As I darted around the kitchen, preparing dinner, I did my (subconscious) headcount, and noticed that the youngest member of our household was momentarily not in my line of sight. Since I can spot each of my boys in the house (anywhere that they SHOULD be) when I'm standing in the kitchen, I was immediately suspicious. When I saw the hallway gate latched but not "locked" I knew he was most likely in the bathroom, "cleaning" it for me. Previous history gave me foreknowledge of his likely activities.
When he heard my footsteps in the hallway, Kelton bolted out of the bathroom, toilet brush in hand, with pee and disintegrating toilet paper trailing behind him, he was a blur of motion (or possibly it was the tears instantly filling my eyes that were responsible for impairing my vision in that moment). The frustration and horror turned rapidly to anger. I removed the toilet brush and placed the little helper on the correct side of the gate. I then proceeded to rather harshly chastise my two eldest to be responsible and shut the gate every time they pass through it. I reminded them how much work it creates for Mama and did not need to remind them how irritable she can be. I knew, even in that moment, that my response was unwarranted - there is a correct way and an incorrect way to admonish and I chose the lower road.
I cleaned the floor, using my tears. I wiped the toilet paper from the walls, the baby's crib, the door handles, the sink, and the dresser. Then, I disinfected - while still sobbing. As I worked, I overheard Madigan herding the bros outside, despite much resistance from the smaller people. He said, "I know you don't want to go outside, but we need to give Mama space." In that moment...
As I walked onto the porch to invite them back indoors, Madigan looked hopefully into my eyes, with not a trace of disappointment (in me) and said, "Mama, have you come to apologize?" How did he know?!
This week has held it's own share of challenges:
- Found a (doll) wagon in the washing machine
- Lost my keys, as we headed out the door to the zoo. Thought to myself: "What would Kelton do?" Immediately looked inside the cement mixer (toy) and found them! No time lost.
- Retrieved an entire pan of mac-n-cheese off the kitchen floor and served it to the kids for dinner. Some mishaps have better endings than others. We lovingly refer to dinner as "hairball pasta".
- Got poked in the eye with a toothbrush.
- Got my lip split by an accidental head bash from the youngest.
- Wiped Paugie's tears when he fell and split open his lip.
But it has, nevertheless, been a fabulous birthday week, shared with my very-much-loved mom who has been able to visit us (FINALLY) and 5 fabulous guys. I'm blessed and I know it.
As I traipsed to bed at 1:00 AM yesterday, I was startled when I reminded myself that I am turning 27 years old. Wait... Oh my gosh, no... 28 years old! How is that possible. Wait... how tired am I? I'm 28 + 10 years old. Gulp.