Hubby got in last night around 9:30, I think. I was staring blankly at the computer screen about to pass out from exhaustion. Just as he walked in the door, I heard Baby cry. The last thing I remember was laying down next to her. Then I woke up in my bed, fully clothed, sandwiched between Hubby and Baby. I looked at the clock. 1:12 a.m. Baby is still attached and wriggling around. She has a yucky cough, a stuffed up nose and tooting like a freight train. I sit up and try to decide if I should give her the cold medicine or the gas medicine. I can't give them simultaneously. I decide the cold medicine will probably make her drowsy, so I get up and take her to the bathroom to administer it. Two hours later, she finally goes back to sleep.
I wake up to the sounds of Brother and Sister arguing in the living room. Baby hears it and is instantly fully awake and ready to play. I'm trying to peel my eyelids open as she climbs onto my head and straddles it. She bounces up and down, riding my head like a pony at the fair, giggling and screeching with delight. I groan. I don't want to get up. But the fact is, even though she is being such a rotten little stinker, she is so adorable I can't resist her. I grab a chubby little leg and nibble it and make a wish that she would never get a day older. My cute-o-meter completely maxed out, I remember that the gas man is coming to light the pilot light on my oven. Luckily, I am already dressed, so once I drag myself out of bed and have coffee, we can get the show on the road.
I am staggering down the hall, my head in a fog. The living room is like a field of land mines, with toys and books strewn about. I am an expert at dodging them. I can do it in my sleep. Which is good, because I am not quite awake. I feel like Dracula, eyes squinted, arms raised, trying to block out the light that seems to be burning a hole in my brain. Coffee. Must have coffee. It is the life's blood that flows through my veins. Brother takes a break from fighting with Sister to tell me how hungry he is. I grunt something about patience as I fumble for the coffee maker. I start to break out the cereal...again...when I have a pang of guilt and decide to make french toast. I bark orders for the kids to pick up the land mine so we don't kill the gas man, and I attempt to make breakfast in my stupor. The coffee beeps. Actually, the coffee maker beeps and I get butterflies, knowing I am about to have my fix. It's hot. It's creamy. It's soothing. I feel it down to my toes. It's...well, you get the picture. I kind of like coffee. So, I'm coming alive and the smell of cinnamon toasting on the bread is wafting through the house. I am glad because it will mask the smell of filth when the gas man arrives. Brother comes into the kitchen and says, "Mom, can we have french toast for breakfast?" I stop and look at him, slightly pleased that I have pulled this one off. I actually made what he wanted! Before he asked!! I said, "Yes, you can." He grinned. "How did I know that's what you wanted?" I ask. He said, "Well, I thought I smelled poop or something, but it was French Toast."
I go over my mental to-do list for today.
- Clean behind the stove.
- Shower. I'm starting to smell.
- Bathe the kids. They smell, too.
- Figure out what to make for dinner and go get it.
- Visit with a friend who is coming over.
I have to do all of this by 4:30 or 5:00, because tonight I am meeting friends...without children...for dinner and a movie. And I see an email from Hubby containing an errand I need to do for him. It is more than I can get done, so I'm trying to prioritize. There is God knows what living behind my stove, since it has sat in the same place for seven years without being moved, so I feel the need to clean before the gas man comes. I'd like to push back the visit with a friend to another day, but I haven't seen her in about 9 months, and we've been trying to get together for about 2 months. I don't feel like I can do that to her. A shower is pretty important, too, but maybe I can use a baby wipe to wash off a bit and make due. No, I want to look and smell like a girl tonight. I want to do makeup, hair, the whole shabang. The kids haven't bathed in about four days, and I can't leave it to Hubby tonight because he will have a friends' two kids along with our three so she and I can go hang with the girls. It's all important!!!
I call Hubby and he is short with me about calling him at work. So we fight by text messaging while the kids eat breakfast. I barely get everyone dressed when the gas man arrives. So much for cleaning behind the stove. Luckily, he doesn't even pull it out. Not so lucky, we need a new part for the stove. Gas man leaves. I text Hubby. "Handle it." is his reply. Add that to my list. I do a short school lesson with the kids, call around to find the part for the stove and we pile in the car to run errands, smelly and all. We are in Wal-Mart when a sweet, little grandpa begins to talk to Baby and tell her how pretty she is. She just stares at him and he laughs. "She's awful quiet," he says. "Not like my granddaughter." "Oh, she's not like this at home," I assure him. He waves bye-bye to her, which is met with a cold, dead stare. I start off down the aisle again when I realize Sister is not with me. I call her name. No answer. I check the nearby aisles. I can't find her. I'm starting to run, frantically searching for that long, blonde ponytail and red shirt. Finally, I see her, sitting on the floor looking at a Barbie computer game. She looks up at me with those enormous baby blues, "Mom, can we get this?" I grab her little arm and give her a swift swat on the tushie. "DON'T EVER WALK AWAY FROM ME LIKE THAT AGAIN!" I don't even care if people are looking at me. She looks confused and then starts to cry. I scoop her up and squeeze her tight, shaking. I can't even let my mind begin to think about what could have happened. "You scared me, " she says, sobbing. "You scared me, too" I say, not wanting to let her go.
I was going to try and pick up the stove part, but it is lunchtime by the time we leave Wal-Mart. Baby has fallen asleep in the 8 minutes it takes us to get home, so I try to wake her up when I get her out of the car. She won't do it. Now, if I tried to lay her down, she would be wide awake. We get the bags in and I set her down on the floor. She starts wailing, but the clock is ticking, so I leave her. I am expecting my friend around 1:30. I need to feed everyone, put them down for naps and sneak in a shower in about an hour and a half. I put the girls in the bathtub while I make lunch. Hubby calls and we make up. He says he will pick up the part for the stove on his way home. The girls get clean, everyone gets fed and they all lay down. I hit the shower. I get to use the yummy smelling shower gel Hubby got me for Valentine's Day. And I don't hurry. No one is standing outside the door yelling. No little fingers are poking in under the door. Afterwards I use more yummy smelling stuff from Hubby and I feel like a new person. A real person.
The sun is shining, the wind is blowing, as if God is whispering to me "Spring is coming!" The house is quiet. I am clean. I smell good. Tonight I get to take off my Mommy hat and go be me with the girls. We will cluck and cackle like hens and eat queso at Senor Tequila's. I am excited. I deserve it.
I've never been drunk in my life. But after today, maybe now is a good time to start.