17 November 2010

Cheri and Jennifer's REALLY. BIG. ADVENTURE.

I used to try to blog once a day. That lasted about, oh, a day. Then I went for once a week. Then once a month. You can just FEEL the commitment oozing out of me, right? Well, in a fit of guilt, I've decided to throw a curve ball and actually jot down a few words for posterity. Because I have been literally surrounded by 'posterity' all week! Tim and Megan have been in Boston and NYC this week; between Megan's "other mother" (first shift) and Jennifer and me (second shift), we've held down the fort in north Austin. The 'fort' of which we speak is Kennedy and Lleyton - along with Mirai, Ben, Luke and Emery. Yes, we do love our fun and frivolity (and muscle creams, ibuprofen, take-out food and Starbucks...LOTS of Starbucks...)

For some crazy reason, Jen and I thought it would be really fun to bring all the cousins together for a few days. What we obviously forgot was that it would be just the TWO of us 'token adults' taking care of the wee darlings. We also forgot that the average three year old has more energy than two adults. And we had THREE three year olds. And two adults. In my limited math ability, I figure that's a 3-to-1 ratio, three year olds winning. Add in two six-year olds and a baby and you have a classic 'Lions, tigers and bears, oh my!!' The name "Duggar" came up several times in conversation.

We had no single vehicle large enough to accommodate six children (with resultant car seats) and two adults. So we took Jen's minivan and my SUV which in and of itself was a source of "discussion" as we leave. The whom-is-going-with-whom-and-no-I-didn't-ask-you-you'll-go-with-whom-you-are-told discussion ensued on several occasions. All in all the transport divisions worked out very well and most of the time said posterity was pleased with their assigned seating. Now, getting them to put their trays in an upright and locked position as well as pay attention to the special safety presentation was another matter...

Bedtime was like herding cats - you'd get one in line and then one would wander off causing the others to follow to make sure they weren't doing anything more exciting than they were doing! And the tussling that just feeds extra energy - it's amazing how that is so absent in the mornings when we were trying to wake the kids up so we could get Kennedy and Lleyton out the door for school but was SO ever present just before bedtime. I have a new respect for
- parents of multiples
- preschool teachers
- calm people
- vehicles that are able to accommodate six car seats and two adults
- nannies
- the fast food industry
- paper towels

Last night I presented the Christmas jammies for this year and attempted to get a photo. In preparation for this, I brought the children's stockings we have for our house along with me. I also brought their stocking hangers so we could put them on the fireplace mantles. Neither Jennifer or I anticipated their reaction to that. They really thought it was Christmas Eve and that the stockings would be FULL in the morning. Never mind that there was no tree up, no gifts wrapped let along, oh, the total absence of most of their parents!? :) Jen said she felt terrible when she tucked Luke in and he said, "I'm excited to get my Buzz in my stocking tomorrow!" necessitating another discussion of WHY the stockings were out in the first place.


Tomorrow will be tears since Jen and her three will be returning to Keller. Kennedy will miss Ben like crazy. And Lleyton has developed an affinity for Luke. Mirai and I will stay through Friday morning hopefully giving me time between Jen's departure and Tim/Megan's flight arrival to find the floor, put things back in place and generally compose myself to remark with practiced casualness, "Everything went really well! We all did GREAT!"