Monday, June 9, 2008

Time to break out the "F-Off" bug spray...

Hashing through the Monday morning routine is never a walk in the park for the crew in this house, and this morning was slightly more frazzling than usual.

We had a lovely weekend, filled with dancing lessons, a long stroll around our local village festival, and then a rollicking good time with a house-ful of guests on Sunday. The number of children in our midst by far outnumbered the adults the entire time, and the heat and humidity was so SO intense, we spent every spare moment we could in the swimming pool. We wildly attempted to keep cool (with extra emphasis on that "wild" part), and had a lot of fun doing so... but by eight o'clock last night, two of the three girlies and I were conked out on the enormous couch in the family room, surrounded by the piles and piles (and PILES) of laundry that I was supposed to have been folding, in preparation for the week ahead.

This morning started badly. I was so earth-shatteringly exhausted when my alarm went off at 6.15 am, I sluffed off my early-morning bike ride with one fatal hand-slam to the top of my clock. Hitting the "off" button instead of the "snooze".

Um. Yeah.

When I finally shot out of my sheets and into the shower at eight o'clock, I was in full panic-mode. NONE of the children had roused themselves, and there was coffee to brew, breakfast to make, snacks and book bags to pack, and girlies to... GIRLIES!!! WAKE UP!!


You get the picture. Combine all of this madness with a mental-image of ME trying to get MYSELF into my "personal armour", and the scene gets even less appetizing, I assure you.

We raced out the back door, backpacks flapping behind us, and the soupy 30+ degree humidity hit us like a tidal wave as we entered the Great Outdoors, at 8.30 on the dot.

I re-called the troops, and we marched back into the mud room. Because, in my mentally-defective hysteria, I had forgotten some very important new "steps" in our morning routine.

The girlies now require wide-brimmed hats and a thick layer of sunscreen, to protect them during their outdoor gym classes and recess break. And, because our little school backs onto an enormous park and "The Pond", each child needs a good long squirt of insect repellent, to stave off the thick swarms of mosquitoes that have been plaguing our community for the past several weeks.

By some miracle, I managed to get all of the girlies to school, with all of their required equipment and paperwork, ON TIME. But, as I kissed their little sweaty faces and saw them through those great, big doors... I felt a wave of guilt and worry. Because, our local schools are older buildings... have flat, black roofs that bake in the sun... and most certainly DON'T have air conditioning.

While I was running around all morning, in-and-out of beautifully cool buildings and even my air conditioned CAR for crying out loud, I hatched a plan to spring my kids from their blast-furnace classrooms at lunchtime. Our school operates on the ridiculous new schedule where lunch does not roll around until nearly one o'clock, by which time the children are exhausted and ravenous, and more than ready for a rest. I bring my girls home for their lunch hour every single day. They need the break from the chaotic atmosphere, just as badly as they need a nourishing meal. After an hour at home, they are usually ready to face the remainder of their day... But, I suspected, this nearly-forty-degree-day would be an exception. Sure enough, when my daughters burst out into the playground and into my arms, it was clear that a Ferris Bueller afternoon was definitely in order. They were positively roasting, their little cheeks damp and pink and the backs of their shirts soaked through. They were starving and headache-y, tearful, grubby and pong-y from outdoor play... And to top it off, Child Number Two was sporting an ENORMOUS red bug bite, right in the middle of her forehead.

I took them home, put them all through a nice, cool shower, fed them, and settled them down in front of a movie musical on tv. And when we were all snuggled down together, resting and enjoying the show, I addressed my second child:

Mother: (lovingly examining the large welt on her child's head) Well, that's just incredible. I put "Off Skintastic" ALL over you this morning, and you STILL manged to get bitten! It's amazing those bugs found you so delicious, you were such a wreck when I picked you up from school today... I could smell you even before you came out the door!

Child Number Two: (scratching, then grinning hugely, and snuggling closer) Yup... I'm delicious, all right. SO delicious, the mosquitoes musta PLUGGED THEIR NOSES to bite me!


painted maypole said...

oh... cute.

i thought of you and your movie musicals when I watched, for the first time EVER, Camelot last week Richard Harris was enchanting.

mrinz said...

The school day must be cruelly hot for the children and the teachers is the very hot and humid weather you are having!

And to throw in mosquitos as well it must be a trying time for all.

Thank goodness for a swimming pool.

Multi-tasking Mommy said...

The jury's out for me as to whether bug spray even works. I have been using an organic one for the bunny up until this year and I'll tell you that although it smells good, it didn't do a darned thing for her.

She actually got bitten at the festival--two big whoppers! We looked for you guys, were bummed that we didn't bump into you. I was so hot, I was tempted to have SciFi Dad drop me off at your place on the way home so that I could jump into your pool (clothes and all)...oh do I miss the days of having a pool in my backyard ;)

I'm so impressed that you were able to make it out of the house with 3 kiddies in tow in 30 minutes--you are my hero! I can barely do that with one child...

Lynnie said...

You sound like such a sweet mom to take your girls out of school to give them a break! My parents took me out of school several times growing up (once just to buy school clothes) and I remembers those days as very special and sweet.

What I don't don't understand is how you routinely get three girls to come home, eat, and then leave to go to school again in an hour!!!! Pass along your tips!!!

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