My poor Julie has had a tough week. She’s at the mercy of everyone else’s schedule these days, and stuck in the car for hours on end.  Picking up kids all over Worcester, eating lunch in the car because we don’t have time to go home.  I try to make it fun – but it still sucks to be Julie sometimes.  It just does.  She’s not old enough to participate in any of these activities, but between religious school, bat mitzvah studying, playdates, dance class, and driving Daddy back and forth to work, she’s been logging a LOT of time just hanging in the backseat.

So today, I really tried to make it better.  I left her at home when I went out to meet my mother, even though I’ve been trying to keep the house quiet and kid-free as much as possible so that poor Marc can study.  But she looked so content, all cuddled up on the couch, watching Handy Mandy (I know that’s not the actual name, but my sister’s name is Mandy, and that’s what we call it – I gave up correcting my kids about ten years ago…) and eating her toast.  Then, when I got home, I made a game out of getting dressed, as opposed to just telling her to hurry up and PLEASE put on the shirt.  We enthusiastically packed lunch for both of us to eat in the car.

And then – BRAINSTORM – I took her out for a picnic.  We went a little bit out of our way, and found a park with picnic tables and sat and ate our turkey sandwiches together. It was just the two of us, and I was really aware, the whole time, that she’s my last little baby.  I don’t have a lot of time left, when it’s just she and I alone.  Next year, she’ll be in school full time.  We talked about what she wants to be when she grows up (she can’t decide between being like Kelly in Handy Mandy, or being just like me), and she told me about her dream last night (it involved mermaids).  We talked about why the leaves would be changing, and what our favorite holidays are.

(Julianna and I on my birthday earlier this year)

Then, it was back in the car for another afternoon of picking up kids all over the place.   I parked at Jessie’s school (after picking up Sam and Jordyn at the elementary school) and let the kids run around for an hour or so, before loading them back in the car to go get my stepdaughters.

It’s been a really long day.  I don’t feel good, my allergies have migrated into a wretched cold that I really don’t have time to indulge.   Jessie hit Sam with a stick, Sam shoved said stick into his pants (and then renamed it “crotch stick”).  Julie has taken to screaming when people interrupt her (and they interrupt her a lot, she talks very slowly sometimes).  My stepdaughters are here for dinner, and one is hiding in the bedroom with sniffles and a headache, and the other one has adopted a Swedish (??) accent for the spa experience that the other four kids are currently running in the living room.   And I’m sitting here, drinking my “afternoon” cup of coffee, even though it’s seven thirty.

If you’re looking for me over the weekend, I’ll be the one curled up in my jammies, reading.  Except for tomorrow morning, when I’ll be the smiling one at the JCC for the PJ Library event in the morning, or in the afternoon, when I’ll be at the playground for Meet the Rabbi activity.  Or Sunday night, when I’ll be at my in-laws for dinner.  But other than those three events, I’ll be curled up in my jammies.  Or doing laundry.   Probably doing laundry, let’s be honest, but I’m going to wish it was just me and jammies.

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