A Good Day

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CookiesSome days are just really good days. Or good evenings, anyway.

And they don’t always start off on the most promising foot, either. Like when you glance down at the gas gauge on the way to carpool and go, “Oh, #$%#, I’m sitting on empty!” And then you have to go 1) to school, 2) bring the first wave of kids home, 3) catch the second wave coming off the bus, 4) go back and pick up the third wave. And now, you have to add a trip to the gas station. And that’s on top of having to do dishes and make the kids clean the bathrooms so we can bake and decorate the gingerbread and chocolate cutout cookies, like the Advent calendar promised.

But things started to change on the way home from the third wave, when the three youngest kids started singing Christmas carols. Michael couldn’t figure out all the words to “Santa Claus is Coming To Town.” He was very creative with his exploration of the topic. After fifteen minutes he settled on this:

“OHHHHH YOU BETTER WATCH OUT, YOU BETTER NOT CRY, BETTER NOT POUT I’M TELLING YOU WHY, SANTA CLAUS IS COMING TO TOWN! He sees you when…He sees you when you’re awake! He sees you when you’re….eating! He sees you when you….he gets mad at you, for goodness sake! OHHHHHHH YOU BETTER WATCH OUT!….”

In the front seat, Alex’s need to snort and giggle overcame his everything-in-my-life-is-boring attitude.

And then we got home, and something amazing happened while I did dishes and baked cookies.

My kids cleaned the bathrooms.

And they didn’t fight.

I mean, this was certainly not the world’s most stellar cleaning job. But every one of them did their job. And I didn’t have to yell at anyone. And they didn’t fight.

They all ate their dinner, too.

And then we had a visit from a student who’s been “shadowing” our family all semester, and they decorated the cookies without a single instance of fighting or of me having to come over and supervise. I can’t tell you how much I a) loathe cookies with icing on them, and for that reason b) loathe decorating cookies. So it was lovely to have them entertain themselves—without fighting—while I got the dishes done. (Did I mention they WEREN’T FIGHTING?)

“I’m gonna eat anuvver cookie,” Michael said, turning his sweet little face to his daddy.

“I told you ONE cookie, Michael,” I said. Or rather, I opened my mouth to say it. Because Michael didn’t stop talking.

“I get two cookies now, because I am four,” he said seriously.

Christian turned away and looked at me, laughing…and Michael ate his second cookie.

To crown the night, as our guest left, she gave us a lovely compliment about what a great family we were to shadow. After she left, Christian and I looked at each other. “Well,” he said, “we could make ourselves one of the worst families there is to shadow. We could yell at the kids all the time.”

“We do yell at the kids all the time,” I said.

He laughed and started stomping up the stairs. “Fee, fi, fo, fum!” he said in a deep voice. “I’m gonna EAT anyone who’s not in bed!”

And upstairs, there was an outpouring of giggles and squeals.

Yup. Some days are just good days.

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