The following is based on actual events. Only the names have been changed to protect the innocent. And the timelines may have been smudged a teensy bit for effect.
But, every event recorded actually happened to me, this week.
4:45am: Up for the day with ‘Oliver’.
5:15am: Stumble around in the dark trying to drink my morning tea before realizing I’m holding a banana.
6:01am: ‘Elena’ wakes up and is not pleased to be sharing her life, once more, with Oliver.
10am: Glance at the clock. Realize it’s 10am. Realize I’ve been up for 5 hours and it will still be almost 9 hours before ‘Sam’ gets home to give me a break.
10:01am: Cry into my tea.
10:16am: Elena asks: “Are you happy mommy?” I answer, “Mommy’s just tired honey.” (Where’s my banana? I mean, my tea?)
10:17am: Marvel at how wonderful and sensitive my child is to my moods.
10:18am: Worry about how wonderful and sensitive my child is to my moods.
10:19am: Save Oliver from falling off the one step we don’t have a gate on and smacking the back of his head on the concrete. Twice.
10:23am: Save Oliver from toppling head-first into the bathtub. Feel like a superhero. Wait for applause. Remember there’s no one watching.
11:00am: Make early lunch to give myself something to do.
11:24am: Eat lunch.
11:30am: Make 5 cinnamon rolls for something to do.
11:55am: Eat 3 cinnamon rolls.
12:00pm: Worry about the 5 minutes of silence from the bathroom where Elena was washing her hands while I changed Oliver’s seriously poopy diaper. Worry ramps to concern as I encounter a shut bathroom door. I open the door.
12:00pm-12:25pm: Clean up the ‘skating rink’ Elena has made on the bathroom floor by pouring cups of water onto the floor until she can ‘skate’ while Oliver screams his displeasure at being left alone in the playpen with 8 different toys he never plays with.
“Time out?” She asks, perceptively. I nod because to speak may mean to scream. Once I start, I’m not sure I’ll be able to stop.
12:30pm: Feed Oliver and put him down for a nap.
12:35pm: Settle down to watch a movie with Elena.
12:40pm: Realize everything is too scary for her and all she wants to watch is Daniel Tiger. Again. Resist the urge to tell her I think Daniel Tiger is annoying and wimpy and his red sweater is stupid. Treat myself to a half a chocolate bar secretly stuffed in the empty kleenex box on top of the toilet when she’s eating her snack.
12:50pm: Give the dog his breakfast because he’s staring at me and growling. Get Ellie third snacks. Refill her water bottle. Pick up the socks she chucked from the laundry basket.
12:53pm: Start to clean the lunch dishes
12:54pm: ‘Oliver’ wakes up and does not agree to sit down quietly by himself and will cry unless I am holding him while I walk around the house.
1:45pm: Leave early for the Apple store. I have an appointment to fix my laptop after talking over the phone for 3 weeks with their tech people.
2:00pm: Get to the mall.
2:23 pm: Find the Apple store after walking by it twice.
2:30pm: Finally get someone’s attention at the Genius bar to tell her I’m here for my appointment. She takes my name (but only after ensuring I feel bad for interrupting her obviously far more important work.) When I ask about the wait she rolls her eyes. “Well, you’re appointment is at 2:55pm so, probably about 20 minutes.”
3:15pm: (45 minutes later) 45 MINUTES WAITING WITH TWO BABIES IS EQUAL TO WAITING THREE HOURS BY YOURSELF.
This is an immutable scientific fact.
3:19pm: Tell the lady waiting almost an hour with two kids for an appointment I made a week ago is too much. I have to go. My bad because I showed up early. Can I reschedule?
“No. Go online.”
3:20pm: Apple employee tells me to have a good day as I leave the store, stunned.
3:21pm: Stifle the urge to tell that employee what he can do with his ‘good day’ and assure him that I am not, actually, having a good day because waiting 45 minutes with two babies is not fun.
“Make an appointment online next time.” He advises sagely.
“I did.” I hiss. No response. Nervous smile. (Is this harried looking lady with two babies hanging off her going to EXPLODE?) Resist the urge EXPLODE and yank his name-tag off his blue GAP sweater and shove it..well..urge resisted, enough said.
3:22pm: Debate chucking the laptop in the garbage and screaming at the injustice to anyone who will hear. Decide at the last minute I’d rather not spend the weekend with the guys in the white coats.
3:35pm: Stop at Starbucks to give Elena a cake pop because, she was REALLY good. For a three year old.
3:45pm: Race to the car in the pouring rain, (thunder AND lightening) Oliver in his carrier on my front, Elena riding piggy-back.
Realize halfway to the van in the swampy parking lot of Nordstrom’s that I am NOT, in fact, Wonder Woman. And that both kids together weigh almost 60 pounds.
4:20pm: Finally make it home.
4:30pm: Make myself some hot chai tea. Crush Tylenol into the tea.
4:33pm: Cry into said tea.
4:35pm: Text Bill to tell him I’m having a bad day.
4:36pm: Chuckle when he offers to bring home Subway for supper to cheer me up.
4:37pm Text back to tell him unless that’s a Tequila sandwich on a bun of white wine gel with shots of whisky, I’m not interested.
4:50pm: Texts back he’s leaving work and on his way home.
4:51pm: Cry with relief into my watery, salty, powdery Chai tea.
5:20pm: Elena asks if I need a hug. I say yes. Then make her giggle when I refuse to let go and it ends up in a tickle-fest with both kids that even the dog wants in on.
5:21pm: Sam arrives home and says, ‘Looks like there’s lots to clean up today!’ Because there are still lunch dishes in the sink and the house is a mess and I’m just playing with the happy, happy kids right?
5:22pm: Shove Sam out a window.
Ok I didn’t shove ‘Sam’ out the window. Or, I opened it first. Something like that.
This stay at home stuff isn’t for the faint of heart. Grit-up mom’s. I know how hard it is. Luckily we don’t have to be the smartest (or even the most awake…). We don’t have to be the strongest or the quickest or the skinniest or the one with the best make-up on.
We don’t have to have the most patience and we don’t have to be perfect all the time. We just have to love the best way we know how, and when we screw that all up by 10am, we just need to pull it together and try again. And again. And again, and again. Until it gets better.
Because it will. And then I’ll be all whiny and moony because my ‘babies’ won’t stay in on a Friday night and cuddle on the couch with me to watch movies. Heck I’ll probably even miss listening to Daniel Tiger sing about going to potty.
Or, probably not.