Recently we had the opportunity to keep some of my brother’s kids while he and his wife were out of the country, which brought our household total up to ten people for those nine days.
I must admit I was flabbergasted by the reactions of the people we passed while out in public. These kids are all sweet, well-behaved children, and we saw their visit as a blessing and a privilege. So, I was unprepared for the kinds of comments that would be directed at us, like the one from the lady in the grocery store who had the audacity to spew out, in front of everyone, “Eight kids! Oh, well. At least they’re all cute.” WHAT?!?! These kids are treasures! Every single one of them. And we had plenty of fun together while they were here.
Of course, everything wasn’t always rosy. This one totally took advantage (more than once) of having so many people around that it took a while to notice when one of them went missing. (Yep, that’s my mascara.)
But for the most part, the kids did a great job of entertaining each other. Addy and Hannah made all kinds of things out of clay and taught each other songs on the piano.
Everyone helped out with the little ones.
One day, the girls used bars of soap to draw all over the trampoline. (It was hot, so they sketched all the things they could think of that would cool them down.)
Then they turned on the water…
…and made the surface really slick…
I’d say it was worth their effort!
I love their facial expressions…
While this was going on, the babies were having their own water fun.
Remi heard one of the neighbor kids out in her backyard next door and promptly invited her over…
…and of course she obliged. (And I figured that at this point, what difference could one more kid make?)
At first, the bigger kids chose not to get wet with the rest of us, opting instead to pull out some tools and some old army men, which they anatomically rearranged to show off their battle scars…..and which produced some pretty scary results, in my opinion.
Not surprisingly, they eventually wanted a turn on the wet trampoline, too, adding liquid dish soap to the mix to make it even slipperier.
Another day, the girls went through Addy’s clothes and put together some pretty offbeat getups for a bizarre little fashion show.
Even the little guy got in on it!
All in all, they did great at coming up with fun things to do together.
You might be wondering whether or not we continued to homeschool while the cousins were here. Well, yes, actually. We did. But it may have looked a little different. Finding that many places to work can be tricky, but everyone managed in the end.
A couple of the older kids found this yellow jacket nest out back and eagerly began extracting the treasures inside.
Before I knew it, they had lined up each specimen in the order of the stages of their life cycle. They showed them to me, and then asked, hopefully, “Can this count for our science today?”
We also took a couple of field trips. One was to the Museum of Fine Arts, where the very sight of a troop of eight kids seemed to freak out every employee and volunteer on the premises.
The other was to a police station, where we not only received a tour but also had the unique opportunity to experience what it would be like to be taken into custody…
The boys were amazed at the lack of leg room and how uncomfortable it was in the back of the squad car. Right after the above picture was taken, the officer slammed the door and chuckled, “Let ’em try to get out now.” It was fun to watch them squirm! (And if that doesn’t sound very motherly of me, just know that I’d much rather see them experience this NOW than later, in real life.) No, these are definitely not the pictures of your kids you want to see in the newspaper…
But I think the best part of our time together was seeing, again, how much these kiddos all love each other.
And that made our stint as octo-parents very enjoyable. As for those grocery-store naysayers? They just don’t know what they’re missing!
Thanks for sharing in our eight-kids adventure.