Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Tale of a Typical Day

As I sit here sipping lukewarm coffee and trying to keep my eyes open at 11:00 P.M., a feminist friend's words come to me, "You homemakers always make it sound like everything in your life is rosy and wonderful! Your life can't be as good as you make it out to be." I always strive to be honest, but I admit that a blog title like "Joy Ever After" can be misleading. Maybe my most recent tale of a bad day will be an encouragement to you and show my feminist friends the "other" side of the life of a stay-at-home-mom (so-called).

My day begins with the sound of my 5-month-old alarm clock from the other room at 7 a.m. "So much for sleeping in!" is my first thought. My second is "Why did I go to bed at 1:30 in the morning?" Yes, this is my husband's day off and theoretically mine as well. Somewhere in the fog of my mind, I remember one of my children having a nightmare some time in between the unearthly hour I went to bed and the present. I spend the next hour alternately feeding Little Man and dozing. When I finally decide to drag myself out of bed (as if I have a choice--a little person is doing his best to get my attention through smiles or fussing), Crown Prince bounds into the room with gusto (forget the smiles, Little Man is now fussing in anticipation of his big smother's brother's arrival). I try to get dressed while one of the boys begs for attention and the other for breakfast. Since breakfast doesn't seem to be forthcoming, Crown Prince decides to spend some time with Daddy. Daddy is enjoying his day off in his big recliner chair with his laptop and coffee (well, the coffee is a little less than enjoyable--one little person dumped the bowl containing the only remaining bit of sugar on the carpet at supper last night). After a few futile attempts to get Crown Prince to sit still, I hear the inevitable "Oh no!" Since I don't hear screaming, I figure no blood is involved so I continue combing my hair. "What's wrong, honey?" I call down the stairs. It turns out that the recently purchased, very expensive (at least for our Dave Ramsey-inspired budget) cord for the laptop has just been rendered useless by an over-zealous Crown Prince.

While my dear Man is moving on to the pursuit of dressing, I decide to fix breakfast. Of course, all three children want to help--well, I assume Little Man does although he didn't come right out and say so. When he howls at the top of his lungs every time I put him down, I assume he's telling me in his round-about way that he wants to join us. So, I commence to make scrambled eggs and hashbrowns with Little Man on my hip (now perfectly content--oh why did I give away my sling?) and supervise the other two alternately mixing a batch of muffins and fighting over who puts in the milk. By the time the said muffins are ready to go in the oven, the other food is ready to eat. Just as I decide to go ahead without the muffins, Crown Prince also makes a decision that he needs a drink and he needs it now! So, he grabs my most fragile of glasses (which he had to reach around his cup to get) and holds onto it a split second shorter than the time it takes me to reach it. "Everyone stay on your chair!" I order as I go for the broom and dustpan. My drama queen grumbles about her "punishment" and why does she have to stay on the chair when her brother is the one that broke the glass? I proceed with a little drama of my own on the possible consequences of her getting off the chair, and she sits--looking a bit ashen. As I am cleaning up the last bit of glass and Little Man's screams threaten to shatter more (Though my talent is growing, I am not yet able to sweep up broken glass with a baby on my hip!), My Man strolls into the kitchen with the innocent question, "Did something break?" The thought of sweeping up more glass keeps me from throwing something at him. We eat our cold potatoes and eggs and fresh-from-the-oven muffins. I look at the clock, and it's not yet 10:00 but I feel my bed calling me.

My Man and I sit down to pay bills and set the budget for the week. Two hours and 136 interruptions later, we are finished and My Man leaves with Lady-in-Waiting for their Valentine's Day "date" he's been promising her since last week. Little Man is falling asleep on my shoulder, so I put him down for his nap. "All right! It's time to play basketball!" yells my still-very-wide-awake other son. I grab him before he runs into the room where I just put his brother. "Um...why don't we exercise together?" I muster all the enthusiasm I can. He catches it (I'm pretty good at faking when I need to), and we go through the motions of my new "belly blasting" fitness routine (not my words, the magazine's). I struggle through lunges, crunches and sit-ups while Crown Prince runs in circles. I finally finish the routine exhausted and he shouts enthusiastically, "Let's do it again!" We work on puzzles until I hear Little Man. He has decided to cut his two hour nap down to one hour today.

After Lady-in-Waiting rushes in and excitedly shows me her new Build-a-Bear, it is time for me to go grocery shopping. I am so pumped about my great deal at Walgreen's that I fail to pay close enough attention at the grocery store. I am $3 short of my envelope amount for groceries! Yeah, I know, I'm supposed to hold up the line (which I have stood in for at least 15 minutes) and put back the Fritos and the Oreos, but I chicken out. I swipe my debit card with practiced ease and mentally juggle numbers around so I can avoid having a negative budget later.

I get home and unload all the groceries, cook a quick dinner (it's almost 7:00!) and try to ignore a howling Little Man. His daddy has him and doesn't yet know I'm home. I finish the grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup and call down the stairs, "Honey, dinner's ready!" My Man is upstairs rather quickly now that he knows I'm home. It seems Little Man just wanted his mommy who is in the middle of putting dishes on the table and insisting, "No, you may not finish your game. It's time for supper!" for the third time. Crown Prince bounds to the table and points to my gourmet, homemade soup, "What's that?" "It's tomato soup!" I state enthusiastically (worked once today!). "Looks like blood," he comments matter-of-factly.

I put a bottle in Little Man's mouth as I start to clear the table. He starts to go to sleep--with a full diaper and no bath. I pick him up and get ready to put him in the tub when I get a report from a very helpful older sister that someone had an accident. Someone knows better, so a certain mommy tries to keep her comments edifying and miserably fails.

With both boys bathed, I start to put Little Man to bed for the night only to discover I cannot walk through the room. My "no computer until the room is cleaned" rule has been completely disregarded! I take two children off the computer and wait impatiently while they clear a path clean the room.

With Little Man finally in bed, I start to clean up the kitchen. Then I remember that I promised my husband brownies after dinner. I mix them up and put them in the oven. Twenty minutes after they are supposed to be done, I remove them from the oven with a still jiggly center. It is almost 10 P.M. and my little hooligans darling children are waiting for brownies. I dub them "Gooey Brownie Cobbler", add a squirt of whipped cream and serve. I sit eating my brownie and take two sips of fresh coffee (ah! this time with sugar), when I catch a whiff of something that is not brownie. Another accident?!

With the kids finally in bed, I write a blog post about my day and crawl into a tub of deliciously warm water with a book. Oh wait, I haven't done that sounds like someone is ready for another bottle....

P.S. to my feminist friend: I still wouldn't trade places for anything!


  1. LOL Wow! What an exciting day! :0) At least you're not bored! :0)

  2. Boy...sounds like some of my days lately;-) I think it is actually kind of good for us bloggers to sometimes share our "difficult" days. I always feel a little better for getting it off my chest:-)

    Hope today is better!

  3. LOL SO GLAD that it is not only me who has days full of poop :)

    Many Blessings :)

  4. That was some day. I was sighing while reading about it!

  5. Not being funny, but is there any particular reason why Jeff didn't hold his son when he walked into the kitchen and saw you sweeping up the glass, instead of asking did something break? I mean obviously you were struggling with the two tasks, that's not a bad reflection on you, but I've tried holding my godchildren and doing things and it can be tricky.

    If children could be raised by one person (not a bad reflection on single mums), then God would not have made it so that it takes two people to generate a baby.

    I think may be the reason why I'm single is this, I expect too much from my other half which isn't ever going to happen, like a bit of common sense and helpfulness.

  6. I believe he did pick Little Man up. I just forgot to mention it because I thought that would be obvious. Sorry. I did not try to hold Little Man while sweeping up glass. I'm not that good yet! LOL

  7. LOL! What a day. I think most moms have been there!

    And I do not think your blog title is misleading. Your joy is always within, and that is why you would never trade places with anyone, no matter how your day goes. :o)

  8. Thanks for understanding, Tammy! That's exactly how I mean it.