My Saturday at the beach, via letter

The following is most of a letter I sent this evening about my day. I figured it was decent enough to post, a sort of day in the life of. I like to do seasonal full cleanings, but this one is for the management company, who is inspecting this week. Living in small spaces means frequent sorting and shifting, and I will seize onto any excuse for it.

Good morning!
My furniture is sorted out. The house looks, I would say, a hundred times better. All I have to do now is get rid of this giant tube television and get a flatscreen, throwing out the stand this monstrosity is on, and I am living in tolerable conditions. Oh, and a bed. Must buy a bedframe.

So the organization and the moving part is done. Now I have to clean. I found a million stray toys. I am not exaggerating, I counted them. One of them was lodged in a closet track, even, and dislodged the closet door. It was Magneto, a teeny tiny Magneto, which I think is an appropriate character for the effect caused.

I also have a lot of laundry to do. So my Sunday is Complete Clean Sunday, and I still need to take the kids out twice. They want to go to the beach again. Middle Child would not come out of the water at the appropriate time.

I pulled out my bag of tricks, which I had on me at the water’s edge, called Emergency Snack Bag, and I sat the listening children (who had come out of the water when told) down on a blanket in full view of the offender and gave them juices and that coveted snack: processed single serving junk food.

It did not work, not for a long while. I ignored him yelling to me to “Watch this!”, because it meant that he was trying to set his own terms for exiting the water. I was not going to budge on this, it is a safety issue. I cannot walk away from children in the water, he was trapping me, and I was mad. Finally after a half hour, he comes up to the blanket as we are packing up (again, as we had done so before I got crafty and made spontaneous snack time), and cried about missing snack time. I had just been advising the other children what to do while I went into the water and pulled their brother out by force, but he didn’t know that. I think he learned. I figured he had punishment enough, natural consequences are my friend. I was sympathetic “Oh, sorry honey, snack time is over. You weren’t there.”

So we are going back to the beach, tomorrow, to try this again. Practice makes perfect.

I don’t even know how it got to be my bedtime. WTH.

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