Irony is…

I stayed up late last night in a fit of creativity, finally settling in and stealing all the blankets around 12:30 (You’re welcome for that lover). I am not really a night owl but I am not a morning person either. I like to switch, keep things flexible, unpredictable. So this morning I was dragging a little, but got up early enough to be ready for 7:30 visitors. It is a full house today.

Every Thursday I have a standing babysitting/play date with three brothers who’ve been coming here since the days of my real life child care gig (going on four years!)  The last vestiges of a bygone day, when life was too chaotic to even do more than keep up.  These are the good days and my favorite and best kids.  The ones who I couldn’t imagine not being in our life. So I am up.  Breakfast won’t be fancy, as much as I would like it, these guys will be happiest with light fare of fruit and pancakes (ended up being french toast instead)…not fancy in our book.

After they kill breakfast and afer I chase them outside with some threats and some teasing and a healthy dose of tickle-torture I embark on cleaning up. Now, I confess, lately I have been skipping the clean up…busy, lazy, indifferent, I don’t know it just seems pointless mostly, but today I was feeling ambitious, and obviously forgetful. I loaded the dishwasher and turned it on. Swept off the counters and mopped them up then went to work on the floor. When I was done with that, and toys and shoes and vacuum had all been stowed, I found myself making beds and starting laundry.

This is how it always starts and before I know it I’ve wasted a whole entire day cleaning and shining up things that will be just as dirty and messy in 24 hours as they were when I started today…yet it is a perpetual pit I seem too willing to fall into. It’s just before 10:30 am and my husband calls, as we are talking I measure the excitement in his voice as he hears that I am cleaning. I am sure this is preferable to some of my maniacal projects and other things he sometimes finds me doing.

It’s during this phone call when I smell microwave popcorn… Just to set the stage, with two grown boys of 18 and 20 I have learned the very best thing I can do is instill a sense of independence and self sufficiency in my two younger boys.  While there should always be a consequence to ill-conceived plans, there should also be a balance when there is an opportunity to channel self confidence in doing things on their own…or at least that is what I try to tell myself as I go to inspect the damage.

So it is that I find my six year old handing out small ramekins of microwave popcorn to the seven year old, the four year old and the two year old who are our charges today and also to his two year old brother. Awww… I will skip the details about old maids all over the floor, the bits of broken popcorn breeding in the carpet and couch crevices, or how I just vacuumed…and cleaned those couches…At any rate I think I am recovered from my cleaning tiff! phew!

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