#3 Vs. The Ants

#3 lay on our bed, text book opened before her, chewing on the end of her pencil. At the edge of the bed Wife sat, waiting to see if #3 understood the lesson. #3 carefully wrote out the equation, working through the problem with more deliberation than most juries. Then she jumped up like a startled cat, hackles raised.

“Ouch, ouch,” she cried.

Moments before calamity struck

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An Emergency Room Visit

There we were, seven o’clock at night, Wife, #3, #8 and myself waiting in the Emergency Room. The purpose for our speedy entry to the hospital was #3, who had bitten through the corner of her lip on a nasty tumble. I probably should have felt a little guilty about the situation, because she had tripped while running to the table to get the parmesan cheese for me. After her face had a disagreement with the leg of the table, we found ourselves in the car, while luckily my mother was close by to watch the rest of our brood. I shiver to think of all those children waiting in the Emergency Room with us.

So we waited, #3 struggling to keep her mouth closed, while butterfly bandages held her lip together. I guiltily mourned in silence over my plate of uneaten spaghetti which would certainly be stale by the time we got out of the hospital. Wife’s head seemed to be on a swivel, looking from one sick person to another and back to her baby. You know hospitals, they’re just full of sick people.

While we waited Wife did her best to distract #3 with games on her cell phone. We took turned walking the baby around as the Emergency Room gradually filled and emptied again. Some one had fallen off a horse. Some one else looked like she had an extreme fever. There were a couple of runny noses and one individual with hepatitis. While I didn’t notice it at the time, Wife kept reseating us as far as possible from the sickest people, just in case they had something catchy.

It must have been about an hour and a half when we were finally taken back to a bed. A very nice little nurse looked at #3 and cleaned the blood off her face. She kept up a friendly conversation with my little girl about which princess she liked best. However, #3 kept as still as could be while her cut was cleaned and gave absolutely no response to the nurse as to her favorite princess. So in the end, after the little girl did not cry or whimper under the nurse’s hand, the nurse declared that she was, “Princess Brave.”

It was a very long wait in the Emergency Room.

It was a very long wait in the Emergency Room.

And then we waited. I began to eye the bed #3 was on with envy. For a moment I almost made her share it with me, but I also thought the nurses would disagree. That would embarrass Wife which would then mean I was in trouble. So I settle on the floor with my back against the wall. Wife, who I had to insist to sit in the only chair, started to complain about the germs that must be on the floor. I tried my best to assure her that the floors were clean, something I highly doubted, but in any case I didn’t care at that point. If the floors were laced with Spanish Influenza, I was going to sleep there anyway. It was past my bedtime.

It was sometime after eleven when we finally left the hospital. The poor little girl was properly sore after first splitting her lip, then having it sewn back together. No matter how gentle the doctor was, stitches always hurt. Though she was excited about the ice cream Wife had promised her. I was tiredly looking forward to a hamburger. And Wife was itching to make everyone of us bathe to wash off whatever germs we might have picked up in the Emergency Room.

Three stitches later...

Three stitches later…

Work and Repercussions

I stood in shocked silence as the scene played out before me. Don’t worry, no one was hurt or damaged. Instead I witnessed #3 brought to tears as #1 performed the chore of #3.

It all started when Wife and I were in our bedroom conversing. I foolishly began to lead the conversation. In only a couple of sentences I had Wife gagging on some idea that apparently did not agree with her pregnant state.

She called out for #3 to bring her a glass of water… as she felt my water from last night was unsuitable for the purpose.

Unknown to Wife, #3 had her head in the sink brushing her teeth. #1, observing her sister was occupied, jumped into action and got the water for her mother.

Now that was when the problem started. #3 caught her sister half way. “AAAA! I wooor ga do dat!” she mumbled through a thick froth of toothpaste and the toothbrush still in her mouth.

“I’ve got it,” replied #1. “I’ve got it!” thrusting out her right hand to ward off her oncoming sister.

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” shouted #3 grasping for the glass while at the same time carefully avoided dripping the white froth that circled her mouth. She knew she would be in trouble with her mother if she dripped toothpaste on the carpet.

“Honey, I didn’t know you were brushing your teeth,” Wife piped in. “Go finish brushing. She’s already brought it to me.”

“NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!” #3 stomped back to the bathroom in a flurry of blonde hair. A couple of rooms over I heard the bathroom door slam and bounce back open (the latch is broken.)

When things just don't go you way

When things just don’t go you way

I had no idea what to do. Before me was a child who was absolutely offended that someone else did her work. It is true that Wife and I have attempted to instill a good work ethic in our children. We only want them to perform any task they undertake to the best possible outcome of their abilities. I suppose that this outburst is a proof that at least #3 has taken our lessons to heart.

I mean, I knew we were good, but I had no idea we were that good.Belly Love

#3’s sleeping Arrangements

Ever since the children got old enough to disagree, bedtime has been difficult. Somebody always wants different pajamas. Another wants to sleep with her older sister, while the first doesn’t want the younger sister to sleep with her. There is the usual pleading for a book to be read (never mind if one was just read to them). And the whole thing ends with numerous cries for “a cup of water.”bedtime

Now the reader may take this statement as a complaint on my part. It is not. I am only painting a picture, illustrating the details to lead into the story. After all, the children always end up in beds. The question is, whose, where, and when?

The girls all share beds, two and two. While #5 moves from his own bed into his oldest sister’s bed. #6 is still caged in a crib until he gets moved to make room for #7. This tale follows #3.

#3 sleeps with #4, except when she’s not. Not very long ago I found her when I was just about to leave for work. She was sleeping on the couch under a cushion. I’m unsure what drove her from her bed, however I am sure she did not have the frame of mind to get a blanket judging by the way she just crawled under the pillow. I almost did not see her.

couch pillowThe other night I went through the house turning off the lights before turning in myself. All the children were asleep in the boys’ room and in the older girls’ room. In the younger girls’ room I found #3 wide awake and playing with her toy in a sleeping bag in the box full of their costumes. After I informed her that it was time for bed and I was about to turn off the light she responded with a simple “K, Dad,” and began bailing toys out of the box. The toys came out, and kept coming, and made a nice little pile beside the box.

“O.K. it’s time to get in bed and under the covers,” I said.

“I know,” she said as she pulled the sleeping bag up around her shoulders.

Suddenly I caught on. “Are you sleeping in the costume box?”

“Some time, some time Mom, she let me sleep in the costume box. Some time, she says it’s O.K.”

And like a good father, I let her sleep in the costume box. It was probably a softer bed anyway.sleeping in the costume box