It is true that a stay at home mom has a certain amount of discretionary time in her day.
She does. And it’s wonderful. . .
But it sure as shit doesn’t happen around here between the hours of 4 and 6 PM.
Let me give you a glimpse of what causes me to feel a knot in my stomach every day at 3:45. . .Just before all hell breaks loose. . .
I notice it’s 3:45. That gives me exactly 15 minutes to accomplish the following tasks before Mac gets awake from his nap:
1. Shower, tame hair, and put on some tinted moisturizer and mascara.
2. Prepare the dogs’ dishes now so I don’t have to pry 10 pieces of slimy dog kibble out of Mac’s mouth after he gets awake. One would think dumping some dog food into a bowl isn’t too much trouble. But we have a 14-year old dog who requires a cup of plain non-fat yogurt once a day to control chronic colitis as well as about three different medications for pain and seizure management.
3. While I’m preparing the dog’s kibble and yogurt parfait, I make Chris’ frozen berry, yogurt, and maple syrup breakfast and place it in the fridge. Hopefully I got the meds in the correct yogurt in my crazed state.
4. I hastily clean up all of Mac’s toys. . .I’m not sure why exactly because he’s going to be downstairs tossing the shit everywhere again in approximately 7 minutes. Waste several sweaty minutes prying crayons out from under the refrigerator.
5. I run back to the basement to flip laundry.
6. I wipe off all the counters for the 567th time.
7. I begin dinner and a snack for Mac. . Well, unless it’s a running night for Chris. . .in which case I prepare only Mac’s dinner and skip the snack. And Lord help me if Chris comes home and decides to run later or skip it all together. Then the scrambling to get dinner on the table faster than planned gets even more frenetic.
8. Nearly lop off thumb with a knife trying to chop baby carrots. Waste an inordinate amount of time trying to figure out where the fingernail I just sliced off actually landed. Realize it’s NOT in the salad. Whew.
9. Open the curtains at the front of the house but close the ones at the back so that it’s bright and cheery and not too hot and because soon it won’t matter if Satan’s Lap Hound barks at everyblessedthing going past the front window since Mac should be up any minute.
10. Turn on NPR so I have something to discuss with my Husband at dinner besides the fact that I inhaled a bunch of spray paint while crafting and watched three episodes of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo while blogging earlier that day and that I’ve decided not to embrace the jeggings trend again this fall.
11. Set the table. Realize we don’t have enough salad dressing. Pull out all the ingredients to make the salad dressing.
12. Race upstairs to put something else on other than a pair of running shorts and a paint stained T shirt I’ve owned since 1994. And get Mac awake.
Then, I rush downstairs, plop Mac in his seat for his snack. While he eats his snack, I continue preparing dinner and we listen to NPR and talk.
Get off the table cat!
I pick a fork of the floor about 26 times for him. He starts flinging food all over the floor – a sure sign he’s done eating.
I clean him up, wipe down the high chair and the floor. Then I place him on the floor with some toys, except on the days where he’d rather cling to my leg while I pace around the kitchen, in which case, I waste another 7 minutes trying to wedge him into the Ergo. Admit to myself the shower was pointless.
Get off the table cat!
As I check the time (4:35), I realize my camisole is inside out. I strip in the middle of the kitchen taking care that all my clothes are in good order this time, and just then remember I opened the front window blinds. Yeah, Hi. I’m the partially clothed weirdo standing in the middle of her kitchen while school lets out and kids and parents are milling around everywhere outside the front window..
I politely ask Tilghman to SHUTTHEHELLUPALREADY! for the 48th time.
I carry Mac to the basement put him in his Pack and Play so I can brush my teeth and drag the laundry up to the main floor. I reassure a whining Mac, “I’ll be right back.”
And I meant it too. . .Until I realize the rice is boiling over.
Clean up scalding hot mess, while shouting to the kid a floor away “Mommy’s coming!” over NPR and the relentlessly barking dog.
My nerves are shot. And maybe it was all the spray paint, but my head is starting to pound.
We get back upstairs and just as I’m about to get dinner squared away, it appears we need the potty seat. We take care of business and I drag Mac once again to the basement Pack and Play while I deal with the contents of the potty seat.
Mac and I get back upstairs mere minutes before Chris walks in the door at 5.
Seriously! Get off the table cat!
The dogs go wild. Mac goes wild.
Chris hands me his cooler and scoops up Mac. They walk the dogs around to the yard together, giving me just enough time to empty the cooler, and get the dirty dishes in the dishwasher (and possibly take a huge slurp of rum straight from the bottle) before they come in the back door.
Chris starts searching the cabinets for a snack despite the fact that dinner is ready. He and Mac manage to dump a bunch of tortilla chip crumbs all over the floor. I try not to say anything but I swear I feel my head pounding even harder.
Chris gets the dogs in and situated with their food.
We get Mac back in his chair, say the blessing and commence dinner. Dinner is interrupted about 20 times to remind the dog to SHUTTHEHELLUP and to appease Mac’s relentless and ever-changing desires – fork? No spoon? Sippy? Oh, glass. . .Sorry. You can’t have a glass. . .Oh forchrissakes, here’s a damned plastic cup. . .go crazy kid. Dinner is cold – as usual.
After dinner, I clean Mac up, wipe up the high chair and floor (again). Then in order to get the dinner cleaned up and Chris’ lunch packed, I strongly suggest Chris and Mac make themselves scarce for a short while at least.
It’s 6:15 and I’m EXHAUSTED.
And yet, I always think to myself this rush hour is way better than the ones I used to endure while sitting in my car in bumper to bumper gridlock. . .
I mean, at least this way I have access to adult beverages. . .