"Fill your paper with the breathings of your heart." -William WordsworthIt started at the breakfast table. After we read about what qualities God looks for in a person and how we should look beyond people's actions and appearances.
"You're dumb. I don't like you."
"I don't like you either."
"Mom, Levi's bugging me."
I sighed. My husband was already at work. "Are you guys being kind to one another?"
They gave me crooked grins and shook their heads. It was quiet for a few milliseconds before they were at each other, again.
I took a deep breath and prayed for wisdom. The day before Steve Green's Hide Em in Your Heart had calmed them all. I put on the music. Today it didn't seem to make a difference for them, but it calmed me. I repeated expectations and separated two of the boys.
Time to write in agendas. I opened one up and read:
"Levi wore boots to school. Please make sure he wears shoes."
A thought flitted through my head. "I'd like to see her get five kids ready for school in the morning." I quell the urge to react.
"Sorry for the boots. By the time I realized he was wearing them it was too late to get him to change before the bus came."
"Mom, can I have an egg?"
Dorothy had already eaten cereal. She must have been hungry this morning, because usually she didn't want to eat more than a few mouthfuls.
"Sure." I fried an egg, then continued on to the next journal.
"Luke, did you make your lunch?" No answer. I found him in his room, playing. "Is your lunch in your backpack?"
He shook his head.
"Go get it done and then you can come play."
"My stomach doesn't feel good." It was Dorothy. The egg sat in her bowl, untouched.
"Go get dressed and then see how you feel."
Journal writing completed. Two lunches out of four made.
"What do you want for lunch today, Levi? There's some pizza in the fridge."
He nodded, then smiled when I handed him a slice.
I glanced at the clock. Ten minutes until the kids needed to go to the bus. Dorothy was still upstairs. I found her with her clothes heaped in front of her, still in her pyjamas.
"Need some help?"
She nodded. We worked together.
"Okay, go brush your hair and then we'll get your hearing aids in."
We both walked down the stairs. She went to brush her hair. I grabbed her hearing aids and placed them on the table. Levi's hearing aids were still sitting there. I found him heading out to see our dog, Olaf. I handed him the hearing aids and went to check on Dorothy. Across the house I heard Levi's hearing aids squealing. I finished with Dorothy, then went back to Levi. His hearing aids sat in the windowsill with both earmolds separated from the hearing aids.
"I don't want to wear my hearing aids today."
"Is there a problem with them?"
"I just don't want to wear them."
Jayson came up behind me. "I have the leash for Olaf."
"Okay, but I need to check on Dorothy first."
He followed me like a puppy. I didn't want him to follow me, but he wasn't doing anything wrong. I bit my tongue.
Dorothy had her hair brushed. We worked together on her lunch. Time to go.
Jayson and I went outside. Olaf wagged his tail and bounced around, happy to see us. It took me a couple minutes to get him to settle enough to get the leash on and unhook his chain. We walked down the driveway, stopping a few times for me to talk to Olaf and settle him. He seemed more energetic than normal.
We finally made it down the driveway. Luke had rubber boots on.
"What happened to your shoes?"
"I couldn't find them."
Great. I can already see the note I'm going to receive in the agenda.
Then, Levi came into view. He had boots on too - his older sister's boots. She's not around this morning, but I can imagine what she'd be saying if she were. Argh!
"Levi, you can't wear those boots. They're Grace's. Let's go change."
Levi, Olaf and I returned to the house. Poor Olaf didn't understand why he was being put back on his chain. He yipped.
I took Levi back into the house where we replaced the boots and he put on his shoes. I also found Luke's shoes. We walked back down the driveway, arriving just in time for Levi to get on the bus with his siblings. I placed a smile on my face and waved as it left.
About twenty minutes later my husband found me at my desk.
"How are you?"
"This morning was challenging, but I'm okay." If he only knew, I thought.
(Maybe I'll get him to read this sometime.)