Most Saturdays make me long to engage in some not-so-gentle removal of my eyeballs with a blunt instrument.
Saturdays are Sermon Days. Nathan is home, but he's trying to study in the office. He studies off and on throughout the week, but Saturday is the big study-day.
He desperately needs a soundproof room. Or, as he half-jokes, a bomb-proof cabin out on the edge of the property, as far as possible from the house. I really do feel for him. I know how hard it is to concentrate around here.
There has been a lot of screaming and fighting a bickering this morning. This may or may not have been only the kids. In any event, it's been loud.
He usually locks the office door, puts on his el cheapo earbuds, and tops that with his chainsaw hearing protection. But today, it seems that the hearing protection was left out in the rain, ostensibly by some child who shall remain nameless, but whose first initial is, without a doubt, E. ("So what?" I said. "They'll warm up as you wear them. The water might give an extra layer of sound barrier...")
Nathan is very sweet and patient about it all today, really. I'm impressed. He knows that I haven't had a lick of sleep last night or in the last ten thousand nights, approximately. Insomnia is a bi.......ig fat meanie. So he goes off to work, but ends up popping back out of the office every few minutes when someone screams, or is crying inconsolably, or yells, or otherwise engages in the usual unruly racket. He tries to get the kids involved in something (raking leaves outside-- 5 minutes. Building blocks-- 5 seconds, or however long it takes to knock down what he built for them to play with) so he can sneak off and work while they play and I continue slog around through mud and pretend I'm doing something productive.
Anyway, so after I got done baking the bread and putting milk through the cream separator, alternating with feeding, comforting, changing diapers, wiping up spills, and generally spinning my wheels, Nathan's had it with trying to work through the noise. He let Evan sit in his lap and listen to music with him while he worked, but that didn't last long, and Andrew wanted to be involved, too, and that just doesn't hold up. His patience is wearing thin. Very thin.
So I start some dishes. And I... invite... Evan to help. (Ah, where are those blunt instruments?) And then Andrew is screeeeeeeeaming at my feet, prompting Nathan to come out again, but by then I already have Andrew in the ErgoBaby on my back, even though my back is like death-warmed-over these days.
We're happily (depending on who you ask) doing dishes together. But I hear playing coming from the living room.... Playing... And there's Nathan, setting up blocks for the little guys.
The little guys. Are with me.
"I HAVE TWO CHILDREN DOING DISHES WITH ME."
He loves me. I know it. He's helping me, not himself. He knows my patience is non-existent.
But I... I have no mercy.
"DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA HOW NOT-FUN THAT IS?"
"I just thought I... really quick..."
"GET IN THE OFFICE AND DO SOME WORK WHILE YOU HAVE THE CHANCE! GO! GIT! GOOOOOO!"
He blinks. We smile at each other.
"You're hard to deal with sometimes, you know that?" he says as he closes himself, once again, in the office.
Yes. Yes, I am.
Oh, I do love that man.