We've spent, on the one hand, a very quietly subdued weekend, and on the other, a completely crazy one. Halfway through it occurred to me that there's an Appalling lack of sunlight. Being in total darkness at 5pm severely shortens the window of opportunity for doing actual work. As the sun goes down, so does my energy.
Friday, after leaving my mom off at the airport, we sat around in a kind of stupor, wondering what to do next. In the absence of any purpose in life Matt and I both separately put in loads of laundry and ran the dishwasher. And the children basically wandered around in a fog, arguing with each other and getting their feelings hurt. I was meant to go acquire all the accouterments required for a decent celebration of St. Nicholas, but I couldn't gather up the gumption to go which meant a crazier and more rushed Saturday.
When I finally did make it to the store, I was sorely bewildered by the number of people until I remembered why we do our weekly shopping on Monday and not Saturday--the Whole of Binghamton does their weekly shopping on Saturday. I stuck manically to my list so as not to be confused: turnips, carrots, oranges, clementines (for church), chocolate coins (for church), chocolate Santas (because I don't have time to mold my own chocolate bishop St. Nicholas'), a small fair even toy that in Some Way approximates the fancy expensive Russian Nesting dolls provided for Elphine by my mother. Turns out, there is Nothing that approximates fancy Russian Nesting Dolls. Wandered around and around trying to make a decision. I finally settled on plugs, as in pacifiers, for the baby, a little motorcycle for Romulus, chap stick for Gladys, and expensive pens and a notebook for Alouicious who is always trying to take mine.
Fretted for the rest of the day about whether or not I had blown it.
St. Nicholas Day
But really, I didn't blow it. Gladys loves chap stick and chocolate. Romulus loves motorcycles and chocolate. Alouicious loves to draw and eat chocolate. And Elphine loves Fancy Russian Nesting Dolls so much she actually forgot to eat her chocolate. She named the dolls, from biggest to smallest, Carolina, Sarah, Melissa, Mary and Rahab.
The joy and excitement continued in church. St. Nicholas actually came to visit, passing out gold coins and clementines which just happened to be in a large basket in the sacristy. All the children put out their hands as if receiving communion.
My final task of the day, after Christmas Pageant Practice, was to muscle Matt, Elphine and Alouicious into the car to go off and see the Nutcracker. I was just sure that Matt would not be able to get away from church before 2pm. I played it over and over in my head all weekend and as a result probably came across as hysterical and out of control. "Its 1:30! You need to leave Right Now! Here's your money! Here's your coat! Here are your children! Go go go go go!"
Matt gazed at me compassionately and buckled the children in, turned the car on, pulled out of the drive and then pulled back in and came back into the house.
"Where is it?" he asked.
"The Forum" I screamed wildly. "Its at the Forum!"
"Where is that?" He asked.
"You told me you know where everything is!"
Two hours later they all came back rosy, tired and basically happy.
Odds and Ends
Of course it snowed on Saturday. My mother knew it would.
"It will snow" she said as we drove up to Syracuse to the airport, "on Saturday. And the snow will stay on the ground until December 23rd. Then," she went on bitterly, "you will have a heat wave and all the snow will melt. Matt's parents will arrive December 24 and be completely disappointed by the lack of snow. You will continue snowless until they leave and then there will be a big storm and you will be covered in snow for the rest of the winter."
We had so much snow on Saturday that the children were able to go out and make a snow man. They also completely lost their wits, possibly with excitement, and began to remove their coats, hats and mittens. It only took the threat of coming in again for them to put them all on again.
And finally, Gladys seems to have decided to use the potty. When I say 'seems' I mean that she removes her diaper, announces that she will use the potty, sits on it for 30 seconds and then wanders off naked into the house to cause mayhem and havoc. Having not known how to potty train Romulus, I now do not know how to train Gladys for the simple reason that she's a completely different person. On the other hand, maybe she'll just figure it out herself.
And now, instead of uploading pictures which I know you all long to see, we're going to mash ourselves into the car and go buy food, because hopefully the rest of Binghamton is at work, not at the store, leaving the aisles free and clear.