Ever want to play hide and seek with your children in the hopes that you may be able to hide so perfectly well that they may never find you? No? As wonderful as motherhood is (and it is) there are days when I'd like to call in sick, or at the very least, train a replacement in case I actually do go nuts like I threaten to, oh, maybe four times a day. I can't afford to pay her (the replacement/understudy/apprentice to my wonky life), but the list of duties would go something like this:
6 am : pretend to be sound asleep in the hopes that Mike will get up with the baby. If you lose the rock, paper, scissor game then pry eyelids open with toothpicks and give thanks to the coffee gods who invented coffee makers with programmable timers. Gulp accordingly.
6:15 : give Gianni his bowl of oatmeal and ask politely that he refrain from smearing too far up his nose.
6:30 : clean up oatmeal monster by whistling for Milo. What's grosser: oatmeal up nose or dog slobber? Scientists have proven that dog's mouths are cleaner than ours, so no worries.
7:00 : start a Bob video for one year old, who scientists have also proven should not be watching television. "Bob" in our house is code for VeggieTales. You know, Bob the Tomato and Larry the Cucumber? Don't make me quote movies here, people.
7:30, or maybe 9:00 : girls wake up and stumble upstairs, yawning and wishing they were approaching a table laden with waffles and other breakfast goodies. But, no, it's cereal or eggs, either of which they make themselves usually. That's why eight year olds are the coolest.
9:00 : debate taking a weed wacker to Cora's hair but settle for most of a bottle of detangler. Distract her from her oh-so sensitive head by chatting nonstop. Doesn't work. Cora hollers 'I'll do it myself!' grabs hair brush and makes a sprint for the stairs. Comes back up 3 minutes later with a slightly subdued birds nest atop her noggin. Repeat process from the beginning. Replacement must get good at this as she will be doing this part of her duties several times a day, only to shove a baseball cap over the offending follicles in surrender later. Kiss hubby goodbye. Wait, replacement may skip that duty.
9:30 : put toddler to bed. Don't misplace the binky. Tuck in. Smooch. Remove diaper wipes from his chubby little hands reach and put atop the changing table. Unless replacement really likes folding 700 million wet wipes back into an impossibly small container.
9:35 : reheat the coffee you left earlier this morning and just found in the bathroom which is odd because you are pretty sure you haven't had time to go yet today. Snack on something so you aren't climbing on a broom by lunch time and wondering why. Remember oh yeah, you homeschool, so better get educating. Where did those school age children run off to anyway?
9:45 : find the girls in a puddle outside collecting worms. Decide this is very science class like, why interrupt? Remind them not to bring the five dozens night crawlers into the house, puhleeze. Check emails. Unload dishwasher. Wipe down table which mysteriously emits crumbs nonstop throughout the day. There are enough crumbs on that table at any given time to start a bakery. Grumble a bit. Mood changes when you rinse out your Brawny paper towel and realize happily that you can reuse it later. Lovingly fold it and put it by the sink. Get dressed. Comb hair. Or borrow one of Cora's hats if you aren't up to the challenge. Or cut yourself some bangs in a wild spurt of impulsiveness and urge to look like Catherine Zeta Jones. Regret immediately.
10:30 : wonder, 'why does the doorbell only ring at the most inconvenient times?'
10:35 : wrangle the girls back indoors. Scoot them downstairs for some good old fashioned home learning! Get distracted by laundry.
11:00 : strange noises coming Gianni's room. After pondering a bit you peek through the slightly open door and watch him racing his sippy cup along the wall like it's a car. It's cute. Say awwwww. He's happy to see you and you race to pick him up. He has to go through his ritual of turning off the humidifier, putting his binky back to bed, and pointing at a photo of mommy and daddy's wedding. Then he waves his hand in front of his nose telling you he's stinky. Hope you remembered to put the wipes out of his reach.
11:30 : make lunch. Tell the girls, 'seriously! we are starting school and I mean now!' Go over some math review and sigh in relief when they remember everything they learned last week. Ask Cora to read aloud from her science book to Anna while you clean the kitchen. Again. Gianni is very helpful and unloads everything you load into dishwasher. You give him a hair brush to distract him and a scant ten seconds later you hear the toilet flush.
12:00 : tell Anna no, it was not her brush that her little brother tried to flush down the toilet, it was... it was just a kleenex. Why would you yell about him flushing a kleenex and why is my brush all wet? she persists. Sigh. With Nancy Drew as her mother it is no wonder that this child is a detective in training.
12:30 : make the mistake of walking into girl's room. Pigs would be uncomfortable with the idea of residing there. Count to ten. Not helping. Holler 'I thought I told you to clean this room yesterday!' Full war erupts as children argue about who has the most stuff on the floor and who it belongs to. Threaten with full scale bodily harm if THIS ROOM ISN'T SPOTLESS IN 20 MINUTES. Go into their bathroom. Another mistake. Don't you ever learn?
1:00 : hide with "guilty as sin" by Tami Hoag. Read the 500 page, "Night Sins" without knowing there was a sequel so now you are obliged to read the second. If there's a third, you are writing this woman and demanding closure immediately if not sooner.
1:30 : realize you haven't seen Gianni in a while. Oh, there he is, sitting on the table, eating crumbs. Nice.
2:00 : more laundry. Check emails and phone messages (you would have lost the phone several hours earlier but found it under the couch along with quite a few candy wrappers the girls went to more trouble hiding than it would have taken to just throw them away). Oh right, those 20 minutes were up a long time ago. Get up the courage and namaste-attitude to venture back to their room. Not exactly shocked to hear that 'it was clean, like, two minutes ago, mom! But then we started playing again and well, this pile is to land in when we jump off the top bunk! And this pile, well, I'm playing with it right now so I can't really put it away yet! And-' Close door.
2:30 : put sticky toddler back to bed. Plan dinner. Feed restless natives a snack. Remember you forgot to eat lunch. Write a silly blog for your loyal readers, all two of them.
4:00 : wake Gianni, remind Cora to grab her swimbag, tell Anna she can't go out of the house looking like that, find keys, remind Cora AGAIN to grab her swimbag, wish you would have remembered to charge your phone, hook your reusuable grocery bags over your shoulder along with diaper bag and toddler. Trip on dog on the way out the door. Buckle everyone in van. Back out driveway. Go back for the swimbag.
4:30 : drop Cora off at swim team practice. Love that eight year old. Run errands with Anna and G. in the mighty Wyoming wind. Anna is chatty without her sister to interrupt her, so conversation is constant, if a bit one-sided. Head to grocery store for a few things. Spend too many agonizing minutes over the whole free range vs. whole grain fed chicken eggs. Can't get the ones that are both, too expensive, have to make a choice. Decide for happier, free range-ier types this time.
5:45 : try to speed up Cora in the whole locker room/shower/get dressed dance. She is always the first to hit the showers, and yet, the last to be fully clothed and presentable. Do the whole hair episode all over again. Meanwhile, Gianni running pell-mell through a wet locker room, falling every five steps and making eyes at all the girls. On the way home the girls are fighting over, get this, a string. Yep, a string. A dirty piece of yellow curly ribbon that isn't even curly anymore. After asking nicely three times to knock it off, you finally hit the roof and shout, 'Shut up!' Spend the rest of the ride wallowing in Mommy Guilt.
6:00 : hope you had dinner planned down to the letter, because kids are hungry and underfoot. Do you really only have three? Cause it feels like seven, at least. Threaten with wooden spoon if anyone so much as looks like they might say something less than complimentary about what you are preparing. Kids set table. Anna wants candles. Gianni wants food now. Dog wants something tasty to drop so he's glued to your side. Mike wants kisses. No, wait, not from you he doesn't! Unless replacement looks like Jenna Elfman. Which I totally do if you close one eye and drink too much.
7:00 : clean kitchen, yet again. Get a chance to use that Brawny, yeah, baby. Bathe Moose. Wonder why you're wetter than he is. Wrestle him into Buzz Lightyear pajamas after lotion-ing him up which is about as difficult and time consuming as say, catching a greased pig, or figuring out the meaning to a Peter Gabriel song. Read his favorite books to him, which I may have forgotten to say earlier, you will read about three million times per day. Pass him around for kisses and hugs and put to bed.
7:30 : kick children off tv and order to get ready for bed. This requires telling them to brush their teeth, oh, about 64 times. Tuck them in. Read a chapter of 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.' Say goodnight. 'But we haven't brushed our teeth yet!' they cry in protest.
8:30 : retreat into television never-neverland with hubby. Curse the dvr who only records shows periodically and at it's peculiar discretion. Settle on Dancing with the Stars because it's good payback for football season.
10:30 : tumble into bed. Snore. Drool a little on pillow.
Repeat 7 days a week for 18 years.
Actually, it's not a bad position. The perks are good. I think I'll stick it out.