Saturday, June 2, 2007

Yard Sales

OK, this morning was kind of a pain. Emma is on a great streak of sleeping through the entire night in her own bed, which has been wonderful. But ah, the extreme irony of motherhood--I go through years of having a baby in bed with me, and complain about staying in one position for hours at a time, sleeping lightly because I know she's there, etc.--and then when she finally begins sleeping on her own, I STILL don't sleep well, because I either keep expecting her to come in at any moment, or I sleep so solidly in one position that I wake up with every limb dead and my back feeling like I'm arthritic and 97 years old. Anyway, for the past week she has been in her own bed all night, till 6 or 7 in the morning. This morning when she came in, I obligingly let her in after turning over for the first time since I got into bed at 1 am, creaking all the way.

Then I had to go to the bathroom but didn't want her to wake so early (I finally had to give in on that point), then I was too hot, then the birds were chirping wildly and the sun was bright, then Matt was snoring, then the cat came to sit on my head.....all in all, I couldn't fall back asleep, and anyone who knows me knows that I don't play well with 6 am! I laid quietly, trying desperately to sleep--and then Ben burst into the room, asking a question about Luke Skywalker at top volume. Matt growled at him that it wasn't even 7am--what's the rule about Saturday? He obligingly left the room, going upstairs to wake Julia and then Rachel, probably with the same question. I sighed, knowing that they would either start fighting or playing some incredibly loud game, and that sleep was right out the window. Matt stubbornly went right back to sleep. Being a man.

I listened to the cacophony of birds and children, wishing that I could just be back asleep, when Rachel burst into the room, exclaiming at the top of her voice that the people diagonally across the street, whose house is for sale, are having a yard sale, and wouldn't it be great to go check it out, and that the sign says it doesn't begin till 9:00 but people are already parking along the street......Now before I was a mother, I would have assumed that a girl who was 11 and a half would KNOW better than to come into anyone's room who was asleep or trying to be and start talking at top volume, but apparently I was wrong, even though we have nicely and not-so-nicely reminded her that when someone is asleep they don't want to be bothered. Matt reminded her not-so-nicely. But she was back less than 15 minutes later, casually trying to see if we were awake yet.

Deciding that I should just end my torture and get out of bed, I went into the bathroom and started the morning brushing, washing, contact lens routine. Pulled on some clothes, a bit of blush and lipstick, and went over there. Rachel had already been there with a fistful of dollar bills she had squirreled away, and came home with a pogo stick, a rock tumbler, and a stuffed horse--leading her sisters and brother to howl that she got everything good at the sale, and why was she old enough to go there alone when they weren't, and in general how UNFAIR life is.....luckily, her switch was turned to good, and she brought Julia over and bought Ben and Emma stuffed animals--a hawk with a "Hawkeyes" shirt for Ben and a white bunny with a purple Cadbury ribbon around its neck for Emma. Julia got a big teddy bear and a white horse with red mane and tail, gold hooves, and I heart u embroidered on his side (!) and Rachel found a French-English dictionary for a quarter...I found nothing.

I find yard sales strange. Whenever I drive past one, they always look great. I'm always positive there are treasures to be had, and Matt NEVER wants to stop at them. Consequently, I usually only ever go to ones right in the neighborhood that I walk to with the kids. However, somehow I rarely find anything I really want--and I always feel weird, pawing through my neighbors' possessions with them watching me. It always seems rude to not buy anything, like I'm saying that all their things are ugly. People who have kids are the best sales to go to for this purpose, though--because as you can see, my kids will buy anything for a quarter, so even when my neighbors are trying to sell lamps with green glass teardrops hanging off the shade and metal scroll work all over the base (UGLY!) I can get away without looking critical of their taste. Plus, children's books for a dime or a quarter are a true bargain, even if they're lame Disney interpretations of fairy tales.

I guess the true value of yard sales is the excitement of seeing the sign, and thinking that you could find something you truly need or really love for little money. I guess kids love them because they feel important, choosing things and paying for them. Plus I never would have paid full price for that red and white horse, and Julia knows it!!


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