The night before was a late one, up until 11 with a sick Wild Man. Then again from 2am-4am for the same reason.
And this morning, before my eyes have opened for the day my Quiet One is asking me what I want for breakfast then hanging a sign on my bedroom door instructing me NOT to come out, before relaying my requests to my Right Hand Gal. Half an hour later the Quiet One is back, hanging a new sign instructing me TO come out.
I walk into a dining room that has been adorned with streamers and a Happy Birthday sign, a balloon, 3 gifts and a plate of breakfast. All 4 of mine are sitting at the table, breakfast bowls in front of them, smiles on their faces, Happy Birthday on their lips. They talk excitedly, show me each of the decorations and gift bags and the balloon. We eat and chat and soon I realize that the Baby needs her diaper changed and that half of the cereal they have poured for themselves is scattered across the table and all over the dining room floor. Oh well.
We move to the living room where I change the Baby’s diaper and listen to the oldest 3 argue about who’s gift will be opened first and who’s gift will be opened last. I listen for awhile and sigh and debate how much to lecture on this morning and then we decide I will eeny meeny miny moe it and that takes care of that.
The gifts are precious and priceless and nearly bring tears. A movie from my oldest, chocolate from my wildest, money from his piggy bank from my quietest. The baby didn’t get me a gift but she did scribble a bit on a piece of paper that her sister then signed and wrapped to give to me.
We read library books on the couch. We make it through half a book, with Wild Man talking all the while and the Baby hamming it up in my lap. My Right Hand Gal reads the second half. We finish that one but decide to wait to start another.
A dance party follows, as well as a bit of fighting when Wild Man changes the song before my Quiet One is ready for the song to be changed. Our party breaks up and my Quiet One remarks, “That was a really short birthday…”
They run and chase and wrestle and holler while I get dressed and pour my coffee and try to read 1 page of the book I am in the middle of. But the volume continues to increase so I lay down my book, put my ice coffee in the fridge and tell them all it is time to go outside.
The older 2 ride bikes, the younger 2 ride in the stroller and I walk up and down our street, up and down, up and down. The Baby falls asleep. Wild Man whines. My audio book plays through its last chapter.
Under the carport where I can see her, the Baby sleeps as I make lunch and the older 3 play. But she doesn’t sleep long so her brothers entertain her while my Right Hand Gal helps me get lunch on the table. Veggie burgers and homemade hummus and carrots and green grapes. We chomp and chew, lunch is oh so good. We play lunch games (games with no pieces) and talk about the plan for the rest of our day.
Chores are tackled, another diaper changed, much more whining and many more tears come from the semi-sick Wild Man. Then it is rest time for all.
The older 2 take the youngest to “space” and close the door. I read to Wild Man, sing 9 songs, smother him in kisses, remind him to hug his mama, and hope, as I walk out the door, that it will be as easy as that. Today it is.
I sneak out to the backyard to complete my 100 burpees, ask my oldest to give me just 5 more minutes when she wanders outside, with the Baby on her hip, before I have gotten to 50, then head back inside, burpees accomplished, sweat pouring, legs and arms shaking.
I clean the kitchen, guide the older 2 through the last of their chores and take the Baby to her room to nurse and nap. She nurses. She does not nap.
We eat popcorn in space and watch Planes. The Baby plays on the floor. Wild Man sleeps. The clock hits 4. It is time to shower and shave and spend more than my usual minute on my appearance. Tonight is a birthday date with my hubby.
Wild Man wakes up. He and the Baby sit on the floor of the bathroom playing with cars and Legos. The Baby forgets I am there until she pulls up on the tub and peeks her head around the curtain. Then she is suddenly desperate for me to hold her. Wild Man has barely stopped fussing since the moment he woke up. I call for my older 2 and ask that they intervene. My oldest takes the Baby. My Quiet One tells Wild Man to come play in space. My girls stay quiet. My boys are fighting within minutes. Sigh…
I dress. Make-up and mousse and a bracelet. Sandals with a bit of a heel. The wild one keeps crying, nose running, hair as wild as he. The baby is tired. The older 2 help. I settle the Baby in her crib, close her door and my hubby is beside me. Relief.
“This day, babe. Oh this day! So sweet and so crazy.” I say. He asks me what I want to do. “Lay down.” I reply, as I finish getting ready to go.
His parents have come to take care of our 4, while my hubby takes care of me. Hugs and thank yous and the door closes, we drive away.
He surprises me with Fidos and my parents, my grandmother and my siblings. Gifts, flowers, a book and a photo album filled with old snapshots. All of my favorite things. We share a meal with my family for my birthday. The sweet tradition has carried on. Chicken and eggplant and sweet potato and spinach. Every bite is savored. So is the cinnamon latte that follows. The drive home is peaceful.
I come home to nurse the Baby to sleep. Read books to my Quiet One and listen to his thoughts. Right Hand Gal learns division with her daddy.
The house is quiet. All 4 of my babes are asleep. My hubby is near me.
Days are long and sweet. I am loved. Life is good.