This morning I came downstairs to find a note on the kitchen table that my daughter had left for the Tooth Fairy. The note was sitting on top of the little box holding her tooth, and it said, "Dear Tooth Fairy. I want money". I tried to explain to Faith that in our family, there have been over 30 teeth lost the last 13 years. So sometimes the Tooth Fairy is an idiot and doesn't remember to put the quarter under her pillow anymore. And to make matters worse, apparently teeth are going for a high price these days, what with the new fancy Tooth Fairy app and the propagating rate of inflation. After breakfast I saw Billy slip her a dollar. He's a sucker and clearly doesn't know we are on a spending freeze.
Speaking of teeth and our current spending freeze, Will is the proud wearer of new braces. While he pretended to be mad about having to get them, he couldn't stop smiling. He sat in that orthodontist chair happy as a clam, as I spent all of Jack's "8th Grade Trip to Washington DC" money on Will's braces. After the braces were glued on, I thought it would be best if I watched him try to eat lunch at home to be sure he didn't choke. Boy did I regret that. Normally I don't like watching my kids eat even on a good day, but throw in braces, as well as a huge expander on the roof of a kid's mouth and I dare you to try and watch him eat salami without gagging. As soon as he was done, I took him back to school where he promptly ran away from me on the playground to show all his friends his new look.
As I was standing on the playground, forlorn and dejected, wishing Will cared I was there, my sweet daughter Faith came running up to me. I was so pleased that one of my children needed their mother! Turns out she just wanted to see Will's new braces, and didn't much care to talk with me about her day. As I walked alone to my car, I wondered why my children were so well adjusted to their school environment. I mean it's not like I haven't tried to make them codependent. And don't even get me started on Billy's poor parenting methods.
But since you asked, let me tell you how Billy woke our oldest son up recently. He went in to Jack's room as usual and said, "Time to get up pal", and walked out, just like he does every day. Billy realized his usual tactics were not working, and he was going to have to take it to the next level. He grabbed a mask off the top of the fridge that has been sitting there for months, and placed it over his face. This mask is white, and resembles something a hockey player might wear. And is eerily similar to the kind worn in the Friday the 13th movies from the 1980's. Because Billy's 45 year old, his eyes aren't perfect, so he put his glasses on over the mask and walked back into Jack's room. Jack opened his eyes, quite startled, and he yelled, "Dude, what the crap is wrong with you?"
Once again, I will add another line item to "topics we need to discuss when we can afford to get the kids in therapy". Poor Jack's list seems to grow longer each day.
Thankfully I've managed to keep myself busy now that the kids are back in school. Besides having an actual job, I have a few projects to get done. Just today, Billy and I dropped the kids off at school and headed to our friend Grace's house. I needed Billy for approximately 2 seconds of heavy lifting, and then his main job was to not annoy me while he wrote apps, or pretended to work. But I'm pretty sure all he did was watch Grace's cable. While Billy stayed busy, my job was to antique a table, and then seal it with a polyurethane. I had no idea what I was doing, so it was good to practice on someone else's furniture, rather than my own. If you see an old farm table, recently antiqued, posted on craigslist, you could probably assume Grace hated it.
And that's how the month of August is wrapping up over here. Busy, fast, expensive, and even disturbing surprises first thing in the morning. There's nothing boring about life with three kids, and even in the midst of the pandemonium and stress, we still manage to make memories. Some of them will require processing with a professional, and some of them make us laugh till we cry. But by the grace of God, we will not just muddle through the hard days. We will participate. We will contribute. And we will always thank God for this sweet life.