Today has been one of those really long days. I seem to never stay on top of laundry. So after I had asked all the children to bring down their laundry, the pile was knee deep. And it was so wide I could not even step over it. I had to step into it to get out of the laundry room. I once again am thankful for my huge front loaders that Eric got me after Gabe was born. He had a promise to keep…
When we were first married and I was pregnant with Laura, we were walking through Sears and we stopped in front of the washers and dryers. I walked over to the biggest one that claimed to do 10 bath towels, and said to Eric “When I come home from the hospital with our 6th baby, I want this set in my laundry room.” He said,”When you come home, it will be waiting for you. I promise.” So as each child was born, we would laugh about that day and count down the children until I got the new washer and dryer. And then when I was pregnant with Gabe, number 6, Eric casually mentioned that the promise was when i “came home” from the hospital. And that home births didn’t count. Well, I think he forgot that I was pregnant and emotionally unstable, and I began sobbing that it wasn’t fair. Pregnancy, births, and children were difficult and created lots of laundry and he had promised!! All the washers and dryers that I had had so far were given to us. We started with a mustard yellow and pink set when we first got married and had kept “upgrading” with “better” sets from friends and family as each set died. So all these years I had day dreamed about picking out my very own washer and dryer that would be brand new with whatever options I wanted. And then he thought it would be funny to pretend that he had no intentions to fulfill the promise that I was so eagerly anticiapting. But after seeing my reaction, he apoligized profusely and told me I would have them.
But then I started thinking about this whole thing from a more rational state of mind. We had no money to buy them since he was in school. So for him to get them for me would mean huge sacrifice on his behalf. I didn’t want that. And then there was the upcoming move after graduation. Moves are always so hard on appliances. Dents, scratches, and dings always leave there mark. And I couldn’t bear the thought of a scratch in my new set. So the more I thought about it, the more I realized that it was ridiculous for me to get this. So I put it out of my mind. It had been fun all those years, talking and thinking about it, but in the end it was not a very good idea.
After we moved up here, and got into our new house, Eric looked at me one evening and said, “I think it’s time you go buy that washer/dryer set that I owe you.” I was speechless. By then I had totally forgot about it. But once again, he had not forgot his promise. I mentioned that I didn’t think we had the money, and I didn’t really need them. The ones I had worked just fine. Even if they were size small. He just hugged me and said, “The money is in the account. You go buy whatever washer and dryer you want. You have six children, and I think it would make your life a lot easier. I really want you to have them.” So I cried again. But not because I was mad at him, this time because I love him so much and am always blown away by how much he loves me and how he treats me.
So I bought a front loading set. And it cut my washing in half. I could put two loads worth into the washer and they actually got clean. Shirts that had become dingy starting looking bright again. And every time I go to do laundry, and I look at that shiny white washer and dryer, I remember the story of the 19 year old girl who stood there in Sears with her new husband and big pregnant belly, talking about their future and making promises for over a decade later.
So back to my day today…lots and lots of laundry. A phone call from the post office at 4:15 am to tell us that we needed to come pick up the baby chicks that had just been dropped off. Eric is getting them for us to have laying hens. The children have swim lessons in the morning. I chose the last session of the summer to ensure I would be able to get 7 children out the door and to their lessons. THey are all loving it, except Maryann. Her instructor is a guy who happens to have long, frizzy hair, mirrored glasses, and very large earrings. And I’m not sure what she was expecting for a teacher, but I don’t think it was him. But he is really nice and patient with her. So she spent the first day crying during most of her lesson. She insisted I sit right next to her and hold her hand while she was in the water. This complicated matters, because Julia was crying and Gabe wanted to jump in and go swimming. A friend saw my distress and came and took Julia and I convinced Gabe to sit down next to me. So that was day one. Later that day, she and I talked about her lesson and her teacher. She told me that she thought he looked like Jesus. We talked about how he was a good teacher and how she needed to learn her lessons. And the next day went so much better. I was able to stand about 10 feet from her. Any farther, and she would cry and say she needed me to hold her hand. And today I made it all the way over to the bleachers after the first half of her class. She is enjoying her class and I think she even likes her teacher now…a little!
After swim lessons, I ran errands. Picked up vaccinations for the puppy, went to Staples and let Josh buy six notebook for $0.06. They have a back to school sale and you can get up to 6 notebooks for a penny a piece. I have always told the children that you can’t really buy anything with a penny, but I was wrong. So each day this week has been a different child’s day to go into the store and buy their six pennies worth of notebooks. (Because it’s a limit on a household per a day). I returned some shirts to Sears that I had ordered at Lands End. The guy at the register had no clue what he was doing, so it took half an hour. After having worked retail many years ago, sometimes when things like this happen, I just want to climb over the counter and say “I think I can do this all by myself!” But today I refrained. Instead I bounced Julia because she was hungry and crying. And told the children “no” to the hundred things they wanted to buy. And reminded them they could not try on three pairs of sunglasses at once. They might scratch one of the pairs in doing so. The boys reminded me frequently that they were about to “starve to death” because it was lunch time. And then they had to go to the bathroom (I think because they were bored). It was a very long thirty minutes. And I’m not making that up. I slowly watched the clock go round on the wall.
This afternoon I decided to walk through the house and take pictures of things that I saw that are a daily reminder that I need patience and my children still need lots of training on cleaning up and keeping a tidy house. And as I type this, my right hand is tingling from poison oak that must have been on someone’s clothes today when I did laundry.
I asked Ben to hold Julia while I made dinner, they both fell asleep. Then he dropped her.
After crying big tears, as if she was broken hearted that her big brother had dropped her,
she perked right back up.
Gabe in the middle of all the magazines/pictures that I have saved for house ideas.
They all started out in that bucket.
The pile of socks I asked somebody to match up. But still not done.
Chewed up and spit out pear on my front porch. I’m thinking
Gabe…Even the puppy didn’t want it.
The kitchen table after I was promised by the children they would clean up after a snack.
I was sitting on the front porch feeding Julia while they got a snack.