Such was the case at 6:24 this evening. Tonight I remembered back to a Sunday night about 4 years ago. I was at Albertsons. Mike was home with the two big boys and a baby who would instinctively start screaming the moment I pulled out of the driveway and didn't quit until I had returned home and had him in my arms. I was at Albertsons taking advantage of a strange sale they had going on. If you bought three McCormick spices a coupon would print out at the register for three dollars off your next purchase. If you took that coupon and used it to purchase three more spices valued at or around $1 each, then you got them essentially for free. So I did. I had about 15 transactions of spices, three at a time. Besides the spices you could also purchase McCormick's food coloring package. I'm remembering now how I studied the package: "Should I stick to the classic colors? Or should I buy the package of NEON colors?"
Classic or Neon?
Classic or Neon?
Why Becca? Why did you get them? Why couldn't you have just stuck to chili powder or cumin? Or even curry for crying out loud?
And now, just like Pilate, I can't wash this off my hands.
No really. I can't wash this off my hands. I've washed them probably... (and realistically) 10 times since this happened. And I've showered --believe it! Mike's deployed AND I've showered. All is not a loss.
This food coloring I bought (and I did end up purchasing some neon colors even though I only had male children at the time) was what made me shake my head this evening.
In a fit of brilliance I invited three of my favorite little people over for dinner. Why? Because I love their mama and wanted her to have dinner alone with just their daddy. And because these are sweet kids and because my children love and miss seeing their playmates.
So I've got seven kids at the house. All is going well. So well that I decide to copy an idea one of my friends (a fun mom) recently did with her children. You are all familiar with the "fun mom." I knew several growing up, Wendy Wagley and Julie Robinson immediately come to mind. Those are the moms that don't just have you over to play with their kids, but actually come up with creative things to do while you are there --and usually do them with you.
My friend, Rachel, hereafter referred to as "Fun Mom," sent me these pictures a couple days ago:
Those are pancakes. The first picture displays the first initial of her first child.
The second picture is of dinosaur eggs (one's cracked) Awesome? Yes.
The third? You guessed it: brains.
Sit down Fun Mom. You're making the rest of us look bad.
When Fun Mom reads this she is going to be really upset with me for not telling the whole story. She actually wasn't feeling "fun" when she decided to do this. In fact, she decided to do this because she wasn't feeling very fun. Here are some excerpts from our text conversation that morning:
"I've never been hung over... Wonder if it feels something like having a kid that doesn't sleep through the night yet... Boys are watching a show... S and I are in bed."
"I'm hungry and nobody is there making breakfast."
"I went and bought delicious cereal so my kids would be so excited about breakfast on the mornings I don't cook.. That's lame huh?"
"Here's the plan for breakfast: 3 squeeze bottles with pancake batter and different colors of food coloring We gonna make swirled and tie-dyed pancakes. (think they'll even care?) Maybe we'll do it for lunch... When I wake up --dang I've got to teach J how to push play."
So there's the rest of the story. Everyone stop feeling bad about yourself.
I want to be like Fun Mom so tonight with my 7 children 7 and under I'm going to get out the food coloring and Krusteaz and whip up some awesome pancakes.
I mix up the batter, add a few drops of green and a few drops of blue as I hum a happy little working song.
I set the food coloring on the edge of the counter and...
(everyone inhale) turn my back.
dum. dum. duuuummm....
There it is again:
Two sweet little children were in watching me cook and upon seeing the opportunity reached up onto the counter --anyone wonder why God gave two-year-olds arms longer than six inches? I do.
Presently I turn back around to see four very blue hands and many drops of green and blue all over the floor.
"Ahh!" I shriek. "Don't move!" My voice might have gotten a little loud, I think this because within a matter of moments 8 semi-alarmed people were standing in my kitchen.
"Stop!! Nobody come any closer!!"
"Jack! Go to the bathroom and bring me a washcloth from the top drawer. And get it wet!"
"Ty! Get me some wipes!"
"Austin get out of the kitchen!"
"Brady don't move."
Brady starts to run. I grab his hand as he unhappily collapses to the floor smearing food coloring all over the floor with his loose hand. Jack returns with a wad of soaking wet toilet paper the size of a ping pong ball. "Jack! A washcloth!" I yell. He turns to head up the stairs. "No Jack! The top drawer, the upstairs bathroom doesn't have any drawers! That must mean I want you to go to the downstairs bathroom."
Ty returns with a wipe. I turn to our guest also covered in food coloring and hand her a wipe. She just stands there. "Ty, wipe off N's hands." Jack returns with a box of panty liners in his hand. "Is this it?" "No!" "This was all that was in the top drawer!" He defends himself. Both of us getting a little frustrated at this point. (I'm still wrestling Brady) "Then look in the other drawers!" He leaves again. Meanwhile, another curious child walks over to the discarded bottle of food coloring, picks it up and holds it out toward me. "No! Don't touch that!"
It was all over his hands and his feet.
"I was trying to pick it up for you." The poor frightened child explains.
"You're right. I'm sorry. Thanks for trying to help." I quiet down my voice in order to try to minimize the panic. "Ty, get me more wipes." He returns with a stack two inches high --brilliant child.
The funny thing about food coloring is the more you wipe it, the more it smears. It's almost as if, when mixed with any type of moisture, was designed to expand and intensify. ha ha ha.
I start to laugh. This is just too amazing to not laugh.
I wipe and more appears.
I wipe and more appears.
Well, unless you wipe hands. When you wipe hands it just smears around the first couple times then you wipe 10 more times only to remove a tiny amount --just enough to convince you it will still get all over everything if you quit.
I pick up Brady, turn to the sink and start rinsing his hands.
Oh I forgot to mention that a few days ago Mike bought me a new dishwasher (love you babe!!). When I installed it, I did something funny with the water and now the water pressure at our kitchen sink is at about 20%. I need to look into that tomorrow.
So.. I'm holding a smurf child whose arms --although long enough to reach the countertop aren't long enough to reach the trickling water. This isn't working. I put him down and use the wipes. Finally we get enough off that I'm convinced I can turn him loose without forfeiting my furniture. I direct my attention to the drips all over the floor. Each small drop required at least three wipes as the stuff spreads out as you wipe.
One of our guests, whom I haven't mentioned yet, is a normally smiley little girl who just turned a year old. She didn't like any of the dinners I fed her and I think was getting a little hungry and tired. Poor thing. She was fastened into the high chair during all of this and was getting a bit bored of her surroundings. She began to cry.
I laugh --not at her, at the situation.
No one else says a word.
Finally Jack asks me: "Mom, are you laughing or crying?"
"I'm laughing. It was hilarious to think getting out food coloring was a good idea."
I finally get all the drips wiped up. I wipe up our little girl friend then turn to her older brother who had tried to help earlier. With two feet to go we are down to three wipes. We use them all, but I'm still concerned we might have left more than just the stains on his feet. I send someone after socks for him. No problem finding those, at any given moment there are probably 6 kids socks scattered across the first level.
I unbuckle the baby, and set her on the floor with a sippy. She continues to cry. I pick her up. She stops. No problem. I'm here for you baby. I will hold you.
One-handed I flip pancakes, pour glasses of milk and serve the kids dinner. The pancakes, turn out pretty cool looking and thank goodness no one is grossed out by the fact that they are eating green pancakes. (Who's the fun mom now?)
Dinner ended and the play continued. I cleaned up best I could so that when my friend got here she wouldn't be any the wiser to the nights events. I wanted her to go to bed feeling happy about getting to greet her husband at home with a clean house and no little ones to vie for her attention. Sometimes we moms are spread so thin we don't get to focus solely on anyone or anything. She told me later it was great to get to cook dinner and talk to her husband without anyone interrupting or needing anything. That made me really happy to hear.
I know it may seem like I've got enough on my plate with the deployment and all, but getting to serve someone else (although a little work) is amazingly refreshing. I was thankful for the chance to get to serve someone outside my immediate family as right now I have very few opportunities.
So, although we had a bit of a rough patch tonight, when it comes to having those sweet kids over and hopefully blessing their mom and dad, I have,