This morning I woke up at 7:15. Yes, people. My son didn’t wake up until 7:15, and so neither did I. Yesterday I decided today I would “fly solo”, meaning I would be working sporadically, without any help and putting my general sanity at stake for five to ten minute stretches throughout the day. The timing to the start of our day wasn’t even the strange part. My son got up, but didn’t come running in to wake me, or even request his morning milk. He didn’t even ask me to turn on “Blues Clues”. He played in his room until I went in to say good morning to him. My daughter cooed and gave me that big toothless grin that only a five month old can. My first thought was, “This won’t last”. It didn’t. We were out of milk.
My problem is that I always have to have an agenda for the day. I am not one of those Zen moms who can just “be”. As any sane mom knows, the things on your “to do list” are not mandates; they are suggestions about what you might spend the time that your kids “allow” you. I am apparently insane because I am not only fixated on actually doing the things on my list, I want to finish them.
Here was my list for today:
1) do four loads of laundry
2) drop off plastic bags for recycling
3) find a hamper for the kids’ room
4) go to Costco
The laundry is easy to kick off, but hard to keep up with. I always have clothes in the washer but they don’t seem to get into the dryer without a concerted effort. Folding is always thwarted, multiple times. By 9 AM, the first load had dried. I told myself, “Costco opens at 10. I will fold this load, and then we’ll get on the road.” Setting that expectation caused everything to fall apart. The kids were now aware that mommy had “a plan”, and no enforcer (a.k.a. nanny). I could almost hear my daughter thinking through that sweet little smile, “Prepare to reap the whirlwind.”
By 11:30 AM, that load was still not folded. What happened in the interim was this: my son’s decision that he wanted eggs for breakfast, the actual making of the eggs, the decision that he wanted to open the Thomas the Train tracks that were “hidden” above the fridge, my saying “no”, the subsequent meltdown, the change of heart about the eggs, another meltdown for no reason at all, my daughter crying to be fed, actually feeding her, putting her down in the swing, my daughter crying to be fed immediately upon being put in the swing. Repeat the last four events three times. Sprinkle in my son’s several requests for milk, which cannot be fulfilled because we CANNOT GET OUT OF THE HOUSE TO GO TO COSTCO, and very loud whining upon realization that milk cannot be procured from the fridge, which even thought it’s been opened five times, may magically have milk the next time it’s opened.
At this point, running back and forth within our condo, which is all of 1200 square feet, I am starting to feel like my life is strangely like the running gag in Benny Hill, but instead of scantily clad women I have kids in diapers running after me. Why am I moving at breakneck speed? What do I think I’m going to achieve? Do I actually think I’m going to be able to sit down and have a moment to drink my morning coffee? That’s when I have to remind myself that it’s a marathon, not a sprint.
We did eventually get to Costco. There was a five minute period when both kids were screaming at the top of their lungs, but we got the milk. And I even found the hamper and dropped off the recycling. And then, because she was so tired from unleashing her wrath on me, my daughter fell asleep for three hours. It would have been too much to ask for my son to take a nap in that window (God knows I tried), but he quieted down enough for me to catch up with one of my best friends on the West Coast for fifteen minutes. What can I say? The sun shines on even a dog’s ass once in a while.