April 16, 2009:
Mmmm… sunshine! Just want to drink it all in!
We went shopping in the morning and bought a portable dvd player for the trip and a couple of movies the kids won’t get to watch until then. And then we came home and spent the rest of the day outside. It was so pleasant. Moved the picnic tables around and raked some more, added to the big burn pile that we won’t get to burn until sometime after it rains here. Late in the afternoon I came in to do dishes and fix supper, and brought Elayna in with me. She can’t be outside without me at this point because she wanders off too quickly and her big brother loses track of her when he is off in his own little world filled with dinosaurs and paleontologists. Emmy tries to keep her from the road by tackling her and pinning her down, that is, when she’s aware of her at all.
This time instead of helping me wash dishes like she always does, she stood there in front of the screen door, looking out at her siblings playing in the dirt. I straightened up the kitchen, cleared the table, and wiped down the counters, and still she stood there. She wasn’t fussing or complaining, just looking and longing. I started working on the casserole we were going to have for dinner, but then this old poem came to my mind:
Babies Don't Keep
by Ruth Hulburt Hamilton
Mother, O Mother, come shake out your cloth,
Empty the dustpan, poison the moth,
Hang out the washing, make up the bed,
Sew on a button and butter the bread.
Where is the mother whose house is so shocking?
She’s up in the nursery, blissfully rocking.
Oh, I’ve grown as shiftless as Little Boy Blue,
Lullabye, rockabye, lullabye loo.
Dishes are waiting and bills are past due
Pat-a-cake, darling, and peek, peekaboo
The shopping’s not done and there’s nothing for stew
And out in the yard there’s a hullabaloo
But I’m playing Kanga and this is my Roo
Look! Aren’t his eyes the most wonderful hue?
Lullabye, rockaby lullabye loo.
The cleaning and scrubbing can wait till tomorrow
But children grow up as I’ve learned to my sorrow.
So quiet down cobwebs; Dust go to sleep!
I’m rocking my baby and babies don’t keep.
I had already felt guilty for spending so much time outside, even though I was getting work done because the house was NOT getting done. But as I looked at that almost 2 year old little girl, no longer a baby, I decided that was the night for a hot dog supper! I cranked open a can of Superlinks and tossed them into a pan, then back outside we went. Colby joined us at the picnic table when he got home, and he was more than happy to eat hot dogs and chips.
There were three happy little filthy kids tromping through the house to the bathtub that night, and as they’re all still sleeping right now, it looks like fresh air really does lend itself well to a good night’s sleep! We slept with our windows open last night, too, and they won’t be closed again unless it rains until fall comes back to the valley.