A year ago I began taking the kids on solo trips, leaving the rest at home with Jason.
"I've got this!" he has said each time.
(Shhh! You can't say that out loud!)
I think he would agree out of all the times today was actually the easiest, least destructive, as I was only really gone a day. Two major appliances weren't broken, nor was every surface Sharpied (on two separate occasions 5 days apart) during conference calls, nor did her brother suffer a violent, peanut-allergy vomit attack in the back row of the middle school bleachers during a packed Christmas concert (and as he ran with the vomiting child across the gym floor slipped and fell in said vomit with a WHOMP!)
Trip number four takes off before the end of the month.
I love you for still letting me leave, Jason. You got this, daddy.
Violet was amazed and delighted to find there is at least one other person in the world sharing her brother's name. To keep things clear she has renamed them "Our Graeme" and "Tiny Graham." Tiny Graham is also 3, bigger than her, and in the same small preschool class. Our attempts to find an alternate title for the younger Graham have fallen on no shits given 3 year old ears. Sorry, Tiny Graham, we'll keep trying.
O: "I need some money." Starts checking her teeth. "Oh, yes! I think this one might be loose. Wait, maybe not. I can't tell."
Returns three minutes later covered in blood. So much blood.
O: "Money, please!"
A month later...
O: "Can I skip school today?"
O: "Can I go to the nurse's office fake sick?"
H: "No. There are germs there, and Brooke and Rusty are coming. Do not do that."
O: "If I lose a tooth I get to miss class to go to the nurse. And I get a creepy tooth necklace!"
H: "Do you have any loose teeth?"
O: "Well, no..."
Later that day...
School Nurse: "Something something Callum. Oh, and Olive was in here, too. She lost a tooth."
O: "Money, please!"
H: "Bob and the Cat Food: A Trip to Detention. You got a 1 out of 4 on this?"
O: "Oh yeah, she did NOT like it at all."
H: "Okay, why?"
O: "We were supposed to write about a trip, like one we had taken, like literally. But I told her, I don't write nonfiction."
H: Reading, "Or maybe it's the part where Bob blows up the school?"
O: "No, I'm sure she was fine with that."
I was doing the Band Booster thing and the kid of the mom stationed with me would not stop asking her to approve 15 more minutes of screen time while we finished.
"It could be worse," I said.
"Oh yeah?" He and his buddies listened in.
"So my son saved everything he could for years. The only thing he bought was a smart phone and Ottorbox case. Christmas money, birthday money, pet sitting, and snow shoveling money... Anyway, after 4 years he finally bought his dream road bike this summer."
"And he crashed it!"
"Nope, worse. After he spent all his money on that bike he broke his smart phone and his mom wouldn't buy him a new one."
Chorus: "YOU'RE FLIP-PHONE GRAEME'S MOM!"
Indeed, I am.
It was a drippy, foggy morning, reminiscent of my entire childhood.
C: "Surely you do not expect us to ride bikes to school in this weather."
Uh, have we met? Yeah, I do.
B's mom: "Brookie saw you guys riding this morning and said, 'Surely Callum's mom does not expect him to ride his bike to school in this weather!' I tried to explain to her that some people like that."
O: "Cole is so annoying! (Growls.) He always wants me to proofread his grammar. (Dramatic sigh.) He doesn't even know the difference between there, they're, and their! (Eye roll.) I've started giving him the wrong answer so he'll stop asking. (Insert evil grin.) But it hasn't worked." (Fake frown.)
O: "Remember I killed him in my last writing assignment? He was the goldfish that disintegrated in acid and got flushed down the toilet?"
C: "The tooth fairy didn't take my tooth last night."
H: "Awww...crap. Kiddo, I'm sorry... Here's $5. (x5 the going rate of $1, because guilt will do that.) So, you're a big boy now, and, well, honey, the tooth fairy isn't actually real. It's just parents, and we screwed up last night."
(Long pondering pause.)
C: "No, I think she got lost."
And now I feel even worse.
"No Violet, you cannot nap with the pumpkin carving tools book."
Mom takes book and puts it away, out of sight, where she would need a stool + climbing to reach it, and then goes to work out on the other side of the house.
A good hour later, Violet is screaming bloody murder.
Mom finds her obviously just awoken from a very deep, drooly sleep, with a pumpkin carving knife slashing her cheek and all the tools piled on her pillow, book ripped into a million pieces in order to extract said tools.
Yup, that's pretty much Violet.
A friend dies unexpectedly, and despite your fluid body size you still have a dress so funeral ready to go that when you run into a another friend unexpectedly right after the memorial they see you and cry, "OMG Heidi! Who died?"
Or maybe it was the pearls?
We banished the three big kids from the house and told them to walk to my old elementary school where we'd pick them up eventually so we could get ready in peace.
"Guys? GUYS! Where are my guys!? GUYS!!! I HAVE NO FWIENDS!"