First it’s bodies hovering and leaping and flopping all around. “Don’t jump over the baby. Don’t jump over the baby. Don’t jump over the baby.” Then it’s nurse the baby, change the baby, cajole the kids into getting dressed. It’s the trial and error process of discovering which of her two or more dozen shirts is the one that Irene will deign to wear today. It’s trying to convince Colum that sitting still and concentrating is actually faster than flinging your body across your bed super hero-style. It’s pulling yesterday’s yoga pants back on and wrapping a spit-stained Moby Wrap over a clean t-shirt.
Then cook the oatmeal, feed the children, change the baby, make the coffee and empty the dishwasher. Check my email and make a phone call. Lunch time! Make some sandwiches, call the kids. Pack Colum’s snack Unpack Colum’s backpack, frantically flip through yesterday’s pile of paperwork, call the kids again. Pack the snack, feed the baby, change the baby, pack the diaper bag. Wipe their faces, wipe their asses, wash their hands. Coats, boots, hats, mitts! Go, go, go! Wash the coffee thermos, pour the coffee, wear the baby. Put on sweater, baby carrier cover, giant-ass coat, baby hat, mommy hat. Zipper all around.
Lock the door, grab my bag, push the stroller, forget my coffee (always!) and start walking. “C’mon, Colum. Let’s go, Colum. Run, run, run. We’re going to be late. Hurry! I mean it. Hurry!” Wait for the light, cross the street, walk under the train tracks and turn the corner. Catch the school bus, wave good-bye, and then start walking. Five miles a day for the sake of my own sanity and well-being.
Walk to my parents house, change the baby, feed the baby, give Irene a snack. Read a story, pick up toys, say good-bye. Boots, coat, hats, mitts. Go, go, go! Sweater, cover, coat, stroller, bag, walk. Unlock the door, hang up coat, take off boots, put socks back on. Start a mother-effing pot roast so the meat won’t spoil.
Sear the meat, chop the onions, celery, carrots. Check the recipe, drain the fat. Feed the girl a snack. Add the stock, find a bay leaf and throw in some herbs. Bring that sucker to a boil. Call my mother-in-law, cover the pot, turn off the stove. Boots, coat, mitts, hat. Go, go, go! Sweater, cover, coat. Run.
Greet the bus, take the backpack, cross the street. “C’mon, let’s go. C’mon. Hurry up. It’s freezing. Let’s move.” Under the tracks and across the street and up the lane and home. Coats, boots, mitts, hats all come off. TV goes on. Turn on the stove, flip the roast, peel the potatoes, pre-heat the oven. Feed the baby. Chop the potatoes, season and roast ‘em. Drag the boy upstairs to change for the Christmas concert. Dress pants, white shirt, sweater vest, check. Dress shoes too small; light up Skechers it is!
Peel the carrots, fill the pot, turn on the stove. Flip the roast. Open the door and greet my mother-in-law.
Serve the kids, grab a bite, change the baby. Send mother-in-law to pick up husband, strap baby into carseat and commence the never-ending car wail. Boots, coats, hats, mitts. Go, go, go! Lock door, open car, strap in kids, forget diaper bag. Drive into a traffic jam, circle the block, go back for diaper bag. Let the car wail continue. Rejoin traffic, circle the church, park way-too-far away. Release the children, carry the carseat and hurry, hurry, hurry.
Deliver Colum to his teacher, file slowly up the steps and finally sit down with my family in a pew. Phew. I did it. Slip my coat off, look down and see yesterday’s yoga pants, a spit-stained Moby Wrap and a not-so-clean-anymore t-shirt. Oops. Well, at least it isn’t my birthday.
Oh crap. It’s my birthday, isn’t it?
I don’t want your pity. I got Starbucks after the concert courtesy my mother and mother-in-law AND I’m getting a Christmas/birthday dinner at my parents on Thursday AND the baby Jesus is more than enough present for all of us. Clearly.
Crossposted from my blog, playgroundconfidential.com
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