I covered my head with a pillow. "Dad!" I moaned. "Ten more minutes! Please!?"
"Up and at 'em, Sally, Molls," he replied brightly, turning on the overhead light.
I talked, still under the pillow. "I'm pretty sure I've asked you at least twenty times not to call me that. I'm not even named Sally! And I like my first name better."
He kept on grinning. "Sally is easier to say than 'Nadira'."
I peeked at him from beneath the pillow. "You're the one who named me," I reminded. "You could just call me 'Nad' like Mom does."
He shrugged and walked out of my room to wake another unsuspecting child. "Breakfast's in 10," he yelled over his shoulder.
I slowly rolled out of bed. But when I realized that Dad was waking the Littles, I bolted out my bedroom door, startling Molly, who was in the bed beside mine.
I locked the bathroom door with only seconds to spare. Almost as soon as the door shut, someone tried the doorknob; followed by loud pounding.
"What?" I yelled around a toothbrush.
A muffled voice replied. "I gotta go!"
"I need to go potty!" someone (probably Brina or Emmy) answered.
"Hold on!" I yelled again, then sighed. I was NOT looking forward to the day.
After we finished breakfast, cleaning up dishes, and got the littles situated with homeschool, I started my math. Typically, when I was 15 minutes into my lesson, I was interrupted by Molly pestering me for the laptop so that she could watch her math lecture. Needless to say, we started arguing.
When I finally finished my lesson (you didn't think I'd let a 11 year old win, did you?), I moved on to other subjects. By lunch, I was already peopled out. By snack time, oh boy, I was a danger to myself and others.
I finished school at 4:00, then settled in for a good time reading my latest book from the library. A small blond head poked around my bedroom door.
I let out a long controlled breath. 'Remember,' I told myself. 'It's not completely her fault you've had a bad day. Be nice.'
"Yeesss?" I said slowly.
"You have to take us to the park."
I raised an eyebrow.
Brina amended, "Mommy said."
The eyebrow stayed up.
She looked confused, then brightened and added, "Please?"
When I returned to the house with my siblings, I went straight to my mom and asked for an anti-histamine.
She inquired as to why I needed one. Wordlessly, I pointed out the window, toward the several neighbors mowing their yards and spraying emerald grass into the air.
Once I could stop sneezing, the family sat down to dinner. As I swallowed cooked carrots, the kids were duly informed that there was laundry to be folded. Thankfully, Mom put on an old 40's movie, 'Arsenic and Old Lace' to watch while we folded a week's worth of clothes.
While we laughed at Cary Grant's antics, I looked around at my large, but loving family. And as my sisters giggled and chuckled, I couldn't help but think that although we had squabbles about who got the last piece of bacon and fought for room, we were so lucky to have a house, good food, nice clothes, and more importantly, each other.
So even if I had a long, tiring day; I could relax with a family who I loved and who loved me.