Sunday, October 2, 2011


Tonight the older two are each hosting a friend for a sleepover.  They have been unbelievably excited about the entire concept for the past week or so since we've made plans.  I'm currently listening to the boys down in the basement up to some sort of little boy mischief (most of which is being taken out on the blow-up spaceman Gavin got at the fall fest a few weeks back), and the movie Tangled (for the 137th time).  The girls are starting to lose a little steam, and I'm sure they'll be heading up to bed shortly after the credits roll.  Even Raegan, who normally thrives on extra-special cuddle time with mommy, is upstairs snoring softly in her nursery.

And so how to I take advantage of this delightful pocket of time for myself?  Well, I should be doing some work, as I have a few things going on this coming week at school that need require my attention (aside from the usual lesson planning, that is...).  But instead, I take a mental time out and remove myself from the reality of my non-stop life for a little 'check in' with me.  And boy, does it feel good!

Earlier this week, Gavin had a splinter in his finger.  A certain casualty of war thanks to the swing set in our backyard so desperately in need of an upgrade.  When it happened, and during the process of removing the miniscule shard of wood, you would have thought we were severing his finger without the assistance of numbing medication.  Based on the fact that daddy was simultaneously holding a squirmy baby and using tweezers to extract the splinter, and that mommy was running downstairs to grab the camera (then back downstairs to grab the camera card) so I could try and snag a photo or two of Gavin's 'ordeal', Gavin should have figured out that it wasn't that big a deal and we could quickly remove the splinter if he would stay still, calm, and patient.  Unfortunately, his inability to cooperate made way for the splinter to break and half of it stayed in his finger.  I tried to convince him to let me get the last part out, that he'd feel so much better in me doing so, but he wasn't on board with the idea.  On the positive side, he got the chance to sport an awesome Star Wars band-aid.

the (barely visible) culprit

the (unused) tools

the happy patient (it's all about the fashion statement)
Randy was mildly annoyed by not only my incessant photo-taking, but also my need to remove the rest of the splinter.  He told me to just leave Gav alone, that it would come out on its own when he was in the tub or washing his hands.  Because Gavin was obviously on his dad's side, and was absolutely unwilling to cooperate with me, I was left to feel a little unfulfilled. 

I'm the type of person who thrives on that feeling of relief one gets when something unwelcomed is removed.  Splinters in fingers, eyelashes in eyes, dirt under fingernails, weeds from gardens, items from 'to-do' lists, etc.  You get the idea. 

Today, I cleaned and rearranged the snack cabinet--a task that was long overdue.  Simple things such as combining two opened bags of animal crackers, throwing away tortilla chips that were stale because 3 year olds do not know how to properly clip the bag, and putting all the fruit snacks into a canister just so I can toss the box all gave me such a sense of relief.  I realize, that sounds sad.  The joy I felt as I manuevered the large trash can lid open and disposed of unnessary items should not be so fulfilling, but it is. 

I've been working hard on feeling 'ok' with the fact that the house will be cluttered.  The dishes might sit.  The dog hair may accumulate longer than I intend.  The laundry won't get folded (ok, so that one's a lie...laundry has ALWAYS been an area of weakness for me--kids or no kids). 

There are these little 'splinters' that we encounter often.  They're different for each of us, but they're purpose it to cause us a bit of discomfort until we figure out the way to extract them, thus enjoying the relief. 

The problem with extracting a splinter, however, is that it leaves behind a small hole.  Over time, depending on the size, this hole closes, but there is always that vulnerable time when the hole could be filled with something else unwanted, like an infection.  But, if you're pro-active about it, you can find something to prevent that from happening, whether it be a band-aid or positive thoughts and dedicated behavior.

So, going back to the events of my'd assume that my need to remove 'splinters' would have paved the way perfectly for  me to spend my evening researching the PLC working enviornment or creating gift bags to thank the classified members of our staff for their hard work and dedication...but no.  I blog.

I indentified what 'my splinter' was this evening, and as fate should have it, my splinter came in the form of a noisy, busy house.  Even though Randy was fantastic and kept Raegan at bay while I made pizza dough, cleaned the kitchen, organized the snack cabinet, and looked after the four older children whose volume grew as the evening moved foward, I still was ex-to the -hausted.  Removing the need to relax from my list of things to do meant I'd be left behind with a hole and feel vulnerable (sidebar: is it sad that I have 'relax' on my list of things to do?!).  See, the splinter of my lesson plan book/standards/and PLC professional development plan I need to work on is pinching me with an increasingly more obnoxious manner the closer I am to the conclusion of the weekend.  

I guess I could take a lesson from Gavin, however.  If I can only remove part of my splinter now, and rely on soaking and/or hand washing to help remove the other part, I should absolutely take advantage of that.  I often times become so overwhelmed by the enormity of each of my 'to dos', that I have a hard time seeing the forest for the trees.  Trees, that ironically enough, are the source of the actual splinter.

On a side note...this post isn't happening until 11:15 at night--long after the girls went to sleep...however there were a few little minor speed bumps along the way--bathroom, read stories, whispering eyes have been fluttering, only to be opened by the splintering need to finish the sentences (and the ocassionaly snort from the sleeping pugs in the kitchen).  And now, the  most piercing splinter I could experience when I have a quiet house full of sleeping children...a screaming baby.  Off to deal with that, and full the hole that remains from an incomplete night of sleep with several catnaps tomorrow, while trying to find the time to somehow complete the tasks that I now realize I should have just bit the bullet on and completed tonight.  Thanks, splinter *nice* of you...

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