Life this week has been a whirlwind. To put it mildly. But, oh, the "winds of change" have been sweet!!
Ever since Hannah (our beloved friend and "mother's helper") arrived a few days ago, things have been getting DONE around here! Not only have we tackled Mt. Washmore, cleaned up and culled the Toy Emporium (otherwise known as The Playroom), we've started planning ahead for SCHOOL...
We've been working on the clothes. All of you mothers out there can relate to the sheer dread associated with back-to-school clothes... Because it's not just the Search, or even the Expense (!!) Let's face it. It's the weeding-out of all the "too-smalls" from tousled drawers and cavernous, over-crammed closets. And THEN, it's facing The Boxes in the basement. All those many, many Boxes, filled with outgrown clothing, that are SUPPOSED to be sorted by size and season.
Those Boxes are the bane of my existence, people. They are The Beasts that I'm almost too frazzled and exhausted to face. Because, I've got three girls, and after eleven-and-a-half years of parenting nothing but girls, the gargantuan task of organizing the succession of hand-me-downs is becoming more baffling to me than the Globe and Mail's cryptic crossword (I can't do those damn things, either). It's a misery to ensure that the right sized clothes are stored in the right boxes, when you're juggling a minimum of three different sizes at all times. It's agonizing to discover that while you have an entire box filled with the right-sized clothes for the child who's next in line, the clothes are suitable for entirely the WRONG season. It's even worse when the clothes are for the right season, but are looking considerably shabbier and more worn-out than you remember they did when you put them away a few years before... It's enough to make me want to scream and pull out every last (grey) hair on my head.
But... Hannah is here, and so All Things Are Possible.
She has given us a marvellous start this week, bless her sixteen-year-old heart. She has even managed to make the entire task a TREAT, not unlike a slightly younger and more "hip" version of Mary Poppins. She began by taking my eldest daughter (aged eleven) in hand, and giving her entire wardrobe a make-over. Can you IMAGINE anything more thrilling for a budding pre-teen??!! Well, mine couldn't, that's for sure. Child Number One opened those closet doors, and tried on every single article of clothing she owned. She pirouetted in front of Hannah, who passed her (incredibly responsible and mature) teenaged judgement on fit, colour and style... Once they had sorted out what they would keep, she then showed my enraptured daughter how to combine pieces differently to create "new" outfits! They made a little wish-list of new pieces to "update" Child Number One for Fall, 2007, and the next thing I knew, we were on our way to a massive sale at Old Navy. Our usually angst-filled shopping trip was a gleeful spree this year, as the two girls giggled together and chose what they liked best... My daughter was practically up of the ground as we emerged from the store with her bag of new clothes, and filled with the self-confidence that can only come from having the full attention and devotion of an older girl she idolizes.
But Hannah didn't stop there. Our next major expedition was to IKEA, with a mission to purchase supplies to organize not only the closets, but the children's desks, as well. Child Number Two, aged six, will be starting grade one this fall, and so henceforth, I will have TWO kids slaving over homework. We now have proper desks in each child's bedroom, set up with good lamps and all the necessary accessories... It actually took FOUR trips to the big blue-and-yellow box store to accomplish this task (and that's a LOT of Meatball Platters, let me tell you... Oofta...) The first trip, we took our time, looked around, and priced things out. On the second trip, we returned sans enfants, to do a fast sweep-and-grab. TOO fast, as it turned out, because the THIRD trip was to return all the stuff that didn't fit the space, or was just WRONG. The fourth trip was to pick up the "finishing touches". Man, are we IKEA-ed out (there MUST be a word in Swedish for "too much IKEA", but I'm too tired to make it up on the fly like those furniture people do...) The girls' bedrooms now look spectacular, and are so well-organized, they won't be able to HELP but keep them tidy. (Famous Last Words, I know...)
And that's just the WORK we've been doing. I haven't even begun to tell you about the REALLY fun stuff we've been up to... We've been to the farm, and cooked and eaten great food. We've been to just about every local attraction imaginable, from the top of the CN Tower, to the ROM, right down to the swings and slides at the park. We've even loaded everybody into the Loser Cruiser and been to my hometown to visit my parents, and show Hannah where I grew up (I figured the experience would explain a LOT about the many "delightful quirks" in my personality...) It's been "a trip", all right.
We've got one more week of summer left, and after everything we've managed to cram into the last eight or nine days, the future possibilities seem endless!! The girlies are clamouring to ride horses, and to go to the zoo... But, tomorrow, I think we'll just rest by the pool if the weather co-operates.
I think that just for now, our little wind-storm needs to be down-graded a BIT, so that it doesn't completely blow itself out!!