23 October 2014

The Mom Scene

On a recent afternoon, I texted my wife to see how her day was going. And this was her response.

6:38 am: 6:38, 6:38, 6:38. Everyday this kid wakes up at 6:38. It’s like we’re in a ratings-desperate spin-off of Lost and the numbers 6-3-8 are super important but no one knows why. Not 6:37, no thank you. 6:40? Poppycock! I will rise at 6:38 every morning, regardless of the time I fell asleep the night before, and you will begin catering to my every whim. Got it, lady?

6:38 and 29 seconds: I scoop up Little Brother and hurry him out of the room before he wakes his big brother, who occasionally and awesomely sleeps ALL THE WAY UNTIL 7:30 AM.

6:39 am: Consider the alternative, to let him wake up the Doozer, lock them both in the room with a box of cereal and go back to bed. Decide that this is probably bad parenting, no matter how tempting.

7:00 am: We settle down with a large mug of black coffee and diluted apple juice in a sippy cup for a thought-provoking episode of Max and Ruby, in which Max derails Ruby’s attempt at organic, artisanal beauty products by eating her supplies. Ponder a business venture (run by cartoon bunnies) in which a locavore and a craftswoman could work together harmoniously.

7:12 am: Recall that when I was first pregnant, I thought I wouldn’t let my kids watch television. Snort audibly at my prenatal naïveté.

7:30 am: Shower. Alone. With the door closed. A cherished luxury made possible only because my husband’s new commute is shorter than the old one and he no longer leaves the house by 7.

7:45 am: Exit the bathroom to find the Doozer awake. I begin warning them both that we will have to go to Target this morning. Words I will repeat 300 times over the next hour and still, they will both act shocked and horrified when I herd them upstairs to get dressed after breakfast.

8:00 am: Make breakfast.

8:05 am: Call the kids to breakfast.

8:06 am: Call the kids to breakfast.

8:07 am: Call the kids to breakfast.

8:08 am: Call the kids to breakfast.

8:09 am: Pee.

8:11 am: Call the kids to breakfast REALLY LOUDLY while physically prying toys from their chubby little fingers.

8:13 am: Unload the dishwasher and try to explain to a 2-year-old why he can’t have the blue plate for every meal and that his breakfast will taste just as good on the orange plate. Continue this conversation throughout the duration of breakfast, getting washed up, brushing teeth, getting dressed. Try to decide if we could avoid future iterations of this conversation by eliminating all the blue plates from the house, or by getting only blue dishes forever and ever until we die.

9:50 am: Load everyone into the car with the 900 things they need to take a 1-mile trip and realize I forgot to eat breakfast. Hunger is totally fine. I don’t need food.

9:57 am:   Head into Target, where we [REDACTED] until we agree to [REDACTED]. Continue our shopping trip when [REDACTED] and I plead for [REDACTED] until I give up, drive home, and try to decide which neighboring town’s Target is closer, since we’ve been [REDACTED].

12:11 pm: I sit down at the lunch table with the boys. Not to eat, mind you. I don’t eat meals sitting down LIKE A HUMAN BEING anymore. Just to sit down, while the one who likes food is distracted by a plateful of it and the one who doesn’t care a whole hell of a lot for food (not my child) is physically strapped to his chair for the next 20 minutes.

12:14 pm: A carefully sliced grape-half tumbles to the floor and bounces off my big toe. I ignore it.

12:15 pm: "Mama! A gwape! On the floor! Mama!! A gwape is on the floor!" I am stone-faced. I welcome and appreciate the opportunity to ignore your ridiculous emergency.

12:17 pm: The clouds in the sky today remind me of one of our wedding photos, taken almost 9 years ago. I think about that perfect fall day in Michigan, crisp and sun-warmed all at the same time, friends and family and love and food and drink and promises of family and unity and TOGETHERNESS.

12:19 pm: Regret it. I could have been a nun! I could have gone to culinary school in Paris! I could have toiled on a fishing boat in Alaska, which probably includes the added and totally awesome bonus of never having to shave one’s legs! I could have slaved away at an unassuming desk job for an a-hole boss for a hundred years until I died without fanfare, but at least I could have EATEN MEALS SITTING DOWN.

12:22 pm: The big one gets the little one’s grape from under the table and asks me in earnest whether it can be rinsed off or if I can get him a new one. (The big one’s a good person. He’s my child. This other one fell off a turnip truck and rolled onto our front lawn. “Please, can we keep him, please? PLEEEEEEEEASE?” “Uh, he’s kinda cute. Sure.”)

12:23 pm: That would be funny if it was my actual birth story.

12:24 pm: Slice more grapes in half, wash knife. My life is repeating itself, only not in a cool Groundhog Day sort of way, just in a really mundane, no one enjoys halving grapes THE FIRST TIME kind of way.

12:35 pm: Wash. More. Dishes. Again.

1:00 pm: Read, cuddle, coerce, threaten the little one to take a nap. Promise the big one I will play table hockey with him if he gives me ten minutes to relax first. Ensure ten minutes of quiet time by letting him play Angry Birds on my phone.

1:50 pm: Check email, Facebook. I learn that if I had not quit my previous job when I was pregnant, I would currently, at this very moment in time, be hanging out with the Foo Fighters at work. This was the kind of job where, if you were having a craptastic day, someone would grab a bottle of whiskey and a couple of glasses out of the kitchen, and shortly you’d have obtained enough liquid perspective to get through the rest of the day.

2:00 pm: Settle in for the fifth consecutive day of our Naptime Classic table hockey tournament. Try not to sob openly about my parallel life, the one in which I’m presently shooting the breeze with Dave Grohl and Pat Smear.

2:25 pm: I declare the Doozer champion, magnanimously neglect to tell him that I let him win, and set him up with some Legos so I can get some work done in the brief but wondrous window of time that is the Afternoon Nap. When the little one gives up his Afternoon Nap, you may just find me wandering under a freeway overpass, half-dressed and disoriented. Don’t send help. It’s better for everyone this way.

2:26 pm: You texted to ask how my day was going.

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