This morning started bright and early at about 2:00 AM when Mary began screaming in confusion after (I'm assuming) waking up next to her baby gate and not in her bed and I stumbled over there in my Mucinex haze (now that my body is processing all fluids through my sinus cavities, this is how I sleep at night) and nearly killed myself by tripping over Wes, who was sleeping on the floor in the hallway because he and Charley couldn't get themselves under control and go to sleep by the time I wanted to go to bed, so I slapped a quilt down on the floor in the hallway and separated them instead of putting someone in my bed like I normally do because I was DONE and wanted my bed for myself. I was so confused by all the screaming and the mysterious kid passed out on the hallway floor that I swatted at the wall and turned on the light, which obviously made everything better.
Shortly after that Ryan arrived on the scene to find me standing in my underwear, blinded and confused, surrounded by one screaming kid and one kid who was awakened by the screaming and the almost getting stepped on and the blinding light of the sun. Somehow he found the coherent thoughts required to help Wes back to his bed.
I followed his lead and took Mary back to her bed, along with her cohort of stuffed animals. I pulled the covers up and kissed her little warm forehead and she thanked me for my efforts by saying in a chillingly clear, slightly annoyed voice, "I need my baby too." *shudder* I obediently retrieved her naked baby doll from the floor by the gate and brought it to her then stumbled back to my bed for another few hours.
The next time I woke up it was because two kids were downstairs arguing about how to make hot chocolate, having just finished up a pre-dawn Halloween candy bender. It was still dark but the clock told me that it was time to get up anyway.
But the good news is that the house looked AMAZING thanks to our after-dinner family chore time. I finally got sick of being the family maid and made chore charts for everyone yesterday which included "bike checker" (Wes, who goes outside and makes sure all the wheeled things are back in the garage before dinner), "toy cleanup" (James and Mary haul all the kid crap back into the playroom from the rest of the first floor), "clear table and load dishwasher" (Charley and Wes, and might I say that watching this happen was a beautiful beautiful moment), "make room neat" (everyone because I am tired of doing "all" the laundry only to find a hidden cache of dirty uniform shirts stuffed under someone's desk chair and also stepping on sharp things when I go in there in the middle of the night to make sure everyone is still breathing).
Also on there: shoes in basket, backpack/coat on hook, and brush teeth because SERIOUSLY. And Charley's other job is to empty the recycle bin but yesterday I was out front getting James home from the neighbor's for dinner and when I came inside the back door was open and I heard a huge crash followed by a kid yelling at the trash can like a crazy old man. Apparently Charley had a little trouble while trying to dump the recycling into the big bin and dumped a week's worth of beer bottles and macaroni and cheese boxes all over the back yard. Oh, and Wes saw "shoes in basket" and immediately complied so he could be the first to check off a chore then proceeded to play outside all afternoon in a brand new pair socks, which made huge holes in the soles that, in his words, "prove that I am a man." LEARNING IS AN EXCITING JOURNEY!
Mondays are easy because the big kids don't have homework and I let their piano lesson count as "practice" and we don't have any evening activities. Tonight we will have homework and piano practice and also there is a Cub Scout meeting so I expect a lot less chipper cooperation and a lot more "HURRY HURRY HURRY COME ON WHERE ARE YOUR SHOES PLEASE JUST GET IN THE CAR!!"
Also, right now they are willing to work for stickers. This will not last.
Anyway. Onward. Somehow it is only Tuesday and we still have a week after this one until Thanksgiving Break comes. Poop.