Monday, August 25, 2008

Rain on me

It's been an eventful weekend. Let me put this in order:

Friday:
1:00 pm. I was videotaped getting my hair cut, which was built up to be some big dramatic deal but turned out to be nothing to worry about.
1:45 pm. Bob had a important presentation that he'd been working up to for months.
3:00 pm. My brother and his wife, the Hawaii cousins, and the Atlanta cousins all arrived in town.
6:30 pm. We went out for crabs.

Saturday:
8:00 am. Last school workday before school opened on Monday. About 40 parents arrived to volunteer, and they took a to-do list as long as your arm and just decimated that bitch. Bob and I were in charge of the 45 cubic yards of wood chips that had to be delivered to the side lot before the new fencing went up. The chip delivery was late, much fretting was done, but after the wood chips were delivered, everyone pitched in to spread them out. A hot, dusty job, made hotter by the fact that the wood chips gave off a lot of heat themselves.
6:00 pm. Mom and Dad's 50th Anniversary Extravaganza. We sang to my parents. I took pictures. We ate the most expensive cake on the planet. The kids behaved beautifully. I didn't have a drink until 9 o'clock. Another event that was fairly nerve-wracking until it was over. Did I mention we SANG?

Sunday:
11:00 am. Picnic in the park to celebrate Cousin John's birthday. None of the food had been bought as of an hour and a half before the event. Much running around in near-panic.
4:00 pm. Back at the house, keeping it low-key. I load the 7 large boxes of school supplies into the van. This year we took advantage of volume discounts and bought school supplies for 8 kids at once.
12 midnight. First child awakens, crying in pain. "My stomach!" Park him on the john, sit down to keep him company. Twenty minutes later he turns paper white and barfs all over the place. He's not a puker, and has no idea what to do. More barfing. Then, I mop up the bathroom and stick him in the shower (where he barfs again). Sure enough, second child comes stumbling in crying that HIS stomach hurts. Then BOB got up, staggered into the bathroom, saw all of us there, and made a dash for the downstairs bathroom. We were all four up and down half the night - the three of them throwing up into buckets, sinks, whatever was handy, and me rinsing out buckets and patting foreheads. I think it was the shrimp at the cookout, but nobody else seems to have gotten sick.

Monday:
8:15 am. First day of school. Of course.
During last night's Festival of Vomit, Zhou was crying and crying. "Tomorrow's my first day of kindergarten and I don't want to miss it!" You've got to honor that, so this morning we ushered them into their classrooms, and I wandered around taking pictures while Bob and some of our friends unloaded all the school supplies.
8:45 am. I peep into both boys' classrooms. Mao is happy and energetic, Zhou is lounging back in a chair, eyes half-closed. He has an abbreviated first day.

Today was to be the day that we would drive away from school with no children in the car, and I would come home to an empty house. Instead, I have a husband and a little boy asleep in the guest room (if there's more puking, I don't want it in MY bed, and the kids sleep in bunks, not that convenient if Bob is going to keep tabs on Zhou).

But tomorrow is another day.