I took four kids to 9:00 a.m. swim lessons, including the parent and child class with Ellen. I supervised after swim showers. I pulled Adam away screaming from the showers because no matter how long I let him linger, it will never be long enough in the warm water for him. I spent 5 minutes coaxing Ellen into her carseat. I explained, for the 6th time in a week, amid crying and whining, why we can't buy shaved ice before we go home. I explained, for the 6th time in a week, amid crying and whining, why we aren't making shaved ice at home at 10:00 a.m. I corralled them into an in-depth vacuuming clinic. I cajoled them into helping to fold laundry. I picked up toys. I let them help prepare their lunch. I let them have their lunch outside picnic style. I wiped watermelon juice and peanut butter off of hands and faces and furniture and doorknobs. I let them take countless string cheese packages from the fridge. I picked up countless string cheese wrappers from the house and yard. I took the older girls to art classes, making them gather up their art supplies from ours' and our neighbors' front porches beforehand, making us late. I weeded and dead-headed the front flower bed and watered the planters. I let Jane and Zuzu have a "yard sale" of unwanted toys on condition they pick up their room first. I refereed the fighting that accompanies the picking up of their room. I helped Ellen and Adam to change back into their swimsuits to run through the sprinkler. I supervised them and several neighbor kids in the scrubbing of yellow crayon off of the front porch (no, it didn't all come off). I forgot to put sunscreen on Adam and Ellen. I put aloe vera on Adam and Ellen. I gathered up tennis rackets, towels, clothing, shoes, sidewalk chalk, bikes, scooters, strollers, and paintbrushes from around the neighborhood. I wiped cookie residue off of hands and faces and furniture and doorknobs. I did two loads of laundry. I said "Yes" 20 times. I said "No" 40 times. I closed the screen door 50 times.
And now it's 4:30, the time of day when my patience always seems to wear the thinnest.