Where was I? Exhausted at 8:00am. Right. So, I walk back inside after putting C on the bus. (FYI, she and I usually spend the ten minutes outside discussing one of two things: the annoying bumps in her socks or the awesomely dead worms on the driveway. Either way, it’s scintillating conversation. TRUST ME.)
So, I go back into the house, dump out my cold coffee and pour myself a hot cup. Then I smell poop. (Aaaand, The Dad checks out. Off to work, where it’s quiet. And poop-free. I’m green with envy. And nausea, from all the poop.) Multiple diapers get changed. Sometimes outfits get changed if there’s leakage. (Oh what, too gross for you? Puh-lease.) Finally, boys are settled – pulling out every Matchbox car and Lego known to man for me to later step on – and I head back into the kitchen, dump out my second cup of cold coffee, pour myself a hot one and start clearing the breakfast mess. (By “clearing the breakfast mess,” of course I mean, “checking email/Facebook/Pinterest/Google Reader.”)
THEN. The highlight of my day arrives.
8:30am – The clouds part and heavenly rays shine down on my house as in walks… AMANDA. Amanda is our sitter, a.k.a my Savior. She is absolutely, without a doubt every single member of my family’s Favorite Person in the World. And a better mother to my children than I am. I WISH I were exaggerating. I’m not. Ask people that know us. If they’re one of my closest friends, they might lie, but you’ll be able to tell because their left eye will start twitching.
You know your babysitter wish list? Patient, energetic, easy-going, fun, enthusiastic, sporty, artistic, creative, imaginative… and oh yeah, REALLY GOOD at dealing with your kids’, um, unique eccentricities? Yeah, Amanda is all of those. Her only real flaw? She likes country music. Especially the pop crossover stuff. (Note: Nothing warms a Dad’s heart like hearing his 3-year old son sing Taylor Swift songs. While playing with his American Girl doll.) But given all of her other qualities, we decided we could overlook this imperfection. We’re super-kind like that.
NOW LISTEN CLOSELY. You can NOT have Amanda. People have tried to poach Amanda from me… and they have FAILED. And they may or may not have DISAPPEARED off of the face of this planet. I’m just saying, she’s MINE. (I mean, not in an “I own her” way because that’s been illegal for a while, just in a “I found her first and if you try to take her I’ll cut you” kind of way.)
OK, back to the schedule.
9:00am – 5:00pm – During these hours, each day is extremely different from the next. So I’m going to give you a random sampling of the types of things that I might do everyday. I thought about subdividing it into categories (kids activities, errands, appointments, house management stuff, school/volunteer duties), but then I decided that a stream of consciousness description of a typical day would be more effective.
Clear breakfast dishes, load dishwasher, and toss [third] full cup of cold coffee. Eat some granola bar. Think about working out. Nah. Clean up the toys that are all over the kitchen floor, bring to toy box. Spot truck with dead batteries, take it to kitchen to fix. Open the drawer to get screwdriver and remember that I really want to take apart D’s crib today. Go upstairs to do that and see overflowing laundry basket. Pause to deal with crying kid. Get ice pack. Get Band-Aid. Collect dirty laundry from every bedroom and bring it to laundry room. See that there’s still wet laundry is the washer that’s been there for two days. Set that to rinse. Again. Plan to come back later to continue laundry (THAT’LL happen). Help boys get ready to go out. Many, many minutes spent here on socks, shoes, begging, coats, snacks, hats, yelling, drinks, mittens and time-outs. Take G to “school” for an hour-and-a-half. Watch him dig through oatmeal while gossiping with other Moms. Back home. Pay special attention to other kid. Help him adorn his knight costume. Remind him that swords don’t get pointed at people, only the ground or sky. Laugh at the ridiculousness of that. Ask him if he wants to sit on the potty. Watch him laugh at the ridiculousness of that. Change a light bulb. Iron on a Daisy patch. Lunchtime. Eat whatever’s sitting in the fridge. Pick 18 Goldfish and three pieces of cheese and four apple slices off the floor and remind D that “poopy” and “diaper” are not appropriate meal time words. Eat some (hopefully clean) goldfish and apple slices. And M&Ms. And cake. And wine (kidding! Or am I?). Sit down at computer to read emails. See one from the school nurse that says there is a case of lice in the Kindergarten classroom. WOOHOO! Scratch head. Research online special lice-prevention remedies. Order them. Scratch head. While online, also research/order/schedule three kids’ birthday presents, a new hat for G because his head is too giant to fit in hand-me-downs, lawn care for the summer of 2012, handyman appointment to install our new microwave,* and a new cookbook called “3-Minute Dinners for People Who SERIOUSLY Can’t Cook!” (Actually, if this is real, someone please send it to me immediately). Scratch head. Call sister and convince her to meet you at Starbucks so she can check your scalp for lice. Back home. Start to pay bills, realize that we’ve been triple charged by the pediatrician’s office/Verizon/heating oil company. Call them. Please Hold. Please continue to hold. After 20 minutes, get no resolution because you have to speak to a different department/submit your request in writing/jump through fiery hoop.** Scream in frustration. Call husband to vent, don’t get enough sympathy from him so call sister. Think about working out. Nah. Ah! The crib! Take apart crib. It’s not coming apart so curse shoddy workmanship. (Shut up, I know that doesn’t make any sense). Carry it, piece-by-piece to the basement. Stub toe. Bang elbow. Bump head. Realize that things in the basement are moldy. Research “moldy basement” and then order a dehumidifier for the storage room. Have healthy debate with husband about why we need that $200 piece of equipment and why moldy baby stuff is not cute. Get D ready for doctor’s appointment. Assure him that shots only hurt for a second. Yes, he can have a lollipop. And ice cream. And a new toy. Whatever. Get to doctor’s office. Please wait. Please continue to wait. Get shots. Deal with FREAKING OUT child. Stop at pharmacy to pick up antibiotics for ear infection.*** Get home in time to meet C’s bus. Hear, “Look! That squished worm is still there! Is Amanda here? I ONLY want to play with Amanda. Is today a bath day? What’s for dinner? PLEASE can we have pasta? Or French fries?” Pick up the coats that are strewn all over the floor. Empty backpack of half-eaten apple and artwork. Bury artwork under garbage. Clean up kitchen. Check email. Deal with various annoying issues. Respond to various annoying people. Commit to various annoying things. Check calendar. Make plans. Confirm plans. Cancel plans. Start to think about dinner. Dread dealing with dinner.**** Run out to the store to buy something for dinner. Wish there was hot coffee left. Make some variety of protein/carb/veggie combo for dinner. Dole out yogurts because they won’t eat protein/carb/veggie combo. And sadly – very, very sadly – say goodbye to Amanda.
And that, my friends, is a typical afternoon. And it didn’t even include a visit to the ER!
As you could guess, dinner, post-dinner and bedtime is its own ball of chaos, so I’m going to save that treat for Part III. Edge of your seats, right? I know. This site is like the Bourne Identity of parenting blogs.
*If you’re wondering why I needed a handyman to install a microwave, I don’t blame you. But trust me, after I attempted to install it myself (buried deep in some cabinet, grounded with metal and wires) I really did need a handyman. Because I didn’t want to DIE.
**I’m sure I don’t have to tell many of you that dealing with issues related to customer service could be a full-time job alone. But don’t really jump through any fiery hoops.
***Doesn’t matter why you go to the pediatrician’s office, someone ALWAYS leaves with an ear infection. Sometimes it’s the kid going for the bruised wrist, sometimes it’s the kid going for the six-month check-up, sometimes it’s the sibling who’s along for the free stickers… but SOMEONE is always on an antibiotic by the end of the visit.
**** This does NOT change. Ever. This happens EVERY. DAMN. DAY.
PS. If you’re thinking that this blog is a little heavy on the poop talk, YOU’RE RIGHT. And you’re starting to get a small taste of what it’s like to live in my house. Charming, I know.
PPS. If you’re thinking that this blog is a little heavy on the typos, YOU’RE RIGHT AGAIN. I don’t have an editor. I do a one-time read through, spell-check and then I let it go, people. That’s just how breezy I am.