For starters, I want you to know I believe in Radical honesty. I am not going to sugar coat my life, and probably I am going to offend a few people in the process, so before hand, I am sorry to hurt your feelings, this is my life as I see it.
A day in the life at the beginning.
It’s five am and my husband’s phone begins to ring, vibrating my bed, where I am sleeping, kinda, with my two littlest kids. I glare in the direction of the man who is snoring next to me and doing nothing to stop it… After a few minutes I grumble meanly at him that he needs to turn off his phone. He informs me that his is not certain where it is. At this point I want to strangle him, really, and tell him to look in the middle of our split King bed because it is giving me a massage right now. And tada there it is.
The side effect of the whole thing being I have now woken up my two littlest kids. Sigh. So again the day starts before the sun. I tuck them back in and go make bottle and protein drink, known in toddler speak as the “Bannama bobbie”, pick them up and plop them on the couch, to see that the ruckus has also woken up my five year old, who has PTSD. Some people would be livid. There are days I have been, but this is my life, and I know my husband had the best of intentions, he was trying to get up and shower early so as to stay out of my way with what is next to come.
At six, after working on too many things to name, I have to get all the kids up, all four who are still sleeping for a grand total of 7 under age 8. Jayden is less than a morning person and glares at me under her shock of blond hair, and freaks out whenever someone looks at her wrong. We look over our morning chore list and the countdown to school begins. To me it’s like the timer on a bomb. Tick tick tick, mom’s gonna freak out if everything is not done before the clock says time to go. Yes, I freak out. After so many mornings doing the same picture list of chores to get ready for school you would think the kids and I had a clockwork system down, but it seems we don’t. Unless you count them playing and me yelling as a standard. And I would love to yell less, but unfortunately it works.
So, the big kids get dressed. I dress the little kids, change diapers, and look at my ugly pink robe thinking, I am looking fabulous (Did you hear the sarcasm?) And then I look at the bombshell that is my kitchen. It was clean this week, but not today. I have had to do therapy, back to school night, dental appointments, dad working late, and my normal schedule this week. I just didn’t get to it last night before I passed out in my bed. We scramble through cleaning, making lunches, checking backpacks, and then the blissful moment when I get to shower…. I love my showering time. It’s almost as good as bedtime and naptime. That is until someone interrupts myblissful revire by slamming open the door and screaming. “MOM! James poked me so I punched him in the face!” I admit I hear shocked silence for a moment, wishing I could rewind for a moment and just pause my life so at to enjoy my blisfull shower just a moment longer, but then sigh, I have to deal with it again, “Well, since you punched him, I can’t help you, you meted out your own justice. I think you were a little too hard on him and I need you to go appologise.”
Which is naturally followed by the shrieked reasons why he was being fair and I am not. I hate the word fair, nothing in life is fair, I can tell you for certain. So I growl at my eight year old, “Go appologise and I will deal with this when I am OUT of the shower!” He sculks out, I get dressed and it’s almost time to head to school.
I head out to the truck (Yep I had to sell my huge van and I have not had time to replace it) to see that it is full of my husbands tools, some that weigh a ton, and all the carseats are in the garage. I glance at my watch. Mr. Incredible had it right, “I still got time.”
I take the ten minutes to fix both problems, march my three littlest across the street to my angelic neighbor who is willing to watch them while I drive to school, in exchange for a nap, and pack everyone in the car.
I admit to loving the silence as I drive home with only the baby, who is babbling and talking in the back seat. I let my mind rove as I drive the memorized route, opposite of commuting traffic. Small break, and then back into the fray. I have one hour until preschool drop off. So gather kids, change the laundry again, change the dishwasher, pick up and vaccumm so that the carpet grubber won’t eat something and throw up again this morning…. Oh time to get the kids in the car again. I run over to the same nieghbor’s house, pick up her little girl and drive down the hill, and back up.
After looking at the clock I see I have an hour and a half until Kindergarten drop off… Huh, what can I get done in that time? Addy needs a nap, Ben need hugs, James needs positive reinforcement so he is nice to his teacher today, oh and an early lunch so he eats before school. And then suddenly we have to go again… I drag myself to the truck, loathe to deal with another run. This time I put on music to make the drive more palatable and as I head home, my toddler breaks down. I hand him a drink and he passes out. Ahhh the peace of naptime. I tuck him into bed and place the baby on the floor where she is amazingly close to crawling. Sleep beckons me and I wish I could give in, but soon it will be time to pick everyone up again for the day. My wonderful neighbor brings home the preschooler and he sits at the table narrating his life and reading books, really looking at pictures, while I allow myself time to breathe. Then it’s time to change the laundry and dishes again, prep dinner and toss everyone, even the slightly sleepy toddler back into the truck for after school pick up, this time leaving the baby and the preschooler with my neighbor knowing the toddler is a mess and needs the time to wake up before he can be nice.
The last drive to school of the day, to the sound of “Too tight!” and “No mom!” while I try to find a happy place. The carpool lines are long and it’s blisteringly hot outside, but I turn around after loading up my four kids and head home. We talk about what they did and we fall out off the car, pulling out backpacks and homework, all over the table. Their shoes inherently land everywhere except where they belong, and make the toddler stumble, and cry. I sigh, time to yell again, talking isn’t working. “Backpacks and shoes do not belong in the middle of the floor!” They scramble to pick them up, kinda, and shove them out of the middle of the room, returning to homework.
I have to go pick up the little kids, and the neighbor kids, and then it’s time for homework, which is it’s own form of torture. We should re-institure homework as punishment for bad parenting. They must do two hour of homework for four children every day and then we will consider forgiving their crimes… I think it would work. There is a fast clean up again and it’s time for dinner. I made pizza, store bought. I know, not terribly healthy, but I managed to get it made, with grapes and salad, it will have to do.
We clean up and begin the required reading for school, my homework, since none of my kids are good readers yet, and then get ready for bed. They toss all their clothes on the floor, which I sigh and tell them to clean up for the hundredth time, brush teeth, and flop onto the couch. I wish at this point I could say we did something fun like going to the park, but frankly I am done and want to sleep. I let them pick a couple shows from Netflix, one boy show and one girl show, and then off to bed.
Once the peace of little sleeping bodies settles over the house, my husband gets home. It is the perfect moment to give him a hug, and have him there to talk with on an adult level is awesome. There are more dishes to do, laundry to fold and put away, and life to prep for the morning.
When I fall into bed at the end of the I pass out.. Hello bed. I have missed you. We should spend more time together… Snore. Only to be woken up at five again, or often before. It’s a hard life, not for the faint of heart, but that is all it requires. Heart. A lot of heart, and nothing else.