Take five

It was Sunday night. The kids and I had spent the entire weekend together without interacting with anyone else in person, and that day in particular felt like it had lasted a week. In that one day, we’d weeded and planted the garden, read books, played Plants vs. Zombies: Garden Warfare, watched two episodes of “Gravity Falls”, cleaned rooms and folded laundry and mowed the lawn, practiced violin and recorder, frolicked at the playground, eaten oatmeal and popcorn and bagels and egg salad and twice-baked potatoes, watered the indoor plants, swept and mopped, and tended to the small animals. I’d just given Brian a haircut, assembled the next day’s lunch boxes, and made avocado and tuna maki for dinner, which the kids were currently eating. It seemed like the dialogue of the day had been ongoing, and we adults were feeling it. The relentless “Mommy?” and “Daddy?” felt like catcalls by this point, and finally Brian said it all with, “Do you people even breathe?” He told them we needed five minutes during which no one asked us any questions. Please and thank you.

I was doing Summerly’s hair, preparing her braid for bedtime to avoid the nest of tangles that would otherwise happen overnight, and about four minutes had passed since the last inquest from a child. I felt like I’d taken a deep breath for the first time in way too long, even though the chatter amongst the kids had abated not a whit. There was a pause in conversation for a fractional instant, which gave Summerly the opportunity to chime in with this statement: “I really want to ask you a question.” So I relented, as they’d done a better job withholding inquiries for the past 240 seconds than expected.

Alison: “Okay. Go ahead and ask it.”
Summerly: “Has it been five minutes yet?”
Alison: “Almost. It’s fine…you can ask me your question now.”
Summerly: “That was my question.”

And there you have it, folks. Happy Monday on a Wednesday!

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