I reluctantly stayed over with four girls last night.
Currently I am sitting at the counter munching breakfast sausage, listening to Balmorhea, while I keep an eye on the toast so I don't burn it. (I doubt the girls will eat slightly scraped toast.) A few large pillow forts are behind me. Every blanket in the house is currently being used. It's 10am and only the youngest has roused. I hope it stays that way for a while.
I showed up to their house hoping again all hope that I could get the girls in bed early and then go to bed myself. It was 5pm and I was already yawning like crazy. Within a few minutes of being there, I knew it wasn't going to happen. Everyone wanted to stay up. I consented, ordered a pizza, helped the twelve-year-old make brownies, staked my claim on the couch, and encouraged everyone to begin their forts.
Arguing ensued, new boundaries were formed, and threats of being sent to bed early were uttered.
The pizza arrived and the tv went on. Thus began the six hours of countless Brady Bunch episodes.
I managed to fit a shower in and laid on the couch, sopping wet hair, and the six-year-old sprawled on top of me. Justine and I texted. Naturally, she sent me a ton of screen shots. That's practically the only way she communicates these days
Around 9:30, I roused everyone, had them get ready for bed, and locked the house up. After that, the arguing ceased, everyone was too tired to continue.
I watched the Call the Midwife Christmas Special on my iPad, while the girls watched Little House on the Prairie, at 11:30 the six-year-old fell asleep on me and right before 12:00 the nine-year-old fell asleep on the floor. At midnight, there was a tired acknowledgement of the new year by those still awake, then they finished up the last two minutes of the Brady Bunch, the eleven-year-old went upstairs to sleep, the twelve-year-old crawled into her fort, I moved the six-year-old onto the ottoman, and cuddled down on the couch under a blanket with big holes in it, where the rabbit has chewed on it.
I woke up at 8:30 and laid there for half an hour. I was surprised that the cat hadn't woken me in the night, by pacing around and yowling, or that the six-year-old hadn't crawled onto the couch with me in the night. Instead, she woke up at the same time as me and climbed onto the couch with me and got out her new reader books and began to read aloud while I read the book I had brought with me. After that I got up and began making breakfast, first the sausage into the oven, then a cup of coffee, followed by cinnamon toast munched quietly at the table, then the girls breakfast of eggs and toast. The eleven and nine-year old are still sleeping. The nine-year-old went to her own bed in the night, and I suspect it's because she peed on the floor were she was sleeping. Goody for me.
The nine-year-old has been awake for three minutes, and already there is screaming and crying. The six-year-old is yelling, "Stop looking at me!" I think that's my cue to finish up this post and ask the Lord for grace and patience dealing with these girls for the next few hours.