I'd like to start with something I wrote back in March of 2005. It's a little story about how a baseball started a day of chaos with my kids. I used the story to sell the baseball as an auction on Ebay. I don’t know what possessed me to make an auction of it, but I did. Now, I believe things happen for a reason. For example - you slip and fall because the kids have poured soap all over the kitchen floor. When you fall to the ground, you see your car keys, that have been missing for two days, shoved under the oven. If the kids hadn’t poured soap on the floor, you wouldn’t have fallen and had you not fallen, it could’ve been years before finding your car keys. See? Things happen for a reason.
Anyway, I auctioned off a dirty old, used baseball on Ebay. My auction attracted the attention of over 220,000 people and I ended up selling the ball for $1125.00! And, best of all, I received emails from thousands of people telling me that I should write a book about parenting. At first, I thought to myself - now how am I going to find the time to write a book? I barely have time to write a check to the grocery store to cover the cost of the damage my kids did on our last shopping trip! I also wondered if I could think of enough things about which to write. And really, I'm the last person on earth who should write a book about parenting, unless it's a book on what NOT to do.
So, instead of writing a book, I decided to find a couple minutes a day to blog. Oh yes, and the fear that I wouldn’t be able to think of enough things about which to write? Well, I don’t think I’ll ever run out of ideas as my kids happily provide me with fresh, new material every day.
I think an appropriate way to start off this blog is with a copy of that fateful Ebay listing, I hope you enjoy it!
The Ball That Started it All
I'm selling the baseball that started my wonderful first day of spring break. Do you want to know why I'm selling the baseball that started off my wonderful first day of spring break? Only because Ebay won't let me sell my kids who were playing with the baseball that started my wonderful day. Is spring break over yet?! Here's the whole story...
First, my boys (10 year old and 6 year old) decided it would be a good idea to play baseball in their room instead of getting up and watching tv like normal kids. Well, let me tell you, it is NEVER a good thing to awake to the sound of crashing glass. Thankfully, it was just their light and not the window this time. So, I go to clean up the glass in the boys' room when I hear those delightful words, "Mooooooom, Lexi tried to flush her pull-up in the toilet and water's EVERYWHERE!"
Grrr, ok, the broken glass gets put on hold while I get the mop for the bathroom and try to dislodge the soggy diaper that's stopping up the toilet. Let me tell you - this is not fun stuff when you haven't even had your coffee yet! Before I can clean up the waterlogged bathroom, the baby starts crying. Sooo, I leave the bathroom mess to grab the baby and change his diaper. The diaper pail is full, so I pull the bag of dirty diapers out and start for the door so I can dump them outside before the toxic smell kills us all. Do I make it outside? Noooo, of course not. I get side tracked by my 3 year old who is finger painting on the TV with yogurt.
Lovely. Let's recap - Broken glass in the boys' room, Flooded toilet, Smelly diapers, Yogurt covered TV, and it's only 9:00.
OK, I put the baby in his highchair, toss him some Cheerios, throw the diapers outside, grab the glass cleaner and get to work on the TV all the while yelling at my 6 year old to get dressed. Does he get dressed? Nooooo. Instead, he takes out my 10 year old's hermit crab to "play with it". He gets scared and drops the poor crab who scurries away into the pile of clothes and toys and STUFF that permanently covers the floor of the boys' room. Will the fun never end? So, I start searching among all the stuff and broken glass for the crab.
In the meantime, my 3 year old takes out the maple syrup and pours it on the tray of the highchair. By the time I find the crab and return him to the relative safety of his tank, the baby is glued to the highchair with maple syrup. It's covering his jammies, his hands, his hair, and the curtains that he's able to reach from his chair. Lucky me. Before throwing the baby in the tub, I take down the curtains and start a load of laundry.
So I put a movie on for my 3 and my 6 year old (aka partners in crime). Ahhhh peace. I bathe the baby and get him dressed, but before I can play one game of Peek-A-Boo with him, I hear the little ones fighting over a crayon. I put the baby in the play pen and break up The Great Crayon Battle. Then I notice that there were casualties in The Great Crayon Battle. Namely my leather chair and the wall in the living room. At this point, the broken glass and flooded bathroom are all but forgotten as I work on scrubbing crayon off the wall. There has GOT to be a boot camp for toddlers somewhere!
The baby picks this day to learn a new trick. It's called, 'Hey I can escape from the play pen!' I have no idea how he managed to pull himself out of that thing, but he did. Want to know how I know he escaped? Because I heard the 3 year old shouting from the kitchen, "Moooooom, the baby is eating Puppy Chow!" I drop my cleaning sponge and run to the kitchen to find my baby sitting in a pool of water from the dog's dish, and happily munching away on dog food. Oh well. At least I won't have to feed him lunch.
I manage to change him. Again. I confiscate the older kids' Gameboys and put them to work making lunch for everyone. It's noon by now and I haven't showered, or finished the laundry, or washed the dishes from breakfast, or mopped up the bathroom, or cleaned up the broken glass, or scrubbed the crayon off the wall, or hung the curtains back up. But, on the bright side, there haven't been any broken bones or a need for stitches, so all in all, it's a good day.
After lunch, I banish 4 of the kids outside and lay the baby down for a nap. I clean up the peanut butter and Kool-Aid mess in the kitchen from where my oldest kids made lunch. Ahhh peace and quiet at last. I bake a birthday cake for my sister while the kids are playing nicely outside. Then I think to myself - 'They're playing nicely??? Wait a minute. They must be up to something!' Sure enough, the 3 year old is throwing globs of wet sand against the house and the 10 year old is trying to tie a rope to the chimney so he can repel down the side of the garage. WHERE DO THEY COME UP WITH THIS STUFF???!
While the cake is cooling inside, I help my kids clean up outside and play catch with them for a while. I don't happen to notice that the 3 and the 6 year olds disappear inside at some point. When I go inside to check on them and see if the baby is still sleeping, I see that the partners in crime have gotten into my cake decorating box and have painted themselves with black icing color! AARRRGGGHHH!!! I throw my little black-faced children in the tub and attempt to clean up the trail of black color on my kitchen table and the walls. While goofing off in the bathtub, they manage to knock a hole in the wall! That's right - A HOLE! We knew the wall was getting a little spongy, but having 5 kids tends to drain you financially and we just hadn't been able to do any remodeling. Sooo, now we have a hole in the wall which just lends to overall ambience of our "oh so classy" home.
This is about the time I start thinking that rum would be a good way to end the day. Oh yes, to top it off, my husband comes home and asks, "So, what did you do today?" GRRRR!
So, up for sale is the baseball that broke the light and started off my wonderful first day of spring break. I'd like to say that this is just one isolated day of insanity, but unfortunately this is pretty much my life. And yes, I actually did stop in the middle of the chaos to take pictures because everyone tells me that one day I'll look back fondly and laugh. (I have my doubts about this theory.)
PS - If anyone knows Super Nanny, send her my way!!!