... and what did we do?
We got up early so we could do all the poultry-related chores plus the house chores and then drive an hour to the doctor's office so Gareth could get the staples out of his leg and 3 of the kids could get flu shots. Because 5 kids getting flu shots would have taken so much more time, and they didn't have the infant flu shot.
On the way to the doctor's office, I think the kids were reading Fellowship of the Rings and a biography of Clara Schumann, but they might also have been reading a Pokemon magazine and a Warriors novel. I don't know; I was driving. Gareth was supposed to be writing me a little piece about what his ideal day would look like. I do know that Farmerboy drew a pirate picture because he told everybody about it. Then the little boys argued about how many points they should get for every semi truck they saw.
At the doctor's office, we learned that it will be possible to get the flu not once, but three times this flu season! And also that you could possibly get two different strains of flu at the same time. And also that the thing they use to pull staples out of your leg is not that different than the thing you use to pry staples out of a piece of paper. And I didn't even jump up and correct the guy in the waiting room who was telling his little girl that the plants in the fish tank made algae. No, I just focused on trying to keep the train pieces where they would not block every single path into or out of the waiting room. And I read the Tomie de Paola Cloud Book.
On the way out, one of the back office people asked my kids why they weren't in school. Sigh. We've only been going to this doctor's office for 4.5 years now and I know we're the biggest family there so everyone has to know us. Except apparently not, because every time we go, I hear variations of: 1. So why aren't you in school? 2. Oh, you've got everybody today? 3. How many kids do you have?
So then -- off to McDonald's for lunch. In the drive-thru, because I am not crazy enough to try to go in with all these kids by myself. Oh, except we must collect acorn caps in the parking lot for wee felt dolls first.
And then the oh-so-personable McDonald's employees forget to hand me my debit card, and like a moron (or a woman who has 6 kids in the back arguing with each other about how many points a Fed-Ex truck gets) I do not notice. In fact, I do not notice until we arrive at the farm store cashier with a lot of expensive local food and local soap and, er, a dozen cider donuts (You can't really mumble electronically, can you?) And then I must dig around in the van for a while to make sure I didn't lose my card. And also to find a checkbook -- which, blessedly, thanks to St. Anthony, I do.
The people here are very friendly, and Katydid gets a lot of babysitting experience. Also, when a couple of the boys need to make a trip to the bathroom, we get to walk through the place where they bag all the potatoes. Which is very cool.
So, anyway, I pay the very nice, very patient cashier, haul everybody across the parking lot to the van, change a bunch of diapers, and hand out cider donuts. Then it's off to see Andy at work to tell him about my missing debit card. He comes up with the phone # for the McDonald's, I call, and yes, they have my card! Only now... I have to drive all the way back to Albany to get it. Which means 2 more hours round trip in the van.
The kids want to know if this means we can't go to the library, like I thought we might -- I mean, if the library is open, which is not guaranteed. No, no, we're still going to the library. I have a ginormous fine to pay and we need to start going again; I have put it off long enough. So we head over to the library and make a whirlwind tour through the children's section, which thankfully only involves one lie-down-on-the-floor-scream-and-kick fit and one big stack of dinosaur books pulled entirely off the shelves. I pay the fine, check out the books, and we head home to unload groceries.
Chipmunk has fallen asleep, so the kids unload and put away groceries while I stay with Chipmunk and incidentally, rake some of the trash out of the van. After everybody goes to the bathroom, gets changed, and gets drinks, we turn around and head back up to Albany. Gareth has not written what I asked him to because he says he can only think of one thing to go in his ideal day: fewer book reports. O-kay. Gareth checked out a Patricia Wrede book, so he's reading that, and Katydid is reading an American Girl magazine that she checked out. I pop in a book on CD I checked out from the library's miniscule collection: The Best School Year Ever by Barbara Robinson. It's funny, but not as good as The Best Christmas Pageant Ever. Anyway, at least the kids are not arguing about how many points the Price Chopper trucks are worth.
We finally get to McDonald's, and I get my card back. Every time I go somewhere to retrieve something important I have lost or misplaced or whatever, I have flashbacks to the time I left my purse by accident in an OB's office at Albany Med. When I went to pick it up, the receptionist didn't know where it was. When I asked her to check with somebody else, she started yelling at me. I had to sit and wait an hour with 3 young kids and me, very pregnant with twins, when my purse was behind the desk the whole time. Thankfully, this time everyone knows exactly where my card is, and I get it back, no problem. Then we turn around to go meet Andy for dinner, because by now it is getting rather late.
I have to stop halfway to change a diaper at a gas station.
I have to turn off the CD because the little boys are beating on each other.
We finally make it to meet Andy. We go to a Chinese buffet where Farmerboy is the kid who tips backward in his seat this time (somebody always tips their chair over here, I have no idea why). He's also the kid who decides to eat stuffed mussels. Everyone stares at us while we eat, but nobody asks how many kids we have this time. I guess they can all count.
After we eat dinner, we head home. I am cheered on because I am ahead of Daddy. Chants of, "Go, Mommy! Go, Mommy!" emanate from the middle seat where the little boys are. I feel like a hero. A short little 30-something heroine driving a great big van.
When we get home, the kids help Andy do chicken chores and pick blackberries. And then the little boys watch a recorded Dinosaur Train. And it's time to read The Hobbit and say the rosary.
And that's the kind of day homeschoolers can have when all the other kids are shut up in a brick building for 6 or 7 hours on their second day back at school. ;-)