Let’s have some real talk.
No one wants to hear about my mornings. They are productive and sunny little seconds of “let’s open up the windows!” and soap-smells and “vacuuming with a hefty baby on my hip is just like working out!” and “I’ll totally read 90 pages of that book tonight before I fall asleep”.
Let’s fast forward to 10am. Nap time’s when my day really begins.
I sit out on the back patio by myself in a stolen lawn chair (sorry, Dad) and watch the palm tree that we hate sway in the breeze. I count the buds on our rose bushes and I drink my lukewarm coffee (why warm it up?). I wiggle my toes on blades of grass and I pretend summer will never come and I’ll get to live this way forever. Shh.
And then Jack
wakes up summons me with screams, and it’s go time.
The hours between 2:30 to 7pm are nuttier than fruitcake*.
Jack and I wait for Carter to get out of school. If we don’t show up 9 hours before school lets out, we will never get a parking spot at the elementary school. Truth.
I try to spend as much time as possible in my parked car, but when Jack realizes the car isn’t moving, things go south quickly. So we go outside and let him toddle around. He falls a lot and plays in the rocks and the dirt of the desert landscaping. Fantastic.
Ten minutes before the kindergarten gate opens, parents start lining up. I wait to join the line until the very last minute, because Jack will Jack all over the place. And we go to the end of the line, lest we be cursed by the how-dare-thee glares of Those Who Stood There First.
I get really tired right about this time. Sometimes I power through and we do alllll the homework packet and go to the park. And sometimes I fill up the kiddie pool outside with hose water and let the boys play in it until they’re prunes. And sometimes we just say screw it and go to Grammie’s and I lay on her couch and play “dude songs” for Carter so that he can have a dance party.
And then, dinnertime. Cheese and rice. Here we go.
Carter has decided to only like combinations of chicken (not the slimy kind), cheese, pickled okra, steamed broccoli, peanut butter, pork and beans, and pears.
Side note: This is clearly ok, because when it’s just me, Carter buys his lunch almost every day. (As a byproduct, I’m now in debt to the school cafeteria. I got a neon pink notice yesterday. Bullocks). Really, this is for his own good. He’s trying new foods and enjoying entrees like “hot Italian sandwich” and “beef taco salad”. Don’t worry, I’ll pack it the day they serve “Manager’s Special”.
At any rate, 5:30pm looks something like this:
Carter Patrick sits on the barstool and says things like, “You know I don’t like ______” and “My life is terrible”. This goes on for the solid 45 minutes it takes for him to choke down the dreaded lasagna/chicken noodle soup/three-bites-of-zucchini. Then he triumphantly declares that he is done.
All trauma is forgotten. It’s shower time.
He peels off all of his clothes and runs upstairs yelling, “STREAKER! STREAKER!”. I corral him into the bathroom, and in the meantime…
…Jack has had a steady bout of post-antibiotic diarrhea as of late (I said real talk; you were warned), so he basically drinks kefir as I force feed him rice and toast and bananas. He throws the crusts over the edge of the high chair and smudges banana in between his thumb and forefinger and bends down to lick it off the tray, frantically signing “more! more!”
I try to get him out of his chair without actually touching his sticky little-big body, but that’s truly difficult with all 26 pounds of him flailing in my arms (Lord, please save my lower back). I wrestle him into the tub, where — let’s be honest — he’ll probably poop.
I pin him to the floor to put a diaper and jammies on him. He can’t even when it comes to clothes. I can feel myself flexing trying to hold him down. I seriously need to start lifting more than 3lb weights.
When teeth are brushed (“Do I HAVE to use the two minute timer?!”) and butts are covered, all is right with the world.
I am so, so tired by this time — but it is my favorite. We all cuddle and sing “This Old Man” and talk about Bill Nye the Science Guy and read books and tell secrets and say prayers.
I tuck them in and my heart explodes. I gave birth to beautiful, perfect little humans.
And then they are asleep, and I am alone.
Jesse traveling brings out my weird.
Post 7 o’clock, I’m learning things about myself that I don’t think I should know. Dark little gremlin bits of personality that surface after hours. I’m not proud.
My hygiene is despicable. Showers are clearly non-negotiable amongst the company I keep, but shaving my legs — why? Why wear makeup? Why do my hair? So what if there’s indiscernible chunks of Chumby in it? Did I skip brushing my teeth last night?
You don’t want those answers. Probably best to just let sleeping dogs lie.
I buy cheesecake and eat it, in bed, while I sit up with my phone in my hand and New Girl on TV. I pour myself a tall glass of lemonade to go with it. I snort at Winston. He’s the funniest.
Nothing gets done, and then I fall asleep.
It’s pretty awesome.