Monday, September 7, 2009

My Wild Daughter

Friday evening, I took my kids to my friend N's house for Shabbos dinner. Her son is a good buddy of Sam's, the daughter is 9 and either plays with Micah or Sofia, and my kids have a field day with all their toys. Miss Sofia especially loves to play on the Wii! ANd I get to talk with my friend and her husband, although sometimes (like this time) I have to fix their computer...

So we didn't leave their house until 10pm, and they live 45 minutes away. Late night. Sofia had been begging me to go home for at least an hour before we finally left.

So no way was I going to wake up in time for shul in the morning. We slept in (well, technically, I tried to sleep in, but my children still woke up obscenely early).

Finally got our act together and went to Stow, to my friend R's house, for a BBQ and block party. Great time. They have a big trampoline in their back year (with a net around it for safety).


She loved it. She didn't care how many other kids were on (we tried to limit it to 4 at a time, but sometimes that had to not include her...).

Eventually, I did have to pull her off, because there were too many other kids waiting (and she was getting very overheated). Oh boy, did she SCREAM at me! Massive tantrum. I had to bring her into the house, and kept putting water on her face and neck to cool her off. She just kept screaming. My friends watched, and one did have a positive comment: "Just listen to how many WORDS she is screaming at you!"

It was pretty impressive. Eventually she was able to go back on the trampoline, and stayed and stayed. She would just sit while other kids bounced, and when she got really tired, she laid flat on her face - and still other kids bounced around her. She was so happy in there!

It was a great day for all of us. Aside from the trampoline tantrum, I mostly got to relax and talk to other grownups. Later in the afternoon, the bigger kids went out on the block and played water balloons and scooters on the street (a cul-de-sac that had been blocked off from traffic). I had my three plus A (from Sam's class). I took Sofia out front and she had a blast riding around in a motorized car for a while.

Then, way cool, someone on the block put up a large screen, and once it got dark, they showed a movie! (Witch Mountain, the new one). It was lovely. Sofia fell asleep in my lap almost immediately, but the others had fun. We finally left at 9:30, had to drive A home, so didn't get home until 10:30.

Micah and Sofia were of course asleep, but Sam had to take his shower. Then he had a massive OCD tantrum. He refused to wear any of the clean pajama pants in his drawer, because they were "contaminated" from going to camp or vacation. Really upset, and not completely lucid. Eventually, we got him a pair of David's pants (my husband is "petite" but much larger than a 10 year old!).

Sigh. I found myself wishing for one "normal" child. Then I thought a bit more, and decided that would be horribly boring. My kids may all be "special", but there's rarely a dull moment!

Sunday was busy, too. I got the kids out, and took them to Brookline. First we attempted the Israel Bookstore, where Sofia had a bit of a prima-donna tantrum about wanting to shop in different areas or maybe rearrange all the books. We survived that, and then braved the Butcherie.

Now, a word for those of you unfamiliar with the Boston area's largest kosher meat market. It's the size of a very small convenience store, yet it has at least 8 aisles of kosher and/or Israeli packaged foods, a deli counter, a whole wall of meat and chicken, another section for dairy, a small wine section, and usually at least 30 customers and almost as many staff (most of whom do not speak English). It is a nightmare at the best of times (and by best of times, I mean 5:30 am the Sunday morning two weeks before Passover. Without kids.).

So I'm trying to navigate around this nightmare, find all the items I can't get anywhere else, and keep Sofia from jumping out of the carriage. And keep the carriage from falling over with her (which it did once, in front of the store manager, who was VERY releaved not to have to explain "liability" to my children...).

Made it out, loaded all the meat into the cooler, maneuvered the minivan out of the incredibly small and crowded parking lot, and headed to Logan Airport. And for some reason, I took a very long way around, but at least the kids got to see some of The Fenway (which is the lovely park area that runs past the Museum of Fine Arts. Fenway Park, where I'm told some sports teams occasionally muster, is at the other edge of The Fenway.).

Waited in the Cell Phone Lot until David landed. Kids were bouncing around in the car. Eventually got to pick him up - yeah, all done with the Czech Republic!

Drove from Logan to Westford, about 45 minutes away, to attend a surprise party for one of his friends (well, mom and kids are our friends, too!). Stayed about 2 hours, then spent an hour driving back towards home; had to drop Sam off at shul for a Kadima (5th/6th grade youth group) event.

Took David and the little ones home, had dinner, bathed Sofia, and went back to pick up Sam. After all that driving, it's no wonder I need new tires (after I replaced them a year ago) and a new radiator. Ugh, my project for this week.

Today was better...eventually. David is still on Eastern Europe time, so he went into the office at 5:30, and didn't come home until after 11am. Which meant that I had to take all three kids to the grocery store. Nightmare. Sofia kept screaming at Micah, they both kept racing up and down the aisles, and Sam was stressing about.. something (I just didn't even want to know).

But we survived that, too, and then had a lovely BBQ here at home with our friends (their son is in Sam's class, daughter a year older than Micah). Sofia tags along with the big kids most of the time. The dad plays guitar, which had Sofia completely enthralled. Really fun. And more relaxing than yesterday.

Whew. Tomorrow they ALL have school - hooray! I have acupuncture while Sofia is in school, we're all going swimming at J's house when the boys get out, and then it's off to the first day of Tae Kwan Do for the school year.