About a year ago, I went to a one-day mom's retreat that was sponsored by our good friends at Heart Focus Ministries. The setting was at a ranch near Bonanza and each room was set up for whatever relaxation sounded good at that moment....professional massage, pedicures, letter writing, swinging on the porch, crafting, eating, and even napping.
It was heaven.
Our parting gift was a children's book called Five Minutes' Peace by Jill Murphy. As I type this on a Saturday morning, I have two kids banished to their rooms for incessant fighting, and the little one pulling on my leg every 30 seconds wanting attention. If I get thrown in jail for breaking any copywright laws, I hope you all will post my bail, because I just have to share this book!
Five Minutes' Peace
The children were having breakfast. This was not a pretty sight.
Mrs. Large (Mommy) took a tray from the cupboard. She set it with a teapot, a milk jug, her favorite cup and saucer, a plate of marmalade toast and a leftover cake from yesterday. She stuffed the morning paper into her pocket and sneaked off toward the door.
"Where are you going with that tray, Mom?" asked Laura (Kaela). "To the bathroom," said Mrs. Large. "Why?" asked the other two children. "Because I want five minutes' peace from all of you," said Mrs. Large. "That's why."
"Can we come?" asked Lester (Graeson) as they trailed up the stairs behind her. "No," said Mrs. Large, "you can't." "What shall we do then?" asked Laura. "You can play," said Mrs. Large. "Downstairs. By yourselves. And keep an eye on the baby." "I'm not a baby" muttered the little one (Maezie).
Mrs. Large ran a deep, hot bath. She emptied half a bottle of bubble bath into the water, plunked on her shower cap and got in. She poured herself a cup of tea and lay back with her eyes closed. It was heaven.
"Can I play you my tune?" asked Lester. Mrs. Large opened one eye. "Must you?" she asked. "I've been practicing," said Lester. "You told me to. Can I? Please? Just for one minute?" "Go on then," sighed Mrs. Large. So Lester played. He played "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" three and a half times.
In came Laura. "Can I read you a page from my reading book?" she asked. "No, Laura," said Mrs. Large. "Go on, all of you, off downstairs." "You let Lester play his tune," said Laura. "I heard. You like him better than me. It's not fair." "Oh, don't be silly, Laura," said Mrs. Large. "Go on then, just one page." So Laura read. She read four and a half pages of "Little Red Riding Hood."
In came the little one with a trunkful of toys. "For you!" he beamed, flinging them all into the bathwater. "Thank you, dear," said Mrs. Large weakly.
"Can I see the cartoons in the paper?" asked Laura. "Can I have the cake?" asked Lester. "Can I get in with you?" asked the little one. Mrs. Large groaned.
In the end, they all got in. The little one was in such a hurry that he forgot to take off his pajamas.
Mrs. Large got out. She dried herself, put on her bathrobe and headed for the door. "Where are you going now, Mom?" asked Laura. "To the kitchen," said Mrs. Large. "Why?" asked Lester. "Because I want five minutes' peace from all of you," said Mrs. Large. "That's why."
And off she went downstairs, where she had three minutes and forty-five seconds of peace before they all came to join her.