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saturday 06.03.2000
saturday rituals
or
i'm awake, and now so are you

every saturday it's the same thing. the children wake up at an ungodly hour and keep quiet while saxy is around. he is after all a bit of a bear. they also know that i do NOT like to be awakened too early, especially on weekends when no one has to make the bus for school. it's not like i am not there, quiet normal play doesn't disturb my slumber. phones ringing (saxy makes sure to call me no later than 9:30 so i can be somewhat awake when the respite worker arrives to spend time with my son...or at least dressed), knocks on the door, a child calling me with an emergency, an earthquake...all these can wake me up. so if i am needed for something the 13 and 10 year olds cannot manage, i am there, i wake up and all is well. and it is not like i want to sleep until 3 in the afternoon anymore either. i gave that up when my oldest was born and her father had to go to work at 4 a.m.

usually none of the above happens, but am i left to sleep quietly until 9:30? no. there is one more thing that wakes me up that i didn't mention. fighting. and on saturday mornings, as soon as c is out the door, they are fighting. i understand that kids fight. my brother and i fought all the time. but that was just two of us. when i wake up, there's 3 1/2 children involved. i say 1/2 because the only time my son gets drawn in is when one of them (usually the youngest) goes into his room and won't leave. and it's not like they have nothing to do. they have chores on saturdays and they KNOW what those chores are. and occasionally i am awakened not by fighting that has occurred while playing, but by fighting over those very chores. generally the 13 year old doesn't want to do anything and the 10 year old is trying to remind her, meanwhile the 6 year old wants to help and neither the 13 or 10 year old will let her.

so i get up..generally cranky and the whole day is colored by this. they "forget" their chores and i have to remind them constantly. i even tried having them make a list...i was still reminding them. today i looked directly at them and requested that they take some basket with clean clothes upstairs. both acknowledged what i said and there was no doubt they understood what i wanted. the eldest went upstairs all right, without a basket, while the second began cleaning up the living room by walking around the said baskets. i was astonished. i know i shouldn't have been, but i truly was.

and so it goes all saturday long. this ritual of nagging. i hate it. i am already cranky and it is very hard for me to be a kind, good, polite mother after being awakened by screaming banshees. i just know i could be a much nicer person if allowed that extra hour of sleep they deny me every saturday. i think i could even be nicer if i could be awaked without the fighting that shatters the peace of my saturday mornings, even if i had to get up an hour earlier. and i definitely know i could be a nicer person if i wasn't reminding them every half hour about their chores (not to mention they would be much happier having more time in the afternoon for things other than chores).

but you know what they say about rituals. they bring families together...if they don't tear them a part first.

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Since July 9, 2000

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