Today didn't start the way we had imagined.
But that's the way things go with four kids.
Make a plan, expect it to unravel.
It's been a relatively lazy weekend for us. We're headed out of town for three days at the end of the week, so we decided a hang out at home would be a good idea leading up to it.
After staying up far too late doing this, the plan was to have JB take the three oldest kids to swimming lessons this morning, while the little one and I got busy in the kitchen filling up the freezer for school lunches.
We were woken by an in-your-face time check from one of the girls. The ladies in this house don't like to be late, and they've have learned the value of taking the bull by the horns, so to speak.
I stayed in bed for a few minutes longer, while JB got the day started. I heard him directing the kids to pack their own swimming bags and some food for afterwards. We've been working hard on making them increasingly accountable for their belongings and getting things done when it's for their own benefit.
I came downstairs as they were headed for the door. And I was there to see the moment that it all started to unravel.
JB said Okay everyone grab your swim bags and head out. Later today, we'll stop at the bookstore and you can each choose a book.
The kids received gift cards for helping their friends guinea pig sit over the March break. They've been excited to use them. Except, you can't say that kind of thing to the boy and ALSO expect him to remember that you've asked him to do something.
His brain does not have enough room in it to think about the million and millions of books he wants to take home AND remember a swim bag.
I was in the kitchen filling up at the coffee maker when I heard the door slam. A few minutes later—just as I was sitting down to my steaming mug—I noticed the lonely swim bag in the front hall. And of course it was the boy's. And of course, as I called JB's cell phone to tell him to turn around and come back for it, I was met with voice mail telling me his phone is completely dead.
In other words, my kid COMES BY IT HONESTLY.
I know some of you are thinking I shouldn't have done what I did next—which was to shove the little one into a coat and boots and pop her into the car with that swim bag. But we're missing next week's lesson and no one wins by having him sit on the sidelines.
Yes, he needs to suffer the consequences of his own mistakes, I get it. But the fact is, he's not lazy or defiant. He's absentminded.
So if anyone has ideas or tips for a mother raising an absentminded son of an absentminded father, please send them my way.
After throwing a swim bag over the heads of a mosh pit of parents and kids on a pool deck, and watching it land at the feet of two sheepish boys, I'm back home and ready to head into the kitchen with a fresh cup of coffee and my itunes (I discovered this song by a bluegrass singing Belgian group and it has been playing on repeat).
Hope you're having a great weekend.