Thursdays are my day to take my friend Adam's two kids for the morning. During the school year we just baby-swapped two days a week, but during the summer we're doing a full-on kid-swapping bonanza with all five. Just in case anybody out there needs to know, let me tell you, five kids is a lot. For starters, there are five of them. Five!
The last couple of weeks, I've been all cocky and I've-got-this-covered about things. Hey, five is easier than three. They entertain each other. I'm all zen, floating around the house, leaving plates of apples and cheese, wiping up jelly fingerprints, helping this one build a train track and that one make a blanket fort. No problem.
Yeah, they're on to me now. They full-on ganged up on me today. It all started innocently enough, with the six of us blissfully enjoying a bunk bed tent with books and flashlights. I even thought I could get a tiny bit of housekeeping done in the room while they played. But then the toddlers, who are nineteen months old, communicated via some sort of telepathy and both headed down the stairs. I followed, intrigued by the goal-oriented air they had. They made a beeline for the studio, and as if by some previous agreement, got out markers and paper together, sat down at the little table, and started coloring. They grinned at each other, peekaboo-ed, and chortled "green!"
Right, I know, that doesn't sound like they ganged up, does it? The important thing here is that the babies are communicating with each other. They are making plans. There is no hope for any of us now.
From there on out it was fighting preschoolers, sulking six-year-olds, babies with green marker in their hair, and peanut butter and jelly smudges all over the piano. I never even saw anybody touch the piano!
The oasis of calm in the middle of it all was the moment when I brought out some brads, self-stick foamies, and shiny pieces of a Goldfish carton that I had cleaned and cut up months ago for just such an occasion. Out of the chaotic darkness, a troupe of cheerful robots were born. Ok, it wasn't that easy, babies were raiding the foamies and the six-year-old pouted over a hole puncher that requires adult strength and a certain child who shall remain nameless kept ending up naked and shrieking. Did I mention that there are five of them?!? This is insane!
Insanity notwithstanding, all five were generally intact at the end of it, and we had a pile of shiny jointed robots to show for our troubles. We totally need to buy more Goldfish.