Having my husband out-of-town for a week severely tests the limits of my endurance. I do find a sort of rhythm but by the time he returns, worn out himself and not able to provide much immediate relief, I am on some sort of exhausted auto-pilot.
Something has to give and what gives first is the state of my house which, with kids home all day and projects constantly going on, is compromised anyway. Finally with some night hours to myself, I've started digging out. I just found a pot holder in Levi's room (?!). I finally folded a load of laundry that has been in the dryer for several days. It's the one I had to wash over again b/c it stayed wet in the washer so long, it smelled bad. Arrrggghh. There's still a pile of paper--books, coupons, magazines--on the stairs, ever growing and waiting to be taken upstairs and put away. The dining room table has turned into my office holding bills, papers that will remind me to make some phone calls, my calendar and a half-knitted pair of mittens.
On the floor behind me is a tipped-over globe, two rapper-snappers (what?), one half of a stick that I used for a math demonstration today, a book about the earth opened to "Earthquakes and seismology," a broken and used up tape dispenser, a coloring pad, various parts to transforming toys, a binder clip and my favorite ink pen.
These are the other things that factored into the week. My husband went on a business trip to Europe, took his car keys, and accidentally left the car seats locked in his car. This was how his week away started for me. I couldn't find the connection cord for my iPod/computer connection and so couldn't load This American Life onto it. It may not sound like a big problem to you but my housework was absolute drudgery and I thought I could get through it if I had something interesting to listen to.
As a bit of relief, I took the kids out one night to a casual restaurant that I'd been wanting to try. It was fun--except for the 2 consecutive times that Oliver spilled his absolutely full cup of lemonade all over the table, himself and me. Last night I made a meal that the kids love--Swedish meatballs. This required some effort on my part but it was worth it for a meal we'd all enjoy. They sat down, looked at the food, both said, "I'm not hungry," took 3 bites and asked to be excused from the table. I did take the time to enjoy my meal and a taste of wine but with a traveling husband and excused-from-the-table kids, conversation was spare and my dinner ended relatively quickly too.
This wouldn't have been so bad except for almost immediately facing the slimy noodle pot and colander the noodles were drained in, the messy skillet, the dishwasher full of clean dishes to be put away--and all without the distraction of This American Life. Oh woe is me!
I've been assuring myself that a cluttered house is a sign of active minds!
Jokes by Levi
What did the ice cream say when the banana asked when it could come over?
Only on a sundae!
What does a drama king wear to bed?
What do you call a swashbuckling rat?
What do you call a shoe that has a problem?
An is-shoe! (An issue)
What do you call a video game that you play with more than one person?
What do you call it when someone listens in on Christmas Eve?
And one contributed by a friend:
What's brown and sticky?
Levi called me into his room saying, "Oliver's a quarterback." Oliver was on the bed on his tummy with 4 quarters on his back.
What does a crocodile say when it wants to be a rooster?