Friday, November 05, 2010

crow? tastes just like chicken

One day last week, I had to drive the van to work because our truck's check engine light wouldn't turn off. We only live a short walk to the bus stop, and since Charlie had no plans to go out, it was no problem that I had our primary "family" vehicle while our second vehicle waited to go in for servicing.

My husband called me at lunch to tell me that when it was time to pick the children up from the bus stop, it started to rain. So instead of walking up the hill to the end of our street, he was planning to drive. That's when he realized that I had taken the keyless entry for the truck with me to work, because my desk key is on the keychain and since he wasn't planning to go anywhere, we didn't even think of it.

Charlie did, however, have a key to the truck so he tried to use that to open the door and start the engine. Unfortunately, he forgot that when you try to open a door without the keyless entry, the "alarm" aka: horn goes off.

And that's exactly what happened to my husband as he was standing in the driving rain, with our three-year-old, and less than five minutes to get to the school bus to retrieve our other three children. He did the only thing logical: whip open the hood and unplug the battery.

But then, of course, the truck wouldn't run.

So he had too.

Actually, he had to SPRINT up the hill, with Henry in one arm, to get to the school bus. The school bus, that if a kindergartner's parents (or guardian) is not standing there waiting for them, will turn around and drive back to the school. As Charlie was running up the hill, in the pouring rain, he saw the top of the bus, heading back towards the school. He was screaming and hollering and waving Henry above his head, and the God of Good Fortune smiled upon him and the school bus stopped.

The kids jumped off the bus, very slowly meandered home in the pouring rain, and then set about bouncing off the walls and creating mass havoc.

My husband called me at work, totally out of breath, to tell me this story and then, tried to give me some sob story about how CHALLENGING it is to be home with four children. "Jen, they are SO much work. You have no idea. Girlfriend, you forget! We need to look in to gymnastics, soccer, swim team, or perhaps having one room of our house lined in PADDING."

From the comfort of my dry work space, I laughed and said, "Oh Charlie. Please. You make it sound like boot camp! Do you have any idea how great it is to be home?"

And then, I can't even believe I"m going to admit this, I have the audacity to sometimes ask why he hasn't managed to get more boxes unpacked, while I'm away at work. He's busy with the children during the day, making home made puppets from scratch and I have the nerve to say, "Spaghetti sauce from a jar? AGAIN? Can't we do anything with fresh locally grown vegetables?"


I know. I KNOW.


Charlie flew out to California for a business trip, earlier this week, so I've taken the past few days off of work to be home with the children. It has been so much fun, but wow - getting four kids dressed and out the door every morning is no easy task.

Today, I was planning to volunteer at their school and had every intention of driving the children in. Because the bus comes about 20 minutes sooner than when I'd need to leave the house, I underestimated the amount of time it would take us to get the kids in the car, buckled up, and be on our way. I must have said, "Please put on your shoes 50 times," PER CHILD, if I said it once.







Trust me on this, little people. If I have to ask you one more time, I am going to grow a second head. PUT ON YOUR FLIPPITY IPPITY FLIPPIN IPPIN SHOES.


And then, once you're done, help the little one.


We left the house a few minutes after they would normally have caught the bus, but when we arrived five minutes AFTER the bell rang and our children were all marked tardy, I felt like such a failure. Granted, most mornings I hang out and help Charlie get the kids ready - so there are usually four adult hands helping the process flow. And in my tardy defense, it certainly didn't help that Elizabeth crawled in to bed with me this morning at 3 AM and for the next two hours, whenever the clock would flip to a 10th number, she'd wake me up to tell me, "MOM! It did it again! There's another ZERO!"

So anyway, this morning, for the first time ever, the children were tardy on my watch.

I had such high expectations of getting so many things done while Charlie was gone. He'd return to so much progress, he'd just shake his head at me and marvel at my awesomeness. Instead, my plans of getting the house organized in such a manner that it would knock Charlie's socks off, have been met with ... zilch.

Maybe I'm just totally out of practice being with the kids all the time, and realizing what I can do - and can't do, and how to be productive through it all, but I've done nothing except hang two pictures, eat all the mini Milky Ways in the house, and stare at four loads of laundry.

Yesterday, after we had lunch at Wendy's, I went through all FOUR kids meal "toys" trying to put together this tiger hand puppet.


And even it isn't exactly correct.

Four tries, people. And my husband has all the children making these, from scratch.


Tonight, I had to Google how to cook a DiGiorno frozen pizza. I'm sure once my husband gets wind of this, I'll never hear the end of it.

So, I just need to tell him. "Charlie you are the ying to my yang. You are the peas to my carrots. Or, more appropriately, you are the peanut butter to my chocolate."

I'm so unbelievably glad he is on his way home.

God Speed, my love. GOD SPEED.


  1. My hubby is gone for 70 days. I had such high hopes for what I'd get done: reorganize storage room, exercise all the time, paint the basement bathroom, organize our room and closet.

    I have managed to pick out foyer colors, pick out new couch fabric, 2 new chairs, window treatments, blinds for the big windows, new spindles for the foyer - basically the shopping portion of all my goals!

    But hey, we are still alive after 50 days - between football practices, football games, 3 different classes, 3 kids, a job and having to drive the kids to and from Tysons for school everyday (we usually split the driving), I will call it good if we are all breathing by Nov. 24.

  2. I do believe in giving credit where credit is due. And I agree Charlie is an awesome dad, gosh woman you keep this blog going along with all the other things on your plate:)

  3. love your post, next time tell charlie to put the key in the ingnition and start then vehicle, it shuts the alarm off once it realizes you have the real key

  4. You have an amazing husband. He's a keeper in case you don't know already!!

  5. I think you do forget! I only had one and he wiped me out. Which I have totally forgotten about - until I babysit for a friend and then it all comes rushing back! There's no time for a leisurely cup of coffee, no time to look at the paper, unpack boxes??? No time! Give your husband a big kiss and a hug when he returns and tell him he's wonderful.

  6. "Peanut Butter to your Chocolate"?? Yep. We are definitely related!;-)

    I can't imagine getting three children who are the same age; in the same grade; for the same bus; headed to the same school; at the same time; ready period. Never mind being on time!!

    I would have been a screaming demon!! (GET! YOUR! BLANKETY! BLANK! SHOES ON NOWWWW!!) And then I would have felt really bad because I lost what ever sense of patience I had... Finally, I would have eaten all the peanut butter dipped in chocolate that I could find my hands on. Geesh!

    Good job on getting the job done! Marg.