Friday is my day. Before I cut Asli down to two days, I would have her watch the children in the morning, feed them lunch, and then make dinner (yes, I know, my life is really hard) while I worked on... whatever I wanted (yes, yes, truly difficult). But now that she only comes two days, I don't have anyone to watch the children.
So I make Kathleen do it instead.
There must be something in the blood and bones of first children, because when I suggested to her that she would be 'substitute mommy' her eyes got very large. "You mean," she squeaked, "I could be in charge?!? Would I get to make lunch?!? That would be GREAT!!!!"
When I was pregnant with my first child, everyone asked me if I wanted a boy or a girl. I shrugged my shoulders and very truthfully answered (yes really) that I didn't care either way. I was just happy that I could have a child. But when the ultrasound tech announced that I was having a girl, I was shocked at how happy I felt. I was having a girl, someone on my team, someone who would be my daughter and would fight with me and love me and give me advice about clothes and I could understand (only generally sometimes, but still more than a boy).
And when pregnancy number two was Sophia, I was happy to have not one, but two girls. "No matter what happens after these two," I thought to myself, "I will always have two mommies first. Even if I have twenty boys after these girls, the girls will always be the first."
So Friday I sewed a summer skirt and a half for Kathleen (making Kathleen's entire stock of summer skirts and dresses: bad idea). While I was sewing, the girls:
1. Made garlic bug spray from a recipe in one of Kathleen's school books. This included measuring and boiling water, peeling and crushing garlic (I had to do the crushing because they weren't strong enough), straining the mixture, finding a spray bottle, and pouring the mixture into the bottle. Then they sprayed down the basil being eaten by rolly-pollies (who knew they loved basil so much?).
2. Sorted, matched, and sewed groups of button on to strings. They didn't get finished with the two-pound bag, but it will give them something to work on next week.
3. Got Joseph up from his nap and played with him so that he wouldn't climb on the transformer next to me and try to press all of the buttons and constantly switch stitches while I was sewing.
4. Made peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for everyone. I had to stir up the peanut butter because it was a new jar.
5. Unloaded the dishwasher, put the dishes away, and cleaned up the kitchen (including wiping the table!) from lunch.
6. Vacuumed up spilled pencil shavings from the play room carpet.
7. Got Joseph up from his nap and played with him until I felt guilty enough to stop sewing and take everyone outside for a walk.
One day when they're older and much less interested in playing substitute mommy, they will read this blog post and become very indignant that I took away their childhood so I could pursue my own selfish ends. I will recognize that they might have a point, and make a lame attempt to justify myself. We will both know it is lame. Then I will smile at them, give them a kiss, and thank them for being such helpful daughters. And I will send them downstairs to go make dinner.