First off, I need to issue a qualification to a post from earlier this week. Since I wrote A Farm Story, I’ve learned that I overstated the severity of the situation–first, because the fields they haven’t harvested yet remain unknown, and second, because this week they used a “grain vac” on three loads of corn and it cleared out most of the mold, and they were able to sell the grain after all. So yes, thirty bushels to the acre is a wretched yield, but not a total loss. And they think the August rains rescued the soybeans. So there’s another lesson on the nature of farming: things can turn around in a heartbeat.
Michael has taken to shouting and “singing” with his siblings in the car. It’s very cute. At his best, he is very giggly, but he gives his daddy a poker face. Smile on–smile off. (Head-smack.)
I routinely (read that “daily”) have people tell me how Alex and Nicholas are dead ringers for each other. But here’s a perfect illustration of the difference between them. Yesterday Nicholas met me at the preschool door, bouncing with excitement to show me the play-doh apple-face project he had made. “But that one says T—,” I said. “It doesn’t say ‘Nicholas.’” The upshot of ten minutes’ running around the school was that we couldn’t find his project, and had to leave without it. My heart was breaking on his behalf. “Honey, we’ll talk to Mrs. P and bring it home on Tuesday,” I said, and braced for the onslaught of wailing and tears I’ve grown accustomed to when Alex’s fondest hopes are bitterly disappointed. But Nicholas? Nicholas looked up at me with calm eyes and took my hand, and we walked out the door. Times like these, I understand his teacher telling me, “Nick is the most well-adjusted, easygoing guy I’ve ever met!”
More evidence that I’m mellowing as a mom: my baby food book says babies can’t have tomato until a year old, and I have stuck faithfully to that, not letting the kids have pasta sauce until their birthday. But as I’ve been buying baby food lately, I’ve noticed that there’s tomato paste in virtually every combination jar, and in fact the stage 3 offers spaghetti and meatballs. So this week I shrugged and cut up some meatballs, cooked in the tomato-y-est of tomato sauces and let him go to town. He’s not as mad about it as the other kids, but it certainly didn’t seem to harm him. And then there’s the honey thing. You know, honey is dangerous for their little digestive systems. Well, you can’t control everything. Julianna left a piece of toast with honey lying around while we were scrambling to get out of the house yesterday morning, and Michael found it. Oh, well.
Speaking of scrambling: here is a typical T/Th these days: Alex leaves with Daddy at 7:15, I leave to take the kids to school at 8:10. Drive to Nicholas’ school. Drive Julianna to school. Come home, give Michael a nap. Get Michael up, have lunch, go pick up Nicholas. Come home, give boys naps. Get boys up, bully Nicholas into the car, go pick up Alex. Come home and teach lessons, running out in the middle to get Julianna off the bus. T/Th were supposed to be my nirvana work days, with only one child at home. Not quite working out that way.
In fact, it’s becoming clear to me that the busy-ness is here to stay. With four kids and a body starting to cause me problems, I will always be running someone to some appointment. We’ve let Alex overreach on activities temporarily–he’s doing a theater presentation for the next few Saturdays, on top of Cub Scouts and piano. Cross-reference that with Julianna having adaptive swim lessons (which she really needs–it’s limiting to have three children who need close supervision at the pool) and our own lesson and choir schedule, and you have a mess. Last night we had four kid-related extra-curriculars. This is nuts. It’s unsustainable.
Fiction prompt (short–250 words this week) up, too. Have you ever gone to a wedding and wondered if anyone ever does “speak now or forever hold your peace”?
Have a great weekend!