Thank you, central Texas, for being in a state of constant drought or a state of flash floods. Is there no in between with you? Could it be sunny and not oppressively hot? Or perhaps drizzly and not flooding? Do we really need to get four months' worth of rain over one weekend? I suppose [sigh].
This past weekend we had two cancelled soccer games, two cancelled birthday parties and one cancelled Halloween party. We also had a dad out of town for work and a mom desperate to entertain the children without resorting to bribes and unlimited screen time (side note: it just took me about two minutes to come up with the word "unlimited;" I knew what I wanted to say but I couldn't remember what that word was...this is how a mother's brain functions).
Now that I've lost my train of thought...let's return to last weekend. On Saturday morning, I shuffled everyone out the door in between downpours to visit the library. I was not the only parent with this amazing idea for passing the time on a dreary Saturday morning; the place was a zoo! For once I didn't mind that Scout was using her "outdoor voice" inside because so was every other little ragamuffin in the children's section (to parents who were at the library on Saturday, I hope you do not take offense to my referring to your child as a ragamuffin; it's a term of endearment).
Eventually we had to make our way back home--the kids wanted lunch, of course--so we spent the next couple of hours reading all these wonderful new books, and then I surprised everyone (even myself!) by taking us to the cheapo $2 theater to watch Inside Out. The movie was lovely, by the way, and I totally recommend it for both children and adults. I'm not quite the movie snob I used to pretend I was when I would visit the indy theater in New York regularly, but I know a good cartoon when I see one. The movie wrapped up our Saturday--my children may or may not have had popcorn and nerds on a rope for dinner--and then it was time for bed. And before I knew it, we were waking up to a soaking Sunday morning...here we go again...
I may be the only mother in history who was fired up to see her son put in as goalie during Sunday's soccer game. Catcher was only in for half of a half, and admittedly there wasn't much going on while he was there, but he did manage one save. To be honest, his one save was the only time the other team even crossed over to his team's side while he was hanging out back there, so I'm glad things went his way. During most of his ten minutes at the post, I found myself torn between wanting Catcher to see some action and being terrified he would actually see some action on goal. In the end, it was enough to watch him pacing around in his oversized penny.
After the game when I asked him the only question you really need to ask at this age, "Did you have fun?" He answered with a lukewarm "Yes." That's a pretty good response from Catcher. Most of the time I get an eyeroll and a "Yes, mom" said in that voice that's really conveying "You're so annoying mom."
There are some positives to having the 8:00am slot at the soccer field on Saturday morning. 1) If Alex is home yet leaving town on a 12:30 flight, he can make the game. 2) It gives the kids and me plenty of time in the afternoon to stir up some trouble around Austin. Actually, those are the only positives I can name (and the second one is a stretch, quite honestly). I could point out several negatives, but the best is arriving home at 9:20am and having Tillie ask if it's lunch time.
Let's return to the positives--this morning's early soccer game freed up our afternoon so we could hang out at the Capitol and explore the Texas Book Festival. This is the first year I was brave enough to negotiate the crowded tents on my own with the three wee ones. The highlights of the day included finding Waldo (twice!), having Scout read Rosie Revere Engineer to a random crowd in a tent sponsored by the Texas 529 college savings plan, getting free tee shirts (free matching tee shirts) for taking a whacky selfie and wandering through the Senate chamber inside the Capitol. We also happened upon Taye Diggs in the House chamber just before he read his book Mixed Me! to the crowd. I told the kids he's pretty famous, but they weren't fazed by his A-list status. They just wanted him to hurry up and read the story already.
And just like that we've reached the end of another school week. Last week Catcher signed up for lacrosse "skills and drills" fall training, so this is how our afternoons look now:
Monday: soccer (Catcher)
Tuesday: soccer (Scout); lacrosse (Catcher)
Wednesday: soccer (Catcher)
Thursday: lacrosse (Catcher)
Friday: piano (Catcher and Scout)
For the moment Tillie is just along for the ride. But she's already counting down the days until she can play soccer, so she'll have her own day in the rotation before we know it. And then we'll be packing Catcher up for college.
Tillie is back to her normal (vocal) self. Scout was throwing elbows at her soccer game, and Catcher's team got creamed (again). It must be just another fall Saturday. Of course this fall Saturday was 90+ degrees, but I suppose that's Texas for you. (I'm still waiting for that perfectly crisp autumn morning to enjoy my first pumpkin spice latte, by the way.)
This morning Catcher's and Scout's games were at the same time on two different sides of town; therefore, Catcher hitched a ride with his buddy while the ladies and I stormed the fields of Burnet Middle School. That's my disclaimer in case you thought I was playing favorites by photographing the middle child and not the eldest. I was also team photographer for the Blue Dragons today and saddled with the responsibility of getting a decent smile from six five year-olds at one time for the group photo. That almost worked:
It has been a long week in the Wheat household, and it is only Wednesday. On Sunday Tillie came down with some sort of mysterious fever virus. When she didn't eat her lunch on Sunday I knew something was up--decreased appetite in any of our children is a sure sign that something is amiss--and she soon sprouted a fever of 102. We've been to the doctor once already and we're going back tomorrow if the fever doesn't magically disappear overnight tonight (I'm guessing it won't). This poor little creature has been spending most of the last few days not eating and napping.
The positive side of Tillie's sickness, however, is that Scout has emerged as quite the caretaker. She has made her drawings and books at school every day this week, telling Tillie how much she misses her and hopes she feels better soon. She's also been reading to Tillie on the sofa and replaces the cool rag on her forehead. I told Scout she's been a great caretaker, and Scout told me she's practicing for when she has her own children one day. In the meantime, I'll keep her on my team.
Before I begin...where did that last month go? It was 95 degrees in Austin on the first day of October, so it still isn't pumpkin latte sipping season around here, but I've already eaten an entire bag of candy corn (the big bag), so there's that.
And then there's this...as I was cleaning out Catcher's weekly homework folder this afternoon, I came across this little gem of a letter (below) that was stashed neatly in the front pocket. Catcher was in the room when I discovered it, and he snatched it out of my hand before I could read it. After much coercion--and an attempted bribe of an ice cream cone--Catcher did not consent to let me read the letter, but he did explain the situation.
I was told the letter is some sort of a second grade "prank" whereby Catcher is confessing his love to the classroom's most eligible bachelorette while pretending to be another young gentleman in his class. (I know it's killing you, but I won't name names.) To me, this is your classic Cyrano de Bergerac state of affairs adapted for the the seven year-old brain. Boy likes girl. Boy's friend finds out boy likes girl. Boy's friend writes love note to girl as a "prank." But boy really does like girl, so the prank isn't a prank so much as a true confession coming from boy's friend. Do you follow?
Prank aside, however, I love this letter for a few reasons. I think it's adorable and sweet that Catcher thought to write "I won't let enything [sic] happen to you." And it's also kind of awesome that his post script is requesting a play date. Oh, and the illustration is pretty fabulous. Are they holding hands or fist-pumping?
If you're wondering how I got a photo of this letter, I'm sorry to say that I can not share that information either. A reporter must protect her sources.