Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wife Rule #104: It Came to Pass

As an oblique tribute to my wife's many talents, have I mentioned that Stay-At-Home-Moms possess super-powers lately?

My seven-year-old (Rachel), three-year-old (Andrew), and infant (Charity) were all sick last Sunday morning, so I stayed home from church with them, letting my wife and our nine- and five-year-old children attend.

I had grand plans for the morning--three whole hours of unstructured time called for a delightful smorgasbord of Sabbath-day activities that it seems all too difficult to ever get to on a "normal" Sunday. These included

* Spending a quality, uninterrupted half hour with the scriptures
* Watching the half-hour Music and the Spoken Word broadcast
* Reading books to the children
* Writing in my journal
* Writing a few letters
* Writing in my blog
* Taking a half-hour nap
* Otherwise relishing this day of rest

You Stay-At-Home-Moms moms were snickering at me by the third item on my list.

So after bidding my wife and the two non-sickies goodbye, I grabbed my scriptures and my glasses and several books of my choosing from Andrew's bookshelf, and brought the pile into the family room. I flipped on the fireplace, grabbed my red scripture-marking pencil, donned my reading glasses, cracked open The Good Book where my bookmark was, and started soaking in the first verse of the chapter:

And it came to pass...

Charity let loose a piercing whine of discontent from where she sat in her high chair. I guess she's done with breakfast, an observation that suddenly seemed obvious since there was more banana in her hair than on her tray, so I put down my pencil, glasses, and scriptures, and got up to get a wash cloth and clean her up. I wiped down her hands, wiped her mouth, got a tissue to wipe her nose because I just couldn't bear to wipe that part of her with a wash cloth that was going to have other uses, and set her down.

She promptly began howling her displeasure. So I told her "just a second" and quickly released her high chair tray (why they designed that action to require two hands is beyond me) and took it to the sink where I rinsed it off. After returning it to its place, I picked up Charity and brought her over.

Balancing a baby on one knee and my scriptures on the other, I put my glasses back on, but this time didn't bother grabbing my pencil. Where was I? Oh yes:

And it came to pass...

WHAM! I heard a tremendous noise from the backyard and realized that the wind was gusting in preparation to bestow a nice spring blizzard on us. The crash was the sandbox lid blowing open onto the patio cement, so wind could scatter and then snow could soggify the sand for the next several days. I hate scattered, soggy sand, so I put Charity down (much to her vocal dismay), put my scriptures and glasses down, and quickly raced out the back door to close the lid. I attempted to secure it from future gusts by putting a large plastic toy on top of it.

Coming back inside, Charity had happily decided to survive without being held and was busy licking the lead paint off some toy manufactured in China. So I sat back down, picked up my scriptures, my red pencil, and my glasses, found my place, and started again:

And it came to pass...

"DADDYINEEDTOGOPOTTY!" came the suddenly urgent request from my crotch-grabbing, tap-dancing three year old Andrew. The Potty Wars have been...perilous lately, so I immediately acquiesced. I nearly threw down my red pencil and scriptures and raced to the toilet still wearing my reading glasses, where a few seconds later the tap dance transformed into mightly leaps of triumph. I got Andrew his shameless bribe of a "sour heart candy" afterwards (Robin Eggs are reserved for poops) and attempted to sit back down. I had slammed my scriptures shut without replacing the bookmark, so it took me a minute to find my place. Ah, yes:

And it came to pass...

Charity started whining as soon as I came back into the room, and now my nose was telling me why. I put down my reading, grabbed her, and whisked her into her room where the changing table and a pile of fresh diapers awaited. In a few minutes flat I had a happier, less aromatic baby and I was heading back to my chair and my date with quality scripture time.

And it came to pass...

WHAM! The wind had blown the large plastic toy several feet out into the grass and the sandbox lid had smacked open again. By this time snowflakes were swirling through the air, so I decided to make one more last-ditch attempt. I picked up the large plastic toy and positioned it differently so that it might stay there a little better. I adjusted the patio rug, pushed the collapsed umbrella back down into its large cast-iron stand and decided to hope for the best. I latched the deadbolt after coming back in. I glanced gratefully at the cozy fire, grabbed my glasses, and spread open the Lord's word again in my lap:

And it came to pass...

"Daddy, I have to poop!" Now this wasn't something I was going to miss. Number Two had been the last major front line in this war for quite some time, and any chance to award a Robin Egg required immediate action. We had barely gotten Andrew situated on the throne, when he announced that he was done.

"Um, there's nothing in the toiled," I noted, lifting him a little just to make sure.

"I'm done, Daddy," he smiled back up at me with his big blue eyes.

"Oh no you're not," I responded. What I knew we needed was a little patience, so I went to his room to get him a book to look at while he waited for some action to occur. With a copy of Diggers and Cranes I thought he'd be happy as an oyster with a big pearl to pass, but he resisted my invitation to read the book himself.

"You read it to me."

"No, I have other things to read while you try to go potty. You read it."


Not a chance, kid. You're the one with your pants down. I raced back to my chair, picked up my scriptures and had just read

And it came to pass...

"DADDY I'M DONE!" came his voice, calling from the hallway. He had apparently popped himself off the throne and was now wandering the house without pants and however unlikely, possibly a little bit of you-know-what, requiring immediate attention. I jumped up, nearly knocking poor Charity over in my haste. I looked back at her. No tears, good. I was annoyed, but also slightly hopeful. Perhaps during my twenty-second absence before Andrew left the bathroom, something had, you know, come to pass?

No such luck, but no mess either. Good enough for today.

As soon as I sat down the next time, and had just gotten to the part that says

And it came to pass...

Rachel approached me about putting on a video for her, and when I turned on the TV I noted that Music and the Spoken Word was starting.

So that's kind of how my morning went. Eventually things did settle down, including Charity rubbing her little tired eyes and going down for a nap. The remaining two kids miraculously also decided to manage the rest of the morning without invoking mutually-assured destruction. Thus, I eventually found myself with a few minutes of peace and quiet, but my energy utterly spent. I cracked open those scriptures one last time and read:

And it came to pass...

I suddenly realized I was very tired; my posterity had sapped the best of what I had that morning before I ever finished a single verse of the Lord's word. I stumbled through a page or two, and then gave it up. I rested the heavy book on my chest, laid the red pencil neatly on top of the bookmark between the open pages, placed my folded glasses on top, reclined the chair, and promptly passed out.

It had ultimately come to pass after all.


Lindsay said...

Brilliant. Witty. All too real.

Thanks for writing this, Matt. I loved it.

Jenny and Al said...

Oh, my larry! That was hilarious! I always feel like I never get my To-Do list done, either.

Anonymous said...

And God bless you my dearest dear!

Alan Macfarlane said...

Lol, I've had days like that, Matt.

My wife often kindly reminds me that caring for my own offspring is never "babysitting." Though the way I bumble when playing Mr. Mom, it sure feels like it.