I had big plans for my Wednesday. It was Mother’s Day Out. The vandals would be gone all day. I have four chapter revisions to do. Laundry is separated into piles in the hallway. We were gone six days last week, and there is lots to do to get “caught up.” A concept I don’t actually believe in, never the less, I create a nifty list. I was in bed asleep Tuesday night by 8:00 pm… that is actually 9: oo, which means if I normally get up at 5:00… I am now up by 4:00 am. This makes sense; some place, in someone’s mind. Not mine. In the world where time-change makes sense, I wish to be the president or queen. Then, I would abolish it or make law that people who condone time change must live with no less than five, two-year-olds, for the three weeks after the clock manipulation.
Chaos is my constant companion. Why I bother with lists, I do not know. I make them. I have lovely penmanship. I like cute notepads and medium point pens. I make hearts over my “i’s” just like when I was 13. I doodle, and I jot, it is all for not.
I was wide awake at 4:00 am. I decided to work on some revisions but was met with the pitter patter of exhausted and confused toddler feet; ready for breakfast, unsure why he is awake, Sam starts the morning off crying. He’s hysterical. He doesn’t want to wear his night-time pull-up, but he doesn’t want to take it off. He doesn’t want to sit on the potty, but he has to pee. He has a runny nose so I grab a Kleenex off the bar and wipe his nose and he begins to scream bloody murder because he wanted his nose wiped with a paper towel, not a Kleenex. His psychoneurotic howls wake Charlie. It’s now 4:15. Mother’s Day Out starts in 3 hours and 45 minutes. I get them settled. In less than three minutes, Charlie eats THREE cereal bars. This baby has the appetite of a 17-year-old boy, who, coincidentally, just came stumbling down the stairs, grunts at me, grabs his protein shake and stumbles out the door to work out.
I need to work out. I add that to the list. I don’t write it fancifully, just boldly profess: WORK OUT.
By the grace of God and Sesame Street we make it to 6:30 am. One hour, thirty minutes to Mother’s Day Out. I toss on some jeans and a sweatshirt. I cross WORK OUT off the list because I can’t work out in these clothes and this sets the tone for my day. Teen son stumbles back in from working out, grunts, and heads up to shower. At least he is “talking” to me. Tween daughter makes her bagel in harsh, quick movements, complete with cabinet slamming. I have taken her phone – indefinitely. And I have nothing else to say about that. I begin packing lunches and realize the enormous package of cheese I just bought, is missing.
Me: “Where’s the cheese?”
Tween: Shrugs and glares.
Me: “Where’s the cheese?”
Me: Yelling. “WHERE IS THE &*$# CHEESE???”
Teen Son: “Sorry! It’s on the banister!”
Duh. Why wouldn’t I look there first?
Me: “No, it isn’t????”
Teen Son: “Wait! Here it is, it’s on my nightstand.”
Me: (Gag) “Nevermind. Just keep it son.”
I add cheese to the list.
Dressing the vandals magnifies the trauma that is my morning. Sam goes boneless, putting socks on raw ground beef would be easier. Charlie wants the shirt Sam is wearing and after getting Sam dressed he decides he wants to wear Spiderman underwear, and he proceeds to kick my butt with “Spidey-moves” because I will not comply. Meanwhile, Charlie has escaped and put on WATERPROOF MASCARA. He looks like a drunk raccoon. Clean up is less than effective. I add mascara and eye make-up remover to the list.
Somewhere in the time warp of daylight savings time and the longest morning of my life we pile into the car for child delivery. Tween continues to pout. I give two seconds thought to the way a pubescent brain works – then I abandon the analysis to sing “The Firetruck Song.” Not because I like it, but because my brain is like vanilla pudding. I rid my life of these humans in melodic order. The tween is greeted by fellow tweens who storm her with hugs and relief she is alive, as they have been unable to reach her since yesterday. The drama. One of them wraps her arm around her and shoots me a glare. I stick my tongue out at her like I am eight-years-old. I feel pleased with this.
Both vandals make a scene, screaming and crying for me not to leave them. I shake them off with the same callous affections with which I treat mall kiosk workers. I shrug, and act confused as to why they refer to me as “mommy.” I run to the car. When I get to the car I write WORK OUT back on the list, and then I cross it off, counting the sprint from the pre-school to my car as a major accomplishment worthy of being on the list, and worthy of being crossed off again.
If nothing else, I worked out.
I drag my weary body home and make coffee and plop onto my couch. My phone beeps that I have a “Grammar Alert.” Yes, a Grammar Alert. I open the message and am notified that my recent document had an excessive amount of squinting modifiers.
This is my last straw.
I begin to sob. Whole body heaving sobs. I curl into a ball and BAWL. I am laughing now at how hard I was crying then. It was real tears. And I used paper towels to blow my nose and giggled twice, wishing Sam was there to see me rebelliously blowing my nose with paper towels because I can. I am an adult with a list. I am in charge. “I am in charge,” I say to no one…
Six hours later my phone is ringing. I wake dazed and confused. I adjust my eyes to see that it is 3:14 and Mother’s Day Out is wondering who will be picking up the boys. It’s several minutes before I can process what “boys” they are speaking of. I stumble to the car to retrieve my children. On the way home we stop for Sonic. I spy “the list” and realize I just took a six-hour nap instead of accomplishing the duties of my list.
A six-hour nap…
In the history of Day Light Savings Time…THIS. IS. THE. BEST. DAY. EVER.
Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans. Proverbs 16:3
May your floors be sticky and your calling ordained. Love, Jami