We’ve got a couple extra boys staying us this week while their parents are on vacation, meaning I am outnumbered six to one in the whole boys vs. girls thing. It is kind of awesome, kind of crazy, and all kinds of fun.
It changes things, raising five kids instead of raising three. It changes everything! I get to cook a ton—pasta dishes, cornbread taco bakes, twice baked potatoes, peach cobblers and cake pops, pans of scones, loaves of bread and batches of caramel corn. I love it, even though I’m still not cooking quite as much as I’d like.
There is no point in putting the dishes away anymore. We just open the dishwasher, put everything on the table, then put everything back in the dishwasher and hope it finishes before the boys are hungry again.
When the kids come home there is an hour of me trying to get the kids to put away their shoes, signing school papers, checking planners, helping with homework, getting snacks, giving up and putting the shoes away myself, and consoling Leo, who is, of course, having a meltdown. I try to check in with each of the boys and hear about their days, but then I go to bed and my eyes pop open, realizing I never asked Vincenzo how National Backpack Awareness Day was. (Not being sarcastic. It’s a big deal at his school.)
Someone is always at soccer practice.
Some days I don’t know how everyone is going to get everywhere they need to be until the day is over and somehow, everyone got everywhere they needed to be. Or at least almost everywhere, which is good enough this week.
But these boys’ friends are so sweet and respectful, and also so independent compared to my kids. My boys watched open-mouthed as their friends went to the fridge, got out a carton of milk, and poured their own glasses of chocolate milk yesterday. It blew my boys’ little minds, probably like when our ancestors made fire for the first time.
I look back at my childhood now and have no idea how my parents did it, raising five of us.
Actually, that’s not true. Now I look back and understand exactly how they did it–why we didn’t go out to eat much, why we bought shoes at the same store we bought bananas, why we were slaves to a chore chart, and why the entire family did not show up to watch my fourth grade basketball games. It all makes sense now, and Mom and Dad—wow. Just wow.
I am glad to have had this week where every night is a slumber party and where food is flying out of the house, where the boys are wrestling happily, then reading to each other, then making forts in the basement. We’re still not sure how that flashlight got in the fish tank, though.
Next week, when the boys to back to their home, three is going to feel like the loneliest number. But I wouldn’t be completely honest if I didn’t say how much I love the number three.
WHAT’S COOKIN’ 2NITE:
Roasted butternut squash