Sometimes, I wonder if my husband thinks I’m crazy. It may sound silly to you. Why would he EVER think that? It isn’t that I think he believes me to be certifiably crazy. It is more a matter of, I think he wonders…”what in the heck drives her to THIS point by the end of every day??” I have a fabulous husband, so this is definitely not me making him out to be anything other than a loving, attentive, supportive and exemplary husband, father, friend and provider. But his day is drastically different than mine, not necessarily easier, but it depends on who you ask. I wouldn’t want to do what he does all day, sanding boats bow to stern does NOT fit in anywhere on my list of interests on Facebook.
But, maybe you feel that way to…you wonder if your husband wonders”what in THE WORLD?” when you tell him that you had a crazy day and you’re so out of your mind that you consider jumping off of the roof so that you end up in the hospital for a few days because you would consider that a vacation. Or maybe you don’t wonder, your husband knows you’re looney and he either understands why OR you don’t care if he does or not.
I’ve decided to give you a timeline. It is nothing scientific(though I’m sure that there are some things done that ought to be observed in a lab SOMEWHERE,) it is not historical (though these little moments make up what will be my children’s lives and memories down the road,) and it might not even be interesting (if watching a grown woman scramble around to maintain order against the odds doesn’t sound interesting, than what is wrong with you? If it doesn’t sound familiar, than you’re not a parent yet, and that is OK.)
Let’s take it back about 16 hours ago.
Baby Clara has JUST been coaxed to sleep – finally. And I do mean coaxed. After whining all evening. She has been whining because her parent’s decided to try to put her down to enjoy some time together without a human growth on them. She is now swaddled nice and tight, fighting as hard as she can against her new prison and the impending wave of sleepiness that will soon be upon her. “Darn it,” is what she says…at least with her eyes. “Ahhh,” I think,”finally, sweet repose, a book, pillows. Whatever the next 7-8 hours may bring, may be it relaxing.”
I wake up to groaning, wiggling, grunting and general fussiness. I look over and see that Clara’s arm is out of it’s swaddling. “Great,” I think. I rush down the stairs to use the bathroom before being stuck with her for what could be hours if she decides returning to sleep isn’t for her. And by rushing I mean pushing the sleeping husband off of me, pushing the sleeping dog off of me, trying not to trip in the OTHER sleeping dog on the floor and trying to make it down the stairs without breaking my neck. Success! A bathroom break. I’m back up the stairs and to feed Clara who thankfully goes back to sleep. WINNING!
Husband’s alarm goes off. He doesn’t hear it, so I nudge him so that the persistent beeping doesn’t reawaken our sleeping beauty. Then nod back off to sleep.
6:45 a.m.: Husband comes in and kisses me good bye – I give the most half awake kiss in the history of time before I pass back out.
Dog pounces on me to use the bathroom. I push the OTHER sleeping dog off of me and look over to confirm that the youngest is still asleep, though she is rustling around because of the noise. I threaten the dog’s life for waking me up AND scratching on the door and making more noise. Thankfully, the baby stays asleep. After threatening the dog’s lives again because they tried to disappear around the back of the house, I get them back inside. They run up the stairs, cute little paws making more and more noise along the way. Thankfully, baby stays asleep. The crazy dogs BOTH try to get in bed with wet feet. One more death threat, and then it is back to sleep.
8:11 a.m.: Clara is awake. I push any and all sleeping dogs off of me and put her in bed with me after nursing her.
9:00 a.m. Jerry is awake. I’m not sure for how long but he is up, bouncing and squealing. After a feeble attempt to lay Clara in the bed and leave her sleeping, she rouses. “Dang it.” She makes the journey downstairs with me. I stick her somewhere, use the bathroom again and go and get the oldest. He has wet himself and needs to be changed, but of course, doesn’t want to lay down for a new diaper. Who would when there are toy tractors to be played with?? He demands a banana, I remind him to ask nicely by saying “please and thank you,” and then send him on his way. I try putting Clara on her boppy in her bassinet in the living room to no avail. She isn’t having it, and she will makes it known. I fix Jerry some oatmeal and stick him in his chair.
10:15 a.m.: Clara has eaten again. I discover that she has a fever and try to give her medicine which she promptly spits out. “Do I need to take her to the doctor?” I think. I decide to wait and see what the Tylenol does. Earlier, after much whining from Jerry, reminders to ask nicely, be patient and general noise, I gave the oldest his markers and construction paper. He has entertained himself for a little while. But now as Clara sits with me, since this is the only thing that will make her happy, Jerry is getting restless since I can’t do much with him. He asked to watch “rocket” (Little Einsteins) earlier, and I told him no. Now that I can sense his boredom, I give in. Clara is in a fussy mood, wants to be held a certain way and is fighting sleep. There isn’t much I can do. I manage to put her down for another bathroom break, only to be generally disgusted as I walk through my house and see a mountain of laundry, a messy kitchen and a million things to be done. I do at least remember to put my wet clothes into the dryer so now the mom has clean things to wear. Go me!
10:45 a.m. I return to my seat, Clara was not pleased with my attempt at escape. I fall back in line quickly. Jerry is content. Woot! I offer to bring dinner to a friend whose husband has recently had a bad accident. I then conjure up different things that I can make. I pull what I think is a pork roast out of the freezer and begin the long thaw. Clara calms down enough to lay in her bassinet while I grab a quick shower. It is said that there will be sunshine today. Regardless of anything, after 5 days of rain, I’m taking my oldest out somewhere so that he can do something that two year old’s do – hopefully that something will entail having fun and burning off energy for a good nap. (Not that it mattered much – he is bouncing in his crib instead of napping as I write this.) The shower was quick, did I mention that. Somewhere during it, Clara changes her mind and begins screaming. Joy. I did at least manage to clean up the tub from toys left askew from last night’s bath time and shave my legs. High fives all around. I come out, and jerry is thisclose to the television. I’m presuming so that he can hear what is going on since his sister is making sounds you wouldn’t have thought possible from someone that small.
11:30 a.m.:Jerry demands more “rocket.” After reminding him how he should ask again, I leave the t.v. on for him while I change Clara’s diaper. Her fever seems to have come down from the 1/32nd of a teaspoon I must have successfully gotten in her before she spit it all out. Awesome, no doctor’s for us. While I change her, I talk to her and see her pretty eyes are all aglow. You wouldn’t have known she was screaming her head off five minutes ago. Yea, she is a big fake. “But the cutest little fake ever,” I say to her. I manage to set her down and make lunch for her older brother. A brief bright spot in my day, Jerry happily eats the carrots that I put on his plate for lunch. Awe. Somewhere in there, I find clean clothes for myself instead of the towel I’m running around in. Clara is pleased for the moment. Jerry finishes eating, and I find clothes for him and start to get him changed.
However, after a brief glance I realize that his belly button is red. It looks as though it has been bleeding. Panicked, I give a further inspection. However, upon a closer look it appears as thought he has colored his belly button red with a marker. So that is how he was keeping himself occupied earlier. Jerry gives me a devilish grin as I finish changing him and turn him loose on the floor.
12:00 p.m.: Rob calls and gives me another bright spot in my day. He tells me that it is OK to let Clara cry, which is correct. I just don’t want to pluck out all of my eye lashes while listening to it. We have a great conversation. I manage to put ON the clean clothes I’ve found and get Clara dressed as well. Now to chase down the oldest to put his shoes on. I turn off the t.v. The battle begins. He wants to turn it back on. I tell him no and then close the entertainment cabinet. “As IF,” he says and “TOTALLY,” I say. I break out the mom voice and give him his orders. He whines, but I ignore it and carry him to the table to finish getting ready. He lets me, but the moment I put him down he goes to turn on the television. I tell him no, he throws a toy. TIME OUT.
12:20 p.m.: Jerry is in time out, I have managed to get Clara into her car seat and I’m dressed. NOW I can blow dry my hair. I take it down from the towel and marvel at the messiness, frizziness and general ickiness that is my hair and attempt to blow dry some order back into it. Jerry moves from time out twice, gets a spanking and is put back. Clara begins to fuss. I get the bangs looking human- GOOD ENOUGH. I ask Jerry to come to me, and remind him that he must be obedient, ask nicely and be kind. He agrees, we hug and things are OK. I load everyone into the car. I run back inside to grab a few things: my purse, the diaper bag, some diapers, Jerry’s cup, a bottle of water and my phone. Just a few things.
12:40 p.m.: We head down the road to Rob’s work. A few minutes of stationary children, some music and lookey, ho – THE SUN IS OUT!
12:55 p.m.: We arrive at Rob’s work. I get a kiss. He still gives me butterflies. He greets the children, and has a brief break with us before he gives me a deposit for the bank and we head off down the road. Gosh, I love that guy.
1:08 p.m.: My wifely duty is done, the deposit is in the bank and Jerry has scored a lolly pop.
1:20 p.m.: While enjoying Jerry enjoys his pop, I enjoy my lunch. I forgot to eat at home so I grab something through the drive thru at Chick Fil-A and scarf it down. This lunch includes a Dr. Pepper, my source of caffeine for the day. Gosh, I needed that. Jerry and I chit chat for a few minutes about what his favorite colors are (“seven.”) and his favorite animals (“how ’bout cows?”) Best conversation I’ve had all day. I finish eating, he finishes his pop and he is ready to play. We head inside Chick Fil-A. Jerry instinctively runs back to the play area. I set Clara, who is now asleep (thank the heavens) in her car seat, down and pluck Jerry’s shoes off of him. There is a little boy there ready to play. Super. Jerry’s new friend had to leave after less than 15 minutes of time together. Boo. We made great use of the time that we had, especially since the entire play area was empty save for us. We had a ball.
2:12 p.m.: I tell Jerry that it is time to leave. “Nope,” he replies. The word “nope,” is now my least favorite around this house. I make a monkey call and he freezes in his tracks. That darned “monkey” has been hiding from him for MONTHS and he never seems to be able to find him. I, who have been holding my need to go to the bathroom the entire time we have been at Chick Fil A, am shameless and am using this as a ploy to make getting Jerry out of the play place easier. I know, it is ridiculous. OH WELL. I tell Jerry that the monkey is in the bathroom and that we needed to get his shoes on right away to give chase. He agrees. We get to the bathroom door and I can’t wait for sweet relief when he decides, “no, NO!” that he doesn’t want to go into the bathroom. I try to coax (order) him in, and he runs around the corner. I put down Clara to chase down and wrestle with my two year old. I somehow manage to carry both of them, swing open the bathroom and stall doors and lock us in before he can escape. He tries to open the door several times before I snatch him up and hold him while I finish up.
2:25 p.m.: We’re walking back out to the car while Jerry yells two things: “monkeeeeey,” and “french friiiiies!!” I tell him no to both and somehow manage to get both of them in the car. I remember that I am supposed to be making friends dinner tonight, so against the urge to take these children home and put Jerry down for a nap and SIT I decide it is best to go to the store and get a back up dinner in case the roast I pulled out of the fridge wasn’t good (I didn’t like the coloring it had when I pulled it out) Thank the Lord for the foresight. After the parking lot shuffle, we get inside. “What is the ‘parking lot shuffle’?” you’re (not) asking. I’ll tell you. Just a fancy name for driving around in circles TRYING to find a spot as close to the carts as possible so that I don’t have far to go to fetch and put one back. While I am driving I see a spot one row over. I quickly zoom to it and then get stuck behind an old person who eventually takes it. Great. Let me say this loud and proud – mom’s should get a handicapped parking pass. End of discussion. I FINALLY find one that is close…to Arizona. I lock the doors and go and fetch a cart.
2:35 p.m: We’re in Acme. Guess what Jerry is asking for? If you guessed, some quiet time and a nice nap YOU’RE WRONG. If you guessed french fries and a monkey, you’re correct. Jerry is still after the monkey. This is what I get for thinking of a creative way to make leaving play time fun. Next time, I’ll just clunk him on the head with a club and go. OK, I won’t do that, I’ll probably settle for lots of arguing and crying which will mostly be on my part. Anyway, we head back to the meat section to check out what’s on sale. Pork roasts are on mark down. Suh-weet. We also end up with ground turkey and while I’m checking out the beef cubes for beef stew, I turn around to check on the children and see Jerry with his shirt halfway up his chest…he is holding the container of ground turkey against his belly. We make eye contact. “iiiiiITS’s cold,” he stammers out before he puts it back. We never speak of this again.
2:43 p.m.: Clara is starting to fuss, and I’m wheeling to the front of the store to check out. Jerry is asking for a Raven’s balloon. As if THAT is ever going to happen in my house. For two reasons 1. It’s expensive and 2. Its the Ravens. UGH. Anyway, a great idea dawns on me. I take Jerry over to the florals and party center and ask the store employee to blow up a balloon for us. I give Jerry the colors that he can pick from, he picks yellow. The store employee takes the time to also attach a weight to the end of the balloon, which is fabulous. Jerry’s eyes light up at the sight of his new balloon. Mom for the win!
2:46 p.m.: Within two seconds of walking away from the balloon counter, Jerry lets go and drops the weighted end of the balloon down. Which isn’t bad, save I kick it twice and wrap it around the tire of the cart. Nice and tight. I just start laughing because what ELSE can you do that at that point. I finagle it loose and pay for it. We’re on our way back to Arizona to get to the car. I stick both children in. Clara is fussing by this point, Jerry is still in love with his balloon.
3:03 p.m.: We arrive at home. Clara has thankfully fallen asleep during the car ride. It gives me some time to start dinner. If the dogs who are barking and shuffling and knocking against her car seat don’t wake her up first. I put Jerry down for a nap. Thankfully, I bought the pork roast because the pork roast I thought I had thawed turned out to be three ribs. That wouldn’t have gone very far when feeding 4 adults. Woot for me and for foresight. I say a small prayer, thanking God. Good ideas don’t usually come to me these days. I’m to busy forgetting and not thinking ahead.
3:20 p.m.: As I mix up the marinade for the pork and am preparing to get it settled into the fridge, Clara begins to fuss and wiggle in her car seat. I bring it over next to me and rock it with me foot all while mix marinade, rubbing spices on the roast and putting everything into a baggie to mingle. Clara is sleeping while I start writing this and I get about 20 minutes to myself. She wakes up and I spend the next several hours trying to make her happy.
Jerry never took a nap. Until about 45 minutes before we needed to head out the door for dinner with friends. He was an absolute bear when we woke him up to try to get out of the door on time.
Score one for mom though – both kiddo’s slept in until 9 the next morning.
It literally took me 24 hours to get the time to finish this post. And I know that it is ridiculously long. But there was something therapeutic in writing about my day. I don’t know why. If you made it through to the end of this, then you must really love me. I don’t even want to listen to me. Kudos to you.