Tuesday, September 18, 2007
My day started on the couch. This is where I woke up. My husband was in Canada overnight so there was no reason for me to make the trek upstairs when the last of the Friends re-runs was over last night. It was 6-ish am and still pretty dark outside when I heard “MAA!” the baby’s request to get up. My neck had a bad left-sided kink and I am not really sure what my hair was doing but it looked a little bit like a ski slope. I tried to at least smooth it down on the way up the stairs so I wouldn’t startle my wee one still in a dark room. I am not a morning person. Actually, I am quite sure my heart does not start beating until about 7:30 or so. So I always pray that the older two will sleep until I at least have ½ a cup of coffee down. This morning I was not so lucky. All three of them were up by 6:30. Soon after the stories of the alien dreams had died down I drug myself into the kitchen to start my coffee. I am a huge coffee fan but I can not make the stuff to save my life. So, I opt for the ease of instant (yuck) just to give me the jolt I need to come up with the latest girlie hairstyle, stuff lunchboxes and blow kisses as the bus pulls away. I filled the mug with water and hit 1 minute, 20 seconds on my microwave. By now, all three children have the jolt they get from I don’t know where but I wish they would share the secret with me and it is obvious they have started their day. I was still hitting the accelerator but it appeared I was out of gas. Simultaneously, my 12 year old made his packed lunch request, my 11 year old asked if I could hold up four fingers on each hand while hiding my thumbs completely – and I MUST show her how I think I would accomplish this while the baby decided I needed to watch him gallop. Not just watch out of the corner of my eye – there is NO fooling him. I had to watch him like I was M. Night Shyamalan filming his next blockbuster. BEEP! That’s my coffee, my morning elixir, the drug that will get me through the mental contortion I am in right now but with my hands tangled and my eyes fixed on Hillbilly Baby, I can’t get to it. My daughter scoffs at my attempt and shows me her hand-wrangling secret, I get to the pantry for the PB&J and the baby is off racing his cars. I glance in the living room with a smile as I have three happy kids when… PICK-UP IN AISLE 5! The dog had made it her job this morning to chew up the plastic bottles that had filled the tipped over mini-shopping cart. I scooped up the slimy plastic as my two-year old scolds our dog with his pointer finger and a resounding, “Na na!” He has heard that before. BEEP! Ahhh, my coffee… “Mom! Come look!” I am jolted out of my java jones by my daughter’s obvious and immediate need. She was pointing to the TV with such urgency I was certain I would soon be having a discussion about a school shooting, a tsunami, the wounded soldiers in Iraq… “Do you like Karla’s purple outfit or Jen’s pink outfit better?” she asked about the singing kid group on The Learning Channel. “Ummm, I think I like the pink, honey.” BEEP! I sprinted (not really) to the kitchen and opened the microwave. I carefully grasped the handle of my mug as my hands are not all that steady before my first swig. BARK! I almost spill the whole gosh-darned thing all over myself when the dog greets the lucky (albeit running) soul who escaped her house this morning to briskly jaunt passed my front windows. The warm sensation of caffeine was calming as it was hastily delivered to my bloodstream. I leaned against the counter taking a few more sips, breathing deeply and preparing to finally start my day. I admired the neatly displayed birthday cards on the half-wall between the kitchen and living room maybe because they were the only semblance of order on the first floor. They are not only a sign that my oldest child is now double digits; they are also a celebration of how long I have been an at-home mom. I take another sip and pretend my coffee tastes like Starbuck’s. Enter the Dog vs.Baby Balloon Volleyball World Championships and my half-wall became the net. One spike by the baby and a failed return by the pooch shoots my celebratory card display straight to… “HELLO” I mouth to Rick, my neighbor, dropping off his daughter at the back door. Crap! I don’t have a bra on and I am walking to greet him at the door. Like a scene from The Matrix and in one fell swoop, I put my ‘mug of life’ down on the table and pick up the sweatshirt I wore the day before from the chair. Like a quick change artist my braless torso is covered and I smile and chat a bit at the door. It’s barely 7:30 am and I feel like I have run a marathon already. I need a shower badly but somehow I don’t think that will give me the boost I need today. After a saxophone concert in the living room and the talents of Morgan the balloon-popping dog, I watched my older two hug their baby brother at the bus stop. This gave me just the boost I needed to get me back in the house and ready to deal with the rest of my morning. 2 ½ minutes later….the first tantrum of the day. Gotta love it!