Last weekend I was very diligent. Although I haven't felt much like planning anything lately, I decided that, whether or not I felt like it, I really needed to sit down and provide my older kids some guidance for the new quarter. I had made a bunch of handwritten notes on the Ivy Basket from Literature for a Young Lady, so mostly what I needed to do was to alter the table on the computer and print it out for Katydid. I also needed to review what Gareth was doing and provide him with some more structure, since that is what seems to work best for him. So I did, and I started writing a post about it, too, which I will hopefully finish some time before the next decade passes. I thought I was fairly prepared for the new year, even though the little boys were sick (again).
Then Monday hit.
Gareth and Katydid dove into their work with a fair amount of enthusiasm (although Gareth was not terribly excited about my asking for two written narrations a week and Katydid was complaining of a sore throat.) Chipmunk spent most of his time practicing to be a gangster and walloping anyone who came near him -- with anything that came to hand. All the little boys did was argue with each other. In spite of being sick (with colds), Pip and Pop did not take naps. (I know I said I was going to call them N and J, but I'm so used to Pip and Pop I'm going back to those names. Maybe when they're 16 I'll change.) Chipmunk did take a nap, but refused to sleep anywhere but on my shoulder. Around 2:00, it occurred to me that I had a runny nose, too. About 3:30, quiet time was over, because the twins were not napping or lying down quietly or sitting down quietly. Instead, they were in the living room playing Playmobil with Farmerboy, which involved the destruction of at least one castle.
Then there was a big crash and Pip started crying. Gareth had just sat down at the table where I was in the dining room (still holding Chipmunk) to do his math. Katydid was reading Little Men on the couch in the living room. "Is he okay?" I called out to her.
"Yes!" she answered. "He's ok!"
Pip wailed. "Are you sure he's ok?" I said.
"He's ok! He's ok!" A pause. "No, no, he's not ok..."
I ran into the living room, still holding Chipmunk, to see Pip holding the back of his head, which was streaming with blood. Hurriedly I passed Chipmunk to Katydid to take a look at the back of Pip's head, where there was a large, deep gash.
"He slipped and fell and hit the back of his head on the floor," Farmerboy said. Or, well, maybe a destroyed Playmobil castle.
"Get me the phone and get your stuff together," I said. "We're going to the emergency room."
So I called Andy, who was able to get home before I had all the kids in the van, because I had to dig the van out of a snow drift and shovel out the end of the driveway. By that time the big kids had gotten everyone's boots and coats on, collected books and toys, and were ready to walk out the door. So even though everyone was sick, they wanted to go to Wal-Mart to get a toy for Pip while he was in the ER getting patched up, and we didn't have time to argue, so we all piled into the van and headed for the hospital, where Pip received three stitches, a Mickey Mouse surgical mask because he was coughing so much, and a bunch of stickers. We went through the McDonald's drive-thru on the way home and then collapsed upon arrival.
The week progressed from there, as all the rest of us came down with the cold, the weather was nasty, and Farmerboy complained off and on of an earache. Then there were job-related issues to deal with, and by Thursday night, what I was most grateful for was that my thoughtful husband had picked up two packages of all-natural hot dogs and a bag of peeled baby carrots at the store the night before, although he had had no list and we do not normally buy hot dogs.
Anyway, some productivity was accomplished this week in spite of everything, but good grief, am I glad it's Friday!