Thursday the 18th seems like a good “night in the life” candidate for the surprising number of you out there who seem to dig reading about just our everyday shenanigans. It’s a good pick because if there’s an “average” weeknight of ours, this is pretty much it.
After stopping by their mom’s for a quick after-school visit, the three minions arrive at around 4:30 p.m. Jiu-jitsu doesn’t start until 5:45, but they always want to arrive as early as they can for pre-class horseplay and socializing, so 4:45 is about the time where Mia or Ezra starts clanging the bell for everyone to get his/her gi on.
Mia and Ezra are easy; Lorenzo is the lollygagger who needs constant harassment from at least two other family members to get his gi and belt on. I try to arrive right around 5:30: any earlier is bordering on rude to the coaches who I’m sure are trying to enjoy their last moments of peace before the onslaught of dozens of children, and any later doesn’t get me back home by 5:45, which is when my friend Dave shows up to lift weights. We knock out 45 minutes of weight training just in time for me to get back in the van and head back over to grab the young Barsch nerds, who I hope are worn down enough from jiu-jitsu to resist bickering over silly things the rest of the evening. (Spoiler alert: They are never that worn down).
We’ve eaten at restaurants every prior night this week, a post-competition indulgence well-earned by the kids. Today, though, we’re back to normal, and Hamburger Helper is on deck. Mia offers to cook it, but reneges 10 minutes in when the pan boils over; “simmer” requires more oversight than she was planning on and prefers jumping on the trampoline to pot-watching. This is fine with me. It’s my job to make dinner, not hers.
The Mia-aided Hamburger Helper effort produces what she dubs “the best Crunchy Taco version we’ve ever had,” which I silently harrumph at while even more silently admitting it might be true. This time there are no leftovers, which bolsters her claim.
It’s 8 p.m. — time to walk. I know that a walk at this hour means one of two things has to give: the usual 9 p.m. bedtime or the assurance I made earlier that we could play The Game of Things, their current favorite board game, before bed. Mia not-so-silently harrumphs that we shouldn’t walk, as a walk will certainly lead to a dad decree that we only play one round of Things instead of the customary three. I ask which oracle has given her this premonition about the future; she claims none, citing only past performance.
I’ve already decided to extend bedtime, but I keep that to myself.
We take a short neighborhood walk and are back by 8:30, and break out the game. We play three rounds, and the game isn’t over until 9:45. Pictured above are Mia and Ezra in a fleeting moment of tenderness that also shows their limited stamina past the customary 9 p.m. bedtime hour.
Mia slayed everyone at the game, leading from wire to wire. As usual, I came in last. And then we all went to bed, and everyone was quickly asleep.
Another night in the life.