The internet isn't working for the boys to watch a show while the baby naps, so I thought we'd head outside to put up the baby gate on the deck so they can play out there. Collect all items. I need to find the drill.
Head downstairs to find the drill, at which point Amos & Charles begin jockeying for position on the stairs to await my return. I can sense impending disaster with the scuffling sounds & Amos's yelling coming from the stairwell, so I'm phoning you in an attempt to locate the drill more quickly. Find it. Reconnect the battery from the charger.
Back up the stairs to head out. Jacob by now has Mr. Penguin face down in a laundry basket hurtling full-speed at the patio doors in a unnecessary but well-intentioned manoeuvre to keep Amos & Charles apart. Charles begins scrambling around the room, wondering why he's been left with our maniacal household, with Amos screeching at full volume for Jacob to stop chasing him, to remove Mr. Penguin from the basket and to hand over said basket. He most likely wants to chase Charles himself.
These boys are wrestling around & tossing the ball for the dog now. Everyone is happy, baby is still sleeping soundly, but it is so loud I think I'll put on music so the noise is muffled while baby sleeps & we head outside. Head into the office to turn on the music, followed closely behind by a dog & two small boys.
I realise the speakers are not plugged in to the computer. To remedy this, I have to pull the chair away from the desk, only now it's occupied by a small boy intent on smacking keyboards & dancing to the soft music coming through the monitor. I move him off the chair, and attempt to reach under the desk for the speaker cord. The dog is hiding under the desk, & he's scared to move past the pile of paper waiting to be moved into recycling.
I send the older boy to fetch a recycling bag while I interpret multiple cords & switches for sounds. He returns empty-handed, feigning ignorance & trying to convince me to save every paper in said pile. I fetch recycling bag myself. Charles & Amos have a tender moment crossing paths following me into the kitchen & back again. Paper gets picked up, Charles takes up his now-familiar position below the desk, boys on chairs behind me & I reconnect all wires & music begins streaming. Jacob & I talk for a moment as Amos decides to leave the room.
There is a sudden scraping sound & a loud CRASH accompanied by Amos yelling & Charles cowering, I run.
Amos has decided to (in less than 37 seconds) empty the recycling bag all over the hallway and drag the baby gate until it loudly fell down on the hardwood floor.
Charles stays close behind my legs as the boys revel in their newfound 'castle fun park' of a sea of papers, strewing them farther while I attempt to pick up the hardware for the baby gate that Amos tossed end to end in the kitchen. I scold for boys to tidy papers, to shush so baby sleeps, to get the ball for Charles so we can finally get outside to put up the dang gate.
Outside. Sun shining amidst cool breezes. Dog laps up water & stretches out in the warm sun while Amos scales patio chairs & Jacob has boundless curiosity about the drill & hardware bits & screws in my hands. I set to work, answering questions, drilling holes, a lovely feeling of satisfaction & homemaking of sorts washes over me all the while steeping in the gratitude that the baby slept through all if this. Must have been tired since he was up every hour in the night with a warm head & a stuffy nose. I silently hope I can have another cup of coffee before he wakes, after I'm done the gate.
3 screws in (of 16), the drill dies. I can now hear the baby awake & hungry. I shuffle children & dog inside, set out snacks for little mouths before scooping up the littlest boy & giving the sweet dog a scratch, only to begin the dance of this season all over again.
These days can feel meaningless as all I set out to do was put up the gate, and alas, the gate lies as horizontal as the floor inside.
I try to think if it as an adventure. Time to press my face close to tender skin, offer my time & my self & my body to feed, to dress, to love & relish them while they are small enough for me to carry.
The gate can wait.