Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Filling My Shoes

How much can one get done in a day? I often wonder.

Every now and again I'm forced (like every other Mom) to take on that impossible day. The type of day that consist of a pad of sticky notes scribbled with endless reminders of places you need to visit and people who want just a little piece of you. So many pieces in fact that by the end of the day you have become a human jigsaw puzzle.

Today started pretty innocently. I awoke at my normal time 5:45am. I like to get up and get ready before I awake the kids at 7am. Before I woke them up, I stripped my bed and began a load of wash. The plates were lined up, eggs ready to be fried, lunch packed, paper brought in from outside, and dog let out for a morning relief.

I dressed the kids, help brush teeth and hair and we all marched down to the breakfast table. My inner Rachel Ray then broke out as I began preparing breakfast at record speed: 2 eggs, 2 english muffins, 2 slices of cheese, 2 Flinstone Vitamins, 1 One a Day, 2 cups of chocolate milk, and 1 well deserved piping hot coffee (with backup).

I serve, I eat, I clean, I clear, and before I know it, the preparation has taken much longer than the feast. Laundry is loaded and unloaded while children get a small amount of playtime. Before I know it were off to school. I wait patiently in the driver's dropoff, blow kisses, release one child to the world and retrace my steps via mini van.
I sprayed the upstairs bathrooms with bleach prior to leaving in hopes that all the weekly muck would somehow disappear before I was forced to scrub (No such luck). Scooter keeps himself busy in front of a PBS special while I finish cleaning two bathrooms, vaccuum the upstairs, make beds, empty trash, and try to relocate child after all is done.
We return downstairs around 10am. Phone rings. My mother wants to go get her dress for my brothers wedding. OK I say (frantically searching for Scooter once more). "I'll be there in ten minutes she replies."
I fold laundry, pour cleaner into downstairs toilet, wrap Scooter in coat, mittens and hat. Return to bathroom and wash floor, run upstairs, squirt self with perfume to mask bleach smell, take a swig of mouthwash to hide pot of coffee breath, relieve myself, have Scooter relieve himself, and put out dog to relieve herself. "What a relief!"
Horn Beeps. Mother is in driveway (has it been ten minutes?) Off to David's Bridal.
I sit and watch graciously while Mom tries on her favorite dress in every color. I don't mind this part. In fact it has been so far the most relaxing part of my day. My son takes this time to show the other brides to be his love for dance. The bridal store's thermostat is set at a comfortable 90 degrees, or so I believe. I feel sweat puddles around my wrist. I know, how gross. In the back of my mind I'm saying I'm too young for "the change." I convince myself that it's just an overdose of bleach and house work that has me looking like a rainy day. After an hour and a half, mom leaves with a new dress, I pick out my heels (yes, I'm in the wedding too) and we head out to the comfortable 40 degrees weather (How nice!)

We stop at a diner for a bite to eat then head back to my house. I continue the laundry ritual while Grandma gives hugs and kisses to Scooter.

Well, look at that, it's time to pick Potter up from school. I repeat morning routine with less vigor now. And once again all 3 of us are back at the house.

I empty a bookbag, read teachers notices, worksheets, volunteer requirements, and of course another fund raiser. What is it this time? So far we've sold Christmas wrap, a coupon book, bingo tickets, poker night tickets (legal, I think not), and now a lotto. The carnival should be coming up soon. Not to mention everything that falls in between then and now. Add all they want you to sell plus the tuition and it turns out it only cost a cool million per child to go to school each year. Why we have not relied on public education is still a mystery.

I supervise homework, play with Scooter, begin dinner, and try to watch Oprah with my one free eye. Well look at that: Oprah is discussing "the change." Fancy how I may have needed this advice only three hours ago.

Fast forward an hour. We sit to eat, pray (for a successful new presidency, no more school fundraisers, mini vans that are reliable, end to recession, toys with volume controls, novels that get written, and of course world peace). I clear, rinse, and wash.

Time for baths. Another time consumer, but indeed a necessity. The kids and I then retreat to the basement for a mini workout (like I haven't already gotten one today).

Hubby arrives home from work around 7pm. Its snack time, then stories, then time to tuck the kids in for the night.

I curl up on the couch with a cup of hot tea, trying ever so delicately not to spill it due to exhaustion.

I was recently asked when was I going to go back to work. I try not to get upset at this question. I just smile and politely reply: "Sure I'll go back, just as soon as you find someone to fill my shoes."


Insanity Kim said...

I am so tired reading this that I need to go to bed!!

You have my permission to slap anyone that asks you that question again, even if it's your mom! (or MIL...)

Earth To Mother Ship said...

Hey Maestro!

Why does everyone think working entails leaving the house and punching a clock? You are writing a novel...that is your job. And in your "spare" time you also have the privilage of raising your family! Sounds like the question is posed out of envy.

Thanks for the add - it's good to meet you!

Sonia said...

LOL...I like the last part. My family ask me that all the time. In my mind, I think we have the hardest job! to complete my job for the day. Steam clean my carpets. Now, how much do carpet cleaners get paid for that and I do it on my own free will???