventually Wife took over with Mr. Lee and read with Z so I could go and pick up our reward for surviving another day – burgers! There is a lot of take-out in our lives. We think of take-out the same way we think about alcohol. Please don’t judge us.
At some point we finished all the prep for the next day and got down to the task of eating and watching Netflix. I cannot believe that people used to parent without Netflix. That just wouldn’t work for me.
So that’s my day illustrated with mediocre pictures I took with my phone. It has occurred to me that I can be a lot more present with my children when I am not thinking about documenting every moment, but honestly, it’s a teeny bit more fun to be not so much a participant in the crazy, but a documenter of it!XO Ajike