Today I slept in late and ds8 came up to wake me up so I would eat breakfast with them. I noticed a good smell in the air and commented on it to ds, and he said, “It’s just oatmeal.” Right away I thought something must be going on since it sure didn’t smell like oatmeal to me, and when I got downstairs, I was immediately greeted by all of the kids standing together behind a large ‘Happy birthday’ sign, singing ‘Happy birthday to you.” It was very sweet. Then they guided me to the table, and there was a tray with a special breakfast prepared, and very artistically displayed, too!
Today was also the last day to renew my driver’s license, and since dh wasn’t home to watch the kids and ds14 was in school, I took them all with me. Sounds like fun, right, spending the afternoon at the Motor Vehicle Administration with a bunch of kids? Before we left home, I suggested that they bring whatever academic work they were in the middle of as well as something to read. After I got there and received my number, I looked around the stuffy, crowded room, and knew I had to find somewhere better to wait. So we went outside, looking for somewhere we could sit down together. We were very fortunate to find a picnic table (which turned out to be the outdoor smoking area) where they were able to do their academics, and since it was slightly set back from the parking lot and sidewalk, there was a place for ds19 months to run around. The kids enjoyed running back to the main building every 15 minutes or so to see what number they were up to. After about 2 hours and fifteen minutes, I decided to go in and everyone trooped in with me.
Bringing lots of children to a child-unfriendly place like the MVA is definitely a good strategy for getting lots of attention. The kids were very patient and we were called fairly soon after we came in. The woman who was helping me had commented favorably on the kids, as did her coworkers. They were impressed by how well behaved they all were. But then I was informed that since my social security number was still in my maiden name (just never got around to changing it :)), I couldn’t renew my license and would have to come back another day (they said it was something new instituted about two years ago, which is why I’ve had a license without any problems until now).
Then the woman took another look at the kids, and told her coworker that she wasn’t willing to tell me to come in after all the kids waited patiently for so long, and they conferred to find a way to do the license today. Then they called over some more people (I was wondering what the people in the waiting area were thinking as five people simultaneously left their cubicles to come to where I was), and finally a supervisor did an override and told me they would give me the license along with a strong suggestion that I take care of the name change right away. So it ended up that it was only because the kids were with me that I didn’t need to come back!
When we got home the kids right away went to do some arts and crafts for, I thought, the puppet show they’ve been preparing. When dinnertime came, I was surprised to see a pile of beautiful cards next to my plate, with sweet messages on each. Here’s what my 8yos wrote:
Happy birthday. I think you are the best mother in the world so I made a poem about it.
‘Most mothers are mean
and really junky
but our mother is nice
and really fun and funky.’ ” His first poem.
Dh got home late and was disappointed to find that dinner was ready – he was planning to make a special birthday dinner and had come home late because he stopped at a store to buy the ingredients. But I think that the thought is what counts!
Despite the photo for my license being worse than any picture I’ve ever had taken in my life, it’s been a lovely day! Who would have thought that a day spent at the MVA could be so pleasant?