There are days when I truly feel like I don't have a chance to sit down and breathe. Take yesterday, for instance.
My sister and her fiance left at 8:30. Marc left at 9. Henry was fed. Harper was fed, changed, and dressed. Henry had graduated to his camo belt in taekwondo the night before and wanted to put on his uniform, go through all his belts, and I would be "Miss Gleisner" (his instructor) and preside over the graduations, so we did that for half an hour or so. Then Harper was ready to lay down for her nap around 10:30, so she got changed, a bottle, then she was down. Then Henry needed lunch, got dressed, brushed his teeth, I packed his backpack, and we waited in the driveway and read Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire while we waited for the bus. It arrived. Waved the kid off to school. Went inside, reheated some lunch and ate. Started to clean the kitchen but Harper woke up. Changed her diaper (like, the third poop of the day). Played with her for a little while then she wanted lunch. Fed her, changed her again (this time because she got sweet potatoes everywhere), then we left for the ATA school so I could talk with Miss Gleisner about Henry's progress, signed him up for leadership training, got the first half of his arsenal (weapons in the hands of a five-year-old. Brilliant.), then we were off to pick him up from school.
Got the kid, took him home, Harper was getting crabby so Henry went off to play while I tried to give Miss H a bottle and lay her down. Nope, she didn't want to sleep even though she desperately needed to. So I got her back up, we went back downstairs, I started a load of laundry, brushed my teeth (realized that hadn't happened yet ... nevermind that it was almost 4 p.m.). Took Harper back upstairs, put her in her seat attached to the counter so she could play while I finished the kitchen. Five minutes later I realized that was a pipe dream. I plied her with Gerber Wagon Wheels while I managed to get almost all the dishes loaded into the dishwasher, then realized she was absolutely without a doubt DONE in the chair. Got her out, cleaned her up (sort of), told Henry to come up and get dressed for TKD. Off we went for 45 mins of watching him use the short stick, break training boards, learn some new moves (pretty cool ... he now trains at the same time as the upper belts and one black belt recommended kid), all while Harper was generally grumpy, antsy, clingy ... sucking down Puffs (ah, Gerber ... making kiddy smack with a delightful strawberry scent! Genius!!) and trying to climb up me. Henry finished his class, I tried to put Harp in her carseat, about which she was ever so thrilled, then we drove home as Henry chattered incessantly about how much he LOOOOOVES leadership and how much he LOOOOOOVES his gear and how much he LOOOOOOOOVES that he's in camo class now and Harper simultaneously screamed her fool head off.
I pulled in the driveway at 6:15 (Harper usually eats dinner at 5ish, has a bath, and is in bed by 7 ... and we had yet to even eat dinner yet; no wonder she was pissed), feeling great relief that Marc would be home within 20 minutes to help me out a little. Go in the house, plop Harper in her seat, go to get her dinner and see a message on the machine: Marc, saying he was just now leaving work (6:10) and would be home a little before 7. Tried real hard to not cry and lock myself in the bathroom after hearing that news.
Fed Harper between her howls of exhaustion and pissyness. Told Henry to go downstairs and practice with his sparring gear until Daddy got home, which Henry understood to mean "come upstairs and bug Mommy every five minutes about how awesome it is to have sparring gear and watch me do thisandthisandthis and let's talk about my weapons and and and ..." I finally told him to knock it off, go watch a show, I had to take care of Harper, and don't talk to me until Daddy gets home. Felt like a total schmuck too, but I needed to have him away for awhile. Harper finished her pseudo-eating, I popped her in a bath, and Marc walked in the door just as I was drying her off. He came in to say hi, to which I said don't come in here without a bottle. He saw his daughter for three minutes that day, then left to be with Henry while I put her to sleep.
Went into the kitchen to finish cleaning, Marc fed Henry, then as he put the kid to bed (it was now 8 p.m.) I gave up on the idea of cooking the fish I'd thawed that morning in favor of grabbing Thai. Off I went, into the rain, to get gas and milk and a Powerball ticket (didn't realize I had to buy that only with cash, so had to leave my place in line to go to the ATM to get a dollar), then headed over to Spice to grab dinner. There I managed to sit down, in peace and quiet, for ten minutes as they made my order. Got home a little after 9, we ate, watched Lost, went to bed at 11.
What a rewarding life it is. So full of inspiration and meaningfulness and quality time with my children and time for me to feed my soul and spirit.
BWAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!!! There must be some alternate reality where mothers actually are able to have a clean home, happy children, quality time with the family, time to work out, time for spiritual discovery, time for a latte. I don't live in that world. I live in that world's shit-covered, bags-under-the-eyes, disintegrated-Puffs-smeared-down-the-shirt, haven't-bathed-in-three-days, sleep?-what's-that, don't-you-dare-even-hint-at-wanting-sex-tonight, please-let-me-win-Powerball-so-I-can-sleep-in-tomorrow bastard step-world. It's not a great place to live. I won't be sending postcards anytime soon. I wouldn't recommend you come visit, unless you plan on being handed children as I run out the door, vowing to return in, oh, five years.