Sunday, April 20, 2008

Drat, I was doing so well.

Even with just a blurb, I was trying to get something on the blog each day. Unfortunately, last night I crashed hard at about 8 p.m. To be honest, I was barely keeping my eyes open at dinner, so making it to 8 was pretty good. This morning I was awoken (by a text no less! bad neighbor!) around 7. And because I didn't do anything last night I scrambled to wrap last minute gifts for the birthday boy this morning. In case you missed it, today Nicholas turns 8 years old. We're back to all evens.

The sleepover went OK. The boys were all fairly well-behaved but Nicholas discovered he liked the idea of a sleepover better than the reality of one. As we all know, kids don't sleep at sleepovers. Nicholas is a creature of habit and routine and while he likes having friends over, when he's tired, he's tired, and a pack of little boys all rolling around, talking, getting up, talking, flicking the light on, flicking the light off, talking, giggling... well, he came out with a pathetic look on his face and whined how they Just Wouldn't Stop Talking And Let Him Sleep. It was finally quiet after 10, not a terribly late night, but plenty late for Nicholas after his exhausting day.
They were all up by 7:30 and I started in on pancakes before heading off to my tennis lesson at 8. Of course, one kid claimed he didn't like pancakes so Rebecca stepped in and got him cereal. Rebecca was fabulous with the boys both days, playing with them, suggesting ideas, getting snacks, keeping an eye out for trouble. She made the time so much easier for me.
"Horton Hears a Who" was at 9:45 so all the boys piled in the car at 9:15 to go to Citi Centre. Apparently they made it just in time, the movie was very funny, and returned home by 11:30 after gorging on popcorn and soda. The girls were at Madras kids from 8:30 to 1:30 (not all practice time, but we need to carpool so...). I had the house to myself. And in what a state it was. At the very least the guest room needed to be cleaned because of the single-bathroom-on-the-main-floor issue. The bathroom had to be cleaned too. The dining table, the living room. I pretended the upstairs didn't exist because otherwise the whole thing would have been overwhelming for 2 hours. I really needed a shower but had someone stopping by to pickup an envelope first. I waited for an hour and baked a birthday cake while I waited and cleaned. Finally I was ready to go, and a mom came to pick up her son. Ian had said noon when she dropped him off and she figured the movie was at our house so she could come early. They didn't get home to 11:30, so one sleepover kid was picked up at 11:30, another at 12:30, another at 1:30.
But by 1:30 we had a dozen other kids in our house for USA Day. I've already said we did a poster on Hillary Clinton. We also heard about Amelia Earhart, Jacquelyn Kennedy, Helen Keller, Sacajawea, and Clara Barton. It was the shortest USA Day since the start of USA Days at around 45 minutes. The rest of the time the kids played upstairs, in the toy room, in the yard, living room, bedrooms. There were kids everywhere and we shared a birthday cake with them. The last stragglers went home at 4. Then the phone buzzed, the neighbors were heading to the pool. Off we went with Rebecca and Katherine. The boys wanted to play on the xBox, so Nicholas joined a bit later. Katherine didn't swim, she chose to read by the pool instead. If the place didn't smell so bad from the nasty sludgy river oozing by, it would be so so pleasant at the pool with the cool breeze. It makes tennis in the mornings bearable, though we still return home drenched thanks to the 50% humidity. The breeze is cool but far from steady, and the temperature in the sun is already hitting 95 with a drop at night to a pleasant 78. It's summertime in Chennai but it's not scorching. Yet.
No one wanted to cook, everyone was hungry. We took the kids to Cappucino at the Park Sheraton where the food was decent as usual. Rebecca ordered a Dosa Masala and Nicholas had a Mushroom Onion Burger. Neither of them quite knew what they were getting, for some reason Nicholas thought the mushroom onion came on chicken. He apparently hasn't fully learned what the Green Dot means in a menu and he asked for Katherine's chicken burger. She wouldn't switch but did share a bite. Rebecca found that the Dosa Masala was way more food than she could manage. I helped her out.
And you know the rest. We came home, the boys fell into bed, I followed suit, the girls were right behind.
Today is a much slower. We all needed a quiet day to recuperate before heading into the coming week and thankfully today will accommodate us. We've had breakfast, gone to church, attended Catechism, and now it's some video game time before lunch. Months ago Nicholas had asked to go to Dhaba Express for his birthday lunch, so that's where we're headed. Cake (yes, more cake) and presents to come.

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