I've been thinking that I needed to blog, but I didn't really have anything specific to write about. It's summer, and the boys are playing inside as much as possible. Tucker's been playing baseball and he ran summer track, so that was fun (and hot). As of last Saturday night, all of those activities are over. I've been working as much as I can. My in-laws are awesome and have helped with the boys a lot so I could go into the office. There's laundry, dishes, picking up the living room three or four times a day. Overall, things are just wildly normal. I have nothing clever to say about any of it.
Today, however, I found myself something to write about.
It was a wonderful, regular day, and after Vacation Bible School the boys had friends over to play for the afternoon. The boys, brothers, were so kind and polite that it was almost shocking. I really worried about my boys going over to their house and one of them chewing with his mouth open or putting a hand down his pants to give his butt a good scratch. The boys, Jacob and Andrew, and my boys were so good that they played all afternoon with no arguments or fights or messes. In fact, I sat at the bar in the kitchen and got a great deal of work done while they played. It was a great afternoon for all of us.
We left about 4:05 to take the boys home because I had a 4:30 appointment with a personal trainer. See, I recently joined a new gym, and it comes with four free personal training sessions. We dropped the boys at their house, and as I drove to the gym I contemplated exactly what I could tell the trainer without sounding too lame. Honestly, he shouldn't even ask me any questions. He should take one look at me and see that I am yet another 34 year old woman who, at some point, was in pretty great shape, but now I just like ice cream and could stand to drop a few or fifteen pounds. I hate the "What are your goals?" questions at the gym -- um...to be 22, thanks.
As I imagined my conversation with the trainer, I checked the calendar on my phone to remind myself of his name, and that's when I realized that my appointment with the trainer is tomorrow. Fail.
So I decided to go on the gym anyway, and I apparently had all of these thoughts out loud because as soon as I had this particular thought Tucker began wailing about how he just wanted to go home. PLEASE!!! My next thought was about being in Trey's car and, thus, without my headphones, and since the thought of running (okay, I'll just walk, but running sounds so much better so please pretend I run) on the treadmill without watching Swamp People or 19 Kids and Counting seemed kind of awful. So I decided we would just go home.
I was fully aware of the fact that this was an epic parenting moment. I taught my kids a) you don't have to exercise if you don't want to and b) wailing is a great way to get what you want.
I hope you can tell by now that my brain was all over the place. In order to make myself feel better about ditching the gym and being a terrible mother, I started making a mental list of the work-related tasks I could accomplish during the time I would have been working out.
Did I mention to you guys that on Keaton's Mother's Day card to me he did all of these fill in the blank things? "My mom's favorite color is (blank)"and "My mom is (blank) tall." On the question that asked "My mom is good at (blank)," he wrote "work." Seriously. Of all of the things I could be good at (mothering, for one), he wrote work.
So I thought of that, too, as I drove home, and I was feeling really good about myself.
I opened the garage door, parked the car, and was the first to get to the door that leads into the house. It was locked.
This door is never locked, but clearly as we left earlier one of us locked the door. I'm not pointing any fingers, but Keaton was the last one out.
No big deal, I thought, and then I realized that I don't have a house key. I went around the fence to the back door, hoping that perhaps I had left it unlocked as I often accidentally do, and it was, of course, locked. I had one random house key on me, and I knew in my heart it was to Trey's parent's house, but I tried it in the bolt of the front door anyway. No luck.
But it was no big deal. Trey would be home soon, and we needed milk. "Boys, let's just run to HEB and get milk and by the time we get back your dad will be home with a key." It was a good plan.
Then Tucker began wailing again. "I just want to stay here. Please!!! I'm tired!"
And so, from the driveway, I went full-on lecture mom.
"Tucker Hickman, I cart you all over the whole free world all the time to whatever you want to do. I take you to practices and games and your friends' houses and I pick up your friends and bring them here and all I'm trying to do it get some milk so you can have breakfast in the morning and you are whining and I can't stand it anymore. You can't even get in the house anyway. Get in the car!"
My tirade ended, and I realized that everyone within three houses both ways probably just heard that. Then I thought, "Aw, hell."
Then, my mind took off again. I decided that I shouldn't think things like "aw, hell" because I'm working in an elementary school now and if you think things then sometimes they come out your mouth and I would be mortified if I said that in front of some first graders. I plotted on how to clean up my internal language, and this was followed by a scenario in which two sweet kindergarten girls in pink dresses come into my office asking for hugs, and I spill my diet coke all over their dresses as I hug them and then I say "aw, hell" out loud. They, of course, make that "aahhhmmmm...I'm going to tell" sound that only kids can make and then I start trying to explain to them that hell isn't always a bad word because it's an actual place only some people don't believe in it. Then I felt like a twisted, black-hearted person for trying to get away with something terrible like cursing in front of kindergarterners. Then I remembered the whole thing was only happening in my head and I felt a little better.
Tucker, Keaton, and their mentally deranged mother got in the car, and I called Trey.
I explained the key and the locked doors and the milk, and all was well with the world for a tiny moment until he said, "I don't have a key to the house either. I gave mine to Josh."
So I started driving to who-knows-where making phone calls. My sister-in-law does not have a key to my house. My mother-in-law has a key, but it's in her purse that happened to be with her on her trip to Dallas. The Hickman house was impenetrable. Fort Knox, if you will.
My only option was to drive the 25 minutes to the Bombers ballpark where Josh, the player we're hosting, was probably already warming up for the game. I went through the mental picture of me traipsing onto the field to summon him from the team in order to get his key, but I'll save you the details of that little trip through my brain.
I called Trey again to tell him my plan and not to hurry home from work because he couldn't get in anyway, and he asked if I tried to get in the front door. His thinking was that Josh left through the front door and since it was the middle of the day and we were all home he probably didn't lock it.
Hmmm...I didn't try to open the front door. I only unsuccessfully tried to use my mother-in-law's house key to turn the deadbolt. (I guess when I put it like that it just seems silly.)
So I turned around, finally made it home, walked to the front door, and -- you're not going to believe this -- it was wide open.
You know, like Fort Knox would be if someone left without locking the door.
As always, there is a lesson to be learned here. I sometimes give my very smart oldest child a hard time about his lack of focus on everyday life. Case in point: he lost his shoes -- his actual tennis shoes that he wears every day -- at some point this year. I very kindly and lovingly have referred to him scatterbrained. Today I was reminded who he gets that from.