Today, I had plans to meet a dear friend for coffee after we both dropped our kids off for school. This would be the sitcom version of who I wanted to be – just a carefree mom who slurped up a leisurely cappuccino in a café with a pal before I spent the rest of the day working from home on my blog and other writing projects until I had to fetch the children from school. If you are not at this stage of your life you might be unable to appreciate the alchemy that must transpire to get two moms together during an “off peak” moment to be not-just-mom’s.
This is how my morning actually went:
5:44am Wake-up(ish) when Husband’s fitness tracker wrist band thing begins to vibrate in warning of impending doom (also known as a sixty second countdown to the actual alarm going off).
5:45 am Wake up – seriously now, let dog out before he starts whining (impossible) and flop back into bed for a beat before one or both kids wake up.
5:46 am Trip over feet while dog weaves in between my legs while I overcomplicate the process of unlocking the back slider.
5:48 am Almost back to bed when I remember that I failed to do a preliminary raccoon/ wildlife /stray cat search of the backyard before unleashing the beast. And why is he barking?
5:50 am Big Sister is awake. But looks like a zombie. There is snot. Her eyes are red. I hear something about a “scratchy throat” as I turn her around and into a warm eucalyptus bath.
5:51 am Little Sister awakes disgruntled because the “bath is so incredibly loud” and “totally woke her up and ruined her morning”. Note her general distemperment and also the stuffy nose. She mentions she needs “a steamy shower” and “couldn’t really breed last night”. Assume she meant breathe. Pack husband’s lunch and stop at that, I have a feeling there will be no need for packing the kids’ school lunches…
6:05 am Husband finishes packing his bag, getting his lunch and in shifts, gets all of his gear out to his truck. Briefly consider that saving lives and preventing and suppressing fires might be the easier job today. Briefly.
6:20 am Start the first of approximately six loads of laundry. Why must we wear clothes again?
6:40 am Both kids are splayed out on the couch, mostly mouth breathing and asking for juice. Text friend to advise I will likely not be meeting for coffee today.
7:00 am Make toast and scrambled eggs for kids breakfasts. Pull out the coffee maker from the bottom cabinet as I can only stay strong for so long…
7:05 am While coffee brews (oh what a glorious melody she sings!!) decide to check in on obvious weight loss as I near the one month mark of low sodium life. Will it be six pounds? Maybe seven?!
I HAVE GAINED THREE POUNDS.
7:06 am Practice breathing, deep breathing. The kids do not in fact, want toast or eggs. Feed dog (who did not have a run-in with wildlife earlier but was unhappy with a blown-over passion vine) and try not to make eye contact with the growing mass of papers on the corner of the counter by the fridge – yes, this one…The corner table with a view…. What happened there?!
I will spare you a play by play of the next four hours and give you the high light reel –
Left house and went to dollar store, where they did not have the main thing I needed but they did have the rest of it, mainly batteries that we were out of. Buy three packs of eight as I predict all of our remote controls should be nearing their battery powered deaths as football season starts. After paying, look up to see a display of nearly identical battery packs, same brand, same power, but these packs have two free batteries in each bundle. Ask clerk if I can swap out the three I just bought for the bonus packs. She asks if I am serious and I assure her that I am. After which Little Sister determines that although she went before we left, she really needs to pee. Again. At the dollar store.
Get in the car and drive quickly home tempered only by the fact that I know my new car registration tag has been paid for (the check cleared on Aug 10) but I haven’t received said tag and am technically driving with an expired tag by about 36 hours. One brief stop home, head to the library and then the post office as my kids are completely taken with having pen pals and would like to pick out their own distinct stamps. Am the eleventieth (not a typo) person in line but it feels longer somehow. Although we have looked at the five options available during our tenure there, get to the counter to find that only one of those options is available. Because they simply cannot share a “stamp theme” (Big Sister’s words), Little Sister asks the friendly customer service representative if he has “anything with Charlie Brown on it, even if it’s like one”.
He smiles and says he might have some from last Christmas. We buy two books of stamps for almost $20 and I have aged at least a year. Get out to the car where Little Sister smells the stamps (who does that?!) and promptly cries out “THESE SMELL LIKE FARTS”. (Author’s note: please know, that I would have rather (almost) heard the other F word than this word. I add it only for historical significance and for you, gentle readers, to glimpse my shame at that moment).
Head to Target and then home where I discover the ice maker suspiciously NOT MAKING ICE. YouTube four different videos and keep mild panic attack at bay. Make lunch and nearly break a plate. This is important only because our set of eight dinner plates have dwindled to four. We have killed four plates, and by “we” I mean everyone except my husband because has excellent hand/eye coordination as well as quick reflexes…which I demonstrated in catching the plate before it fell…wonder aloud if YouTubeing how to fix things has given me some of Husband’s super powers…
Start working on mountain of papers, magazines, abandoned cross word puzzles and completed coloring books. Maybe my car registration did come in and I lost it in the paperwork pile? Spy a tiny ring holder container and hold my breath…open it to find my diamond necklace.
This necklace is one my husband bought me years ago and that I love. Longtime readers will remember when my husband and I went out one night a month or two ago, but you can relive the glory here The Main Event. I took the necklace off then and it’s been missing since. Except that I couldn’t bring myself to classify it as missing because I couldn’t bear to think of not having it. I have looked in every drawer, pouch, shelf and spot and came up empty handed. Why did I not know where I put it? Because I am nearly incapable of putting things back where they belong (a trait my darling place-for-everything-and-everything-in-its-place husband has never deemed “charming” or even “quirky”). I wept when I found it today. No joke.
A lot went wrong today, with random downpours (gotta sprint when the clothes are hanging out to dry!) and noncompliance (sick kids have slightly less patience then I would imagine angry gorillas do if you mess with their food). But the kids didn’t sit right next to classmates and sneeze on them all day (yes, I took them to four places but with hand sanitizers and tissues where they didn’t touch anyone). I cleaned off the counter that drives me crazy – that should last through the weekend…They wrote letters to pen pals – (the stamps had aired out by then). I got the ice machine working – free ice waters all around! And when I slipped my necklace over my head and got the mail today – I found not only my updated registration but a new license plate to boot.
I swear that thing has magic powers and I know where just where to keep it now – on me. The two kids and even the dog are sleeping – and from the sounds of it attempting to out-snore each other – in the living room as I type this. It wasn’t what I planned, but I have to admit, today turned out pretty perfect.