This post was originally written in 2016, before we moved, before Elvie was born. The boys were 4, 3, and 1. I never finished this post beyond 9:48–I don’t remember why–but of course I never posted it, as it was unfinished. I found this post a couple of weeks ago and enjoyed reading it, even in its unfinished state.
6:17 a.m. I wake up some thirteen minutes before my alarm’s set to go off. Jeremy is already up and in the shower. The last time I remember being awake was at 2:33–this is the longest stretch of sleep I can remember having in the past few weeks. The boys all sleep all night, but pregnancy keeps me awake–discomfort, frequent bathroom trips, Elvie Kate kicking merrily in the night. I should feel awesome, but I am groggy.
6:30 a.m. Jeremy leaves for work and I finally get up. We were out most of the day yesterday with errands and doctor appointments, and I’m planning on staying home all day today; I usually get dressed every day, but I decide to cut myself some slack and just wear some house clothes today. As I walk down the hall, I hesitate by the washer and dryer, knowing I need to dry what’s in the washer. I am worried about the dryer waking Anselm, who has finally started sleeping past 7 a.m. again, so I decide to wait until the boys are up.
I go downstairs and make coffee and some toast. Do some morning reading, some blog updates that I was thinking about when I was up in the middle of the night, write down the meal plan and routine for the day.
7:48 a.m. I hear the boys stirring. Ephraim kicks it off by harassing Clive to wake up. Soon they are all talking and laughing.
8:06 a.m. I start a Satie playlist playing in the kitchen, then I go get the boys up. It takes the next twenty-five minutes to get everyone pottied, diaper-changed, teeth brushed, clothes changed and jammies put away. Clive interrupts me every couple of minutes to ask where his Lightning McQueen toy is. I make their beds myself, though I’m not supposed to, but it’s already taking so long to do everything else. It is hard sometimes to spend a long time helping them do something that I can do myself in less than two minutes. Today I cave to efficiency, and I tell myself that tomorrow I’ll help them do it.
8:30 a.m. We tramp downstairs (still without finding McQueen) and I remember at the bottom that I was supposed to put the clothes in the dryer. I am not going back upstairs, now, so it’ll have to wait. It is nice to walk back into the kitchen to soft music.
I start the oatmeal and Clive starts the downstairs search for McQueen. Every now and then he comes and asks me and I remind him that I don’t know where the toy is. There is a work truck parked in the cul-de-sac: some men are taking down a tree. Ephraim watches them for a while.
They sit down, we pray over the meal and they begin to eat. Ephraim asks me the name of the song that’s playing. I repeat “gnossienne” for him several times. Clive doesn’t eat all of his oatmeal, so I give it to Anselm, who is asking for mooooooor. Ephraim wolfs down his oatmeal so he can go back to the window and watch the men work on the tree. Clive goes to continue his search for McQueen. I start unloading the clean dishes from the dishwasher, and call Clive in to put the silverware away for me. Ephraim decides he has to help, too, and after a brief round of bickering, they work out a system to put everything away together. Anselm is finished picking at Clive’s oatmeal, and Ephraim (after confirming there is “no spit in it”) finishes the last few bites.
8:56 a.m. Anselm asks to read a book–so we do. Ephraim comes to listen. Clive is looking for McQueen. I remember the clothes in the washer and go upstairs to put them in the dryer. While I’m upstairs, I find the elusive Lightning McQueen and present it to Clive, who is overjoyed. Then I sit down to type up a couple of things that are nagging my mind before they disappear. While I do that, Ephraim pulls down an infant Bible from the shelf. He starts to ask questions.
“Is that Adam and Eve?” Yes it is.
“Where is the picture of them sad?” That is a heavily abridged version of the Bible.
“Is this Noah?” Yes it is.
“Is this Jesus?” Yes it is.
“What is he doing?” He is saying, “Let the children come to me.” I close my computer.
“Jesus loves the children?” Yes he does. And Jesus loves you.
“Why does Jesus love me?” Because he made you.
“I love my family.” We love you, too.
He brings the Bible over. “Can we read this?” We do.
Anselm’s Reading Radar goes off and he comes and clamors to read too. We read, and they get down and run off to play. Clive comes over and asks to read the same book I have just read to Anselm twenty minutes ago. So we do. As we’re reading, Ephraim brings over another storybook to where Clive and I are sitting. We sound out the word books on the cover, then read the story he wanted to hear. Then we read the next one, too. It is a story about a little boy who feeds a mean, greedy goose all of the poppy seed cakes so the goose won’t steal his feather bed. At the end, the goose explodes from eating all of the cakes, and they use his feathers to make pillows. It’s the weirdest story but I think it’s funny. Of course, the boys love it.
9:48 a.m. I tell the boys that’s it’s Brother Time and bring them upstairs to play trains together in their room. They are not happy initially, but soon settle in to play together while listening to an audiobook. This time is essential for them and for me.