All of the children that I birthed over the past 23 years have come for the summer. A few of them have brought extras with them to bring our household number to 11. I spent the last two years getting used to having half my squad living in other locales. But, for a limited time, this summer only, they are all back under one roof.
And frankly, it’s all turning out to be the most epic dramedy ever written. There are plenty of laughs, tears, and moments where you really can’t be sure what’s happening.
Those are NOT Balloons!
The first incident became what five-year-old Connor will remember as the most awkward talk of his life. It came after he found a few balloons that dropped from one of the older kids’ things as they were moving in. Well, Connor and 3-year-old Quinn had been saving those balloons for a rainy day, I guess. I just happened to catch them running down the hall waving colorful penis-shaped “balloons” in the air…(they were condoms, okay?)
Everybody Cleans…Or Else! (Don’t Ask What “Or Else” Is)
The subject of chores is pretty slippery when the adult kids are no longer bound by law to obey you and the little ones are only starting to learn. The older ones are old enough to drive away, buy their own everything, and have been out in the world long enough to know when you are bluffing. But, when there are so many people in one home — 10 of us altogether — there needs to be a division of labor. Otherwise, stuff gets real nasty, real quick.
I thought about giving regular chores, like when they were all younger. However, we are a family of procrastinators so the chores won’t get done until the last minute. Or, until things are hazmat level nasty and mommy (that’s me) is screaming like a mad woman. Instead, we have been doing evenings of “Get this place clean now or you will have to hear my mouth until bedtime” cleaning sessions. Everyone gets a chore and the place is picked up.
We may try going to a chore wheel with daily deadlines when all the summer jobs start. For now, I just round everybody up and order them around with the threat of charging rent if I don’t get cooperation. I did have to reassure Connor a few times that the rent threat was not for him and Quinn. For some reason, having to pay rent really bothered the kid.
Calgon (or Minivan in My Case), Take Me Away!
I do have to admit that the thought of having such a house full of people scared the hell out of me! I was also staring down the barrel of middle age (my birthday was last Friday) and had some setbacks on the career side of things. So, of course, I wanted to run away. And, I did.
I jumped in the car and onto the freeway. Quinn came with me because she was too small to fend for herself. Connor knows how to dress, wipe his own butt, and can make a PB&J like a pro. He would survive a night without me. The highlight of the day was a two-hour traffic jam, where Quinn tried to teach me to apply my Sephora lip color. There was also a surprise trip to Sephora with my sister, where I scored some vials of my favorite perfume that is too expensive to purchase right now.
Also, my sister Tamara and Quinn made me a cheesecake for my birthday. The quite night away was great for refueling my body and retooling my career after some major setbacks. I suggest disappearing from home — with a toddler — if you get a chance.
This is going to be one hell of a summer with the adult kids, teens, and toddlers. We plan to go to Pride, to Disneyworld, and there are some great things happening right across the Lake in Chicago all summer. Stay tuned.