Last night was a little rough. The kids had played well all day, but during dinner all the positive energy was gone and spats broke out. At one point my youngest was hissing like a snake and recounting the horrors of being shoved and “almost murdered” by an older sibling. The stir-fry was pronounced “Smooshy Nastiness” and I said, “Sit down and eat, Pu-leeeazzzze,” around 70 times. “Consequences” were being thrown at everything from rolling eyes to “accidental” Indian-burn giving.
To top it all off, an alumni is staying with us, helping with the Welcome Week preparations for NIU. I’m sure he has decided once and for all to not only never get married, but never, ever, ever, have children.
(oh, yeah…and later on that night there was a big hullabaloo in the upstairs bathroom because Tim was feeling sick and I was in there trying to comfort him while Haven pounded on the door accusing me of keeping Tim’s illness a secret and making her stressed because she didn’t know all the details. Oh dear…)
Upon reflection this morning, I understand something a little better. My kids feel perfectly comfortable around anyone in our home. We’ve had so many guests for dinner, to stay, to live, to linger, for meetings, for counseling, for playdates, etc. that their “Visitors are here” sensors are long gone. Their set of “special occasion” manners are lost. Frantic and hushed requests for them to please remember we have guests elicits very little response.
I can just see them telling the president of the United States about the time I wigged out in a grocery store and left a completely full cart in isle 5.
Just a few weeks ago one brought down their used dental floss for us all to examine.
And there is the fact that my 5-year-old came downstairs to say goodnight to near strangers the other evening in her undies.
So, that’s the downside.
The upside? Well, let me think.
Ummm….I’ll have to get back to you on that one. 🙂