Monday, March 29, 2010

Katie and the Hand Jive, Plus Five

This is my crew. In this photo is my son, John, and his family. From left to right, let me introduce Aidan, John, Kate, Emma, Hannah, and Abbey Rose in front holding the ever charming Lola!

Because my husband was on a business trip (when isn't he?), and my son John was in Palm Springs at a "Continuing Education of the Bar" function, Kate and the kids and Lola decided to come and pay me a visit this weekend.

Now, don't get me wrong for a second. I adore each and every one of this motley crew. They are all creatures I would love even if my son was not so intimately related to them. It's just that, well, there are so many of them!

I live a quiet life. I don't have a lot of noise or activity in my everyday life any more. Sure, I have Alex (who is hardly ever home, so I'm not sure if I should count him or not), and Honey, (nice quiet girl doggie), and Harry, (big noisy goofy boy dog), and Smoke the cat, (you all know how cats are), but pretty much we are a quiet group.

The minute the kids and Lola and Kate arrive, everything changes! There is noise! There is, dare I say it, complete chaos! Abbey and Aidan (the "Littles"), and Emma and Hannah (the "Bigs") plus Lola, (the love of Harry's life), change the entire culture of calm within two minutes of arrival.

Kids eat all the time. Every second of every waking hour, they eat. If they are not eating, they are drinking. There are cracker crumbs, there are half full cups every place I look. And there is noise. Lots and lots of noise.

Conversations are impossible. It's all a fun blur kind of like a roller coaster ride. I know they were here, but I'm not sure what all happened. We went out, we ate, we come home, they ate again.

My next door neighbor, Mary, has a French Bulldog named Delilah who is in heat. For whatever reason, this gave neutered Harry the idea that Lola and he should engage in some activity that would have been challenging for either one of them. For the first time since Harry and Lola have been together, Harry was fixed on making improper advances toward Lola. The scent of Spring was in the air, along with the scent of the lovely Delilah, next door.

If I wasn't trying to keep big Harry from trying to show his physical and somewhat brutish love to the tiny Lola, I was trying to keep Aidan from throwing Abbey down the 25 or so stairs on the staircase! Hannah and Emma, the "Bigs" were plotting how to displace each other the entire visit. Hannah was busy texting friends during most of the visit, unless she was fighting with Emma.

Abbey was busy at all times doing something. And causing all of the other siblings to yell at her. She's hilarious and fearless. She likes being tossed down stairs.

Meanwhile, Kate is the picture of cool. I love this girl. She is so relaxed and calm. I am secretly calling neighbors begging for valium. In lieu of that, perhaps, it's time to hit the gin.

In the midst of all the activity, Alex arrived home from his trip! He was very disappointed that they were going to have to leave not too long after he got home. (Alex, like Kate, is very calm in the face of chaos and noise! In fact he loves it!)

Don't get me wrong. I love to see them come! I just get rattled with all of it. And I confess, I breathe a sigh of relief when they go.

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