We had quite a day last Friday, the kind you love but also drives you nuts. A's buddy ES was coming over for the day (no school) and the original plan was to attend an African lunch/fundraiser for iKODI. A request was made for people to help serve the lunch, and the kids more than willing to lend a helping hand. This was good for me, because it meant there was an activity for the kids to do.
Normally we're pretty good at occupying ourselves at home, including school work but also fun stuff. The kids are really good about that. The complications arise when we have other kids over, more so when it's a full day, and even more so when the kids coming over watch a lot of TV and surf the web (i.e., social network and YouTube). It just runs counter to how we live, and I don't want them forsaking their lives in favor of screen time, but I feel sort of bad (I know I shouldn't, it our home) for the kids who do. I assume they must come over and be bored out of their minds.
Helping at the African lunch would be a great way to get out of the house, have something to do, and get a meal out of it. A win-win situation, the kind I love. To add to the fun, the kids had their final hockey game that afternoon, the ladies had track, and A had a party to attend, for which she invited ES to join her. Needless to say, there was a lot of shuttling going on, not to mention time conflicts.
To address this, R and I came up with a plan. ES would come over in the AM, the kids would hang out for an hour or two, and then we'd go to the lunch. After lunch, we'd come home and go to track, then over to hockey. Since it conflicted with the party, A was skipping hockey. I would drop A off and go back to hockey, then N and I would grab some supper and go home. Meanwhile, mom would stay out, maybe see a movie, get the girls at the party, and take ES home. How's that for juggling?
Of course, some complications came up, like they always do. First off, the Africa lunch folks called in the AM and said that her support showed up after all and she wouldn't need the kids to help. This was sort of a bummer because they were ready willing and able, and it would have been a nice experience for them. Plus, it was going to be the day's entertainment, and now it was back in my lap. Helping out also gave us a better reason to travel to the hospital than just a meal, which by itself was not, in my opinion, reason enough to make the trek.
I decided to go to the lunch, anyway, because otherwise I would have been wrestling with the kids to stay off the computer and to get out of the house. In retrospect, it was probably not the best decision, but a decision is better than indecision. Another complication is that our friend does not have much palate diversity (none?), and the African food was too weird for her. To her credit, she didn't complain (she never does, she's a good kid) and ate some white rice, but I should have known better. There were desserts that she liked, so she basically had a meal of rice pudding and brownies. Good enough for now.
After the lunch, we chilled at home before heading to track. While the girls were at track, me and N hung out at home and then played some lacrosse at the school. Then it was back home to prepare for the party, which meant doing nails and choosing the right clothes. Very important. We all headed to the ice rink where N got ready. I had to arrange with the other parents to oversee the bench because I wasn't going to be there, and more than a few volunteered to help out. I then took the girls to the party, which was all the way over in the next town. My plan was to drop the girls off, get back before N's game ended and tell him he could play in the second game if he wanted to, and then get some supper. If he didn't want to play the second game, I wanted to go to Five Guys and get cheeseburgers, then to Fore-U to get ice cream.
I spent more time than I wanted at the party because I couldn't just leave. I had to stay and chat with the moms, all of whom are really nice. I also got a chance to see how the party was set up, and to meet some of the other kids. By the time I left, time was running out and I had to get to the arena. I raced back and when I saw N, he informed me that the game was going 2 hours and that he wanted to stay for the whole thing. I was fine with that, it was actually really nice just stopping and getting a chance to watch from the sidelines. I never get to do that, and am always helping out.
The game was fun, the kids had a blast, and by the time it was over, it was well past 8:30PM. We still had to eat, and it was looking like ice cream wasn't going to happen. Whatever be the case, I'm glad he played two games, he really stepped up in the end and had a great time. I asked N his thoughts and we decided to head into the big city and get pizza, which was fine by me. Afterward we stopped to get ice cream bars, which is not as good as Fore-U, but better than nothing.
Then we headed home and time to watch one show before mom arrived, at which point it was bedtime.
Boy, talk about your marathon days. The sort you anticipate with dread but look back on with satisfaction. Maybe that's the process of growing up, you just deal with it.
Until the next time, thanks for reading, and thanks to Barbara O'Connor for the pic.