Not bad, for a Monday

Consider yourselves warned: This post may be a rambling mash-up of what’s in my brain. It’s after 8 p.m. I’m just now eating “real” dinner, and I’ve been alone with the children all day (with more solo parenting tomorrow).

But when your Monday starts out like this:

How bad could it get from there?

Five minutes after my husband left the house, our son was in time out for pulling his sister’s hair. Sigh.

The day could only get better. And it did. When my husband is gone overnight (or turns into a zombie while writing papers for seminary) I have to keep the rest of us busy or risk going completely crazy. Last night I made a list of what I wanted to accomplish while he’s gone. After making the list, I thought: Whoa. Too ambitious.

But we forged ahead and our list is shrinking quickly. (Even after I added things to it, just so I could cross them off. Tell me I’m not the only one who does this.)

Anytime we make it out of the grocery store without a fight, a bathroom break, or any sort of yelling, I’m happy. Grocery store first thing Monday morning is not busy with shoppers but is busy with stockers, so I was glad to make it out of there with little to no incidents.

After the store, we did this.

The kids were busy for close to an hour decorating, and naming (which is an involved and humorous process), their pumpkins.

They take their art quite seriously.

Isabelle inherited a decorating gene somewhere along the line. She spent more minutes than I would have arranging the pumpkins “just so” for the picture.

While they colored, I made doctors’ and dentists’ appointments and texted friends.

We made an afternoon run to the bank. On the way, we passed a cemetery. Near the road a girl, maybe a teenager, maybe older, sat cross-legged on the ground next to a freshly dug grave. A man leaned against a car on the side of the road. Watching? Waiting? It took us only a moment to pass them, but the image stays with me. And the writer in me wants to know that story. And I wonder how many people we pass everyday, with a fleeting glance, on our way to other things, have a story to tell (answer: all of them). A hurt that needs healing. A struggle that needs encouragement.

After the trip to the bank, we finally redeemed our coupons to The Ice Shack. We’ve had these coupons for a free ice (Italian ice?) since Vacation Bible School this summer, and the place closes in a month. So, yeah, it was time. Now I’m wondering, why the heck did we wait so long? We each had a generous scoop of icy, sugary goodness. Izzy chose watermelon. Corban chose cherry. And I had root beer. It might not be summer anymore, but we sat outside and slurped these icy treats in the sun. (Not to self: shortened nap time plus sugary snack equals CRAZY afternoon.)

Then it was off to the library to exchange our books. Corban is in a construction book phase, so he searches the shelves for any and all construction book. And shouts with joy–in a quiet library–every time he finds one. His sister is no better. Every 3 seconds, it was “Mom! Mom! They have …” Her current favorite is Fancy Nancy. I love that they love books. I guess I can’t really ask them to curb their enthusiasm for reading.

When we got home from the library, they voluntarily sat quietly on the couch “reading” their new books while I checked in with the rest of the world (i.e. Facebook) and paid bills. We walked to the mailbox, met our friends on the way back, and found ways to bide our time until our dinner playdate at the park. Took a spin through the McDonald’s drive-through for a large sweet tea because man, oh, man, was I tired by 5:30. McDonald’s sweet tea: liquid happiness and it only costs $1. (We’ll see how easily I fall asleep tonight.)

Met the aforementioned friends at the park and played our little hearts out until dusk.

Kids sweetly sleeping. And I’m voluntarily listening to the Bears game on the radio. Seriously. My husband isn’t home to make me pay attention to sports and I’m paying attention to sports. What is wrong with me? I’m not intending to stay awake till the end.

Tomorrow we’re looking at a rain day, so we have some indoor activities planned. I may try making applesauce for the first time ever. And we have some clothing to sort through for friends. And there’s always laundry and dishes. (Ick and double ick.)

All in all, not bad for a Monday, and Tuesday’s looking good, too.

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