I got up this morning, after getting my luxurious 3 hours of interrupted sleep, greeted by my one year old who wanted a boob, my three year old who wanted a TV show and a two year old that wanted to boss someone around. My husband was off for a rare weekend day of work and I had a To Do list longer than my leg hair.
Don’t laugh – shaving takes energy…. and a shower!
Brushing away the foggy, exhausted, please let me go back to bed feeling, I geared up for another day with my girls.
We have no concrete plans. Katie plans on changing 8 times, Sarah plans on stealing some toys and hitting someone, Megan plans to flash her half- toothy grin and get her way.
But I do have a To Do list and it must be followed lest I fall behind, making my list longer, more painful and to be honest, more boring. I peer at my list through half opened eyes and think I read “Drink All Day”. My liver does a back flip until I rub my eyes and realize it was wishful thinking… it just said “Clean All Day.”
Now I know “Clean All Day” is an oxymoron. No Mother gets through a day without cleaning something, someone, or somehow. Unless you are that Urban Legend chic who did nothing all day. The claim is her husband came home to mass chaos and she was all relaxed and reading and when he asked what the hell was going on, she said “You know how you wonder what chores I do all day? Well, today I didn’t do any of them!” Now that girl is my Queen! I aim to be her when I grow up.
Today won’t be the day however as my list has bullet points. Under Clean All Day is laundry, floors, dust, toilets, counters, purge toys. I put the list down, snort at my ambition and proceed with reality. Drinking my liquid energy, which usually take about 2 hours including children interruptions, I vow to at least accomplish one thing on the list. Too bad sit on my ass was not on it. I really must think these lists through more carefully.
I change diapers, make breakfast, clean the dishes, sweep the floor and wipe down the counters. I gobble down the last piece of turkey bacon – sooo much better than regular bacon, if you ask me – and an egg and wish that I could find the time to make another cup of coffee.
But it is game on and I have no time. The fighting starts immediately, quickly followed by whining, not to be outdone by ordering me around like I came out of the box with an apron and tray in my hand. I separate, console, punish, ground, and beg for peace and harmony. They ignore me because, well, it’s just fun. And I really think that my voice is just background noise now. It is like they are so busy making each other’s lives miserable that they pay no attention to the woman behind the curtain. They get it from their father.
We get to a point where I can put the baby down for a nap and things get easier. Surely I can get to my list now. I attempt to get Katie and Sarah to go play outside. Go explore our acre, I beg. No. Go read books to each other. No. Go play hide and seek. No. Just go. No.
I end up reading books, playing Ring Around the Rosey so many times that when I fall down I actually contemplate doing a belly flop on the tile floor just to put myself out of my misery! Seriously, most annoyingly aggravating game ever. Especially for someone who has a little – lot – extra weight. By the time I get up each time, we were back to the fall down part and that was just defeating the entire purpose of having a pocket full of posies.
When I beg off the game to “get things done” the girls ask for a towel and cleaner so they can help. PERFECT!!!!
They spray everything in the house that may need cleaning, I’ll give them, but we’ll say are not the priority. The side of my desk. The rug I vacuumed. The dog. Their Toy Story figurines. Dora’s Benny the Bull. My feet. OK – those are a priority but I promise, it’s going to take something more than Windex on these catastrophes!
But who cares? They are cleaning after all. And despite the fact that I had to run after them with another towel cleaning Febreze off of the dollhouse, it is still cleaning. And I promote it. Because at some point in my life, I will sit on the couch doing nothing and eating Bon Bon’s just to prove it can be done! So I need them to really think cleaning is fun.
By the time the girls are finished helping me out, the baby is up. She needs a diaper and they all need lunch. So I make their lunch, beg them to eat, order them to take a bite, wash the dishes, wash them, think how I can make Oreo’s part of my diet plan, wipe the table and sweep the floor.
My husband walks in and sits in the easy chair. With a beer.
Ok – surly now I can get some things crossed off my list. I have reinforcements after all.
I hear snoring.
Well – he did work today.
I gather the children and take them to the garage playroom. I drag the vacuum behind me determined to at least get it presentable.
The girls are in a helpful mood again so we spend 2 hours cleaning the playroom and basically accomplish nothing. I think that the toy box got moved, but that was about it. Again the fighting, whining, peeing in the pants and basic parenting of it all diverts my goal.
I head into the house thinking my husband would be up now and be well rested and ready to take over so I can start working on my list. He is up… but has decided that he has to finish installing the back splash today. Right now.
Now… here is a slippery slope. I want the back splash finished lest we be featured on Disaster House BUT I really need him to take these kids off my hands for a bit. Just for a bit. Not all day, not even an hour. Just long enough for me to do one of the things on my list. So do I ask him to help out? Or do I understand that if I take him away from this project, he may never complete it and it adds to our list of things to argue about? Deciding that this list is more than full, I sacrifice mine and head back to tend to the offspring.
We “clean” for a few more hours, interrupted only by typical time outs, threat and bribes but do actually get the playroom in a better state than it was when we started. I give full credit to the trash bag for that!
I order pizza for dinner thinking it will save me time and, though I can’t do everything on my list, I can at least do one thing. Surely I have saved myself 30 minutes or so. WOW Sarah is cran – ky! I hold her while the baby screams in protest while listening to Katie tell me why she is marrying Joshua and kissing him at her wedding and birthday party because she is his friend.
Pizza’s here. I heat up a veggie, chop up a fruit, slice up the pizza and get them some water. My husband comes in, loads his dinner on a plate and sits in the recliner watching a 1980 slap stick flick. Now the kids are done. I wipe faces, hands, tummies- they are messy! They get that from their father too.
I wipe down the table, wash the dishes, wipe down the counter, take the trash out and sweep the floor. I hear Tony putting a movie in for the kids and I think that I am finally going to be able to check one thing off my list!
“I don want dat movieeeeeee!”
I love, I hold, I rock, I get milk, I kiss. Everyone is happy again so I get on with it. I m still aiming for that one thing to cross off my list. But, it will have to wait one more minute because I have dogs. I feed the dogs, feed my neighbor’s dogs, sweep the back patio, pet the dogs, water the dogs, throw a ball for the dogs and head back in to see how the movie is holding the kids.
They see me and a duo of Mommeeeees fill the air along with a Maaaamaaaaaa! I head over and realize that it is past their bedtime so I begin the – hmph – bedtime routine. I look up for help from my husband and he is asleep on the couch. Wellll… I got my back splash soooo….
I jammie the girls, listen to them tell me how Daddy did brush their teeth – YEA – and help them go potty. I get the baby in her crib, the two year old happily twirling her hair in her bed and reach deep down to prepare for my oldest. Lucky for me, she was in a negotiating kind of mood and I promised that if she lays in her bed while I made my bed, I would come get her to sleep with me. She bought it and laid down.
I head to the dryer to get the sheets for my bed, lest she actually call me on my bluff, pass a snoring husband and start to make the bed. He comes in when I am almost done, crawls into bed and falls asleep. I let the dogs out, give them their night time snack, lock the doors, set the alarm, pick up the toys in the living room and sit on the couch.
It was a good day overall. Not too bad. Just one thing weighs on my mind.
I really wish I’d gotten to my To Do list, because I really feel like I didn’t do anything today…