It is official: I am no longer a morning person. Somewhere between midnight feedings and crack o' dawn carpools, I lost my affinity for the A.M. This was not always the case. Before kids, I cherished mornings. I would bounce out of bed, shun coffee, and start my day excited about the world of opportunity that lie ahead.
If only I knew then what I know now. The boys have systematically eliminated the slow dawning of consciousness. Before I even open my eyes each morning, I know there is a 3-year old perched on my head. Yes. My head.
"Are you awake now, Mommy? It's good morning time! Good morning, Mommy! It's me...JOEY" (said as he attempts to pry my eyelids open with his sticky fingers which just leaves me to wonder...why are his fingers so sticky?).
I tiptoe downstairs where I know the other two have been eagerly anticipating my descent. They begin the barrage of questions and demands before I can even reach the coffee maker:
Can I have another bowl of cereal?
Daniel hit me and didn't say 'sorry.'
Can we go to Great America??
I want to quit piano.
Do we have to take baths today?
Just so you know, I don't think I actually peed in my bed...I think it's just sweat.
Can you hold me?
Can you please not breathe on me so much? You kind of stink.
Do you know where I put my cup of lightning bugs?
So it begins. After embarking on the inaugural load of laundry, we commence piano practice (c'mon... you knew I had to insert one video of my 5-year old playing the piano eventually):
I was unable to video Dan's session because when an immovable object meets an unstoppable force, the results are not fit for video. Daniel will play the piano until he's 18. Or I will die trying.
After lessons, I dig around for some allergy medication. The evening before included the dreaded soccer league that has been my albatross this summer. Wednesday night, I was in charge of putting together the net. My husband had assured me this would be easy. I rammed together giant rods with little comprehension of how a soccer net is actually supposed to look. To help matters, I arrived there extra early to allot myself time to figure it all out. This plan backfired as there were no examples of an actual assembled net with which to compare. Finally, I managed to put it together with a special caveat to our team to not actually touch the net, or even try to score for that matter.
Thankfully, I brought along my father to keep the kids occupied while I swore at the net. He disappeared with Joey for most of the game, which did a lot to preserve my faltering sanity.
So back to yesterday morning. After a stressful two hour practice session, we initiated bath and shower protocol. Sometime during the 4 minutes it took me to run downstairs and perform a laundry transfer, the boys managed to completely flood the bathroom and discharge the entire contents of a brand new tube of Crest into the sink.
Short on time, I slapped together some PB&J, packed camp bags and drove my lot to Kennedy Park. After depositing the older boys, Joey insisted on going to the playground. He immediately soaked himself in the park sprinkler and ran around laughing and giggling at the good time he had found. As much as I wanted to share in this moment, I had only one thought...more wash.
We headed home and continued our laundry and housekeeping. A repair quote came in one and a half times higher than expected. CPS (Chicago Public Schools) still hadn't contacted me about Joey's placement, so I put in a call there. I realized I forgot to pay a credit card bill. I had Joey run it to the mailbox on the corner, but he quickly became distracted and decided instead to try to shove the bill down the sewer.
Before I could even think about sitting down, it was time to pick the kids up at camp and run them to violin. During my hour "break" while the boys learned a new string, I pumped gas, bought GoodNights, finally grabbed a coffee, and called my husband.
I told him there was a Chicago Park District outdoor movie that night. After going the rounds with Daniel over his music and battling Joey over his refusal to nap, I figured nobody had "earned" the right to this treat.
Joe disagreed. He decided that between his after-work volleyball game and his buddy's 40th birthday party, he could most certainly take the kids to the movies. He asked if I had gotten a sitter so I could accompany him.
I told him I was spent.
There was a long pause on the end of the line. He seemed to think I was secretly avoiding him. After a few moments of uncomfortable silence followed by his reminder that he, too, had worked all day, my volleyball-playing birthday reveler shared his final thoughts on the matter:
You just can't be that tired.