Wednesday, August 27, 2008

And now, Mommy needs a drink.

We really need to work on our stamina. Or else, if the past three days are any indication, we'll be dead by the time Caleb goes to college. Here's a thumbnail of 52 hours earlier in the week:

Sunday afternoon: Evan gets lost at a strip mall on the interstate, two hours away from home. Lost as in we call 911 and the police are out looking for him. He is found by a kind stranger, scared and disoriented, but safe.

Monday morning: Jeff leaves before 6am, to be gone until Tuesday morning. Jensen misses the bus. At the exact same moment the bus drives by, Evan (not the most graceful kid I've ever met) falls and gashes his top lip open and there is a lot of blood and screaming. I get a headache. By some minor miracle I get Jensen to school on time.

Monday noon: Evan goes to his first day of preschool. Surprisingly drama-free, but still a bit stressful.

Monday afternoon: Pick the kids up from school. This is NOT as easy as it sounds: turns out picking kids up from school is a contact sport in this town. Jensen is done at 3:40, Evan at 4:00. In order to stand a chance of getting Evan on time, I have to be one of the first parents in line at Jensen's school. Which means I have to be there at 3:10, at the latest. (Oh, and it seems parents who are supposed to be responsible adults have no compunctions about cutting in line, by the way.) So I wait outside Jensen's school, Caleb in tow, for 30 minutes, scoop Jensen up as quickly as possible, hope to make it out of the parking lot by 3:50, and then try to make the 15-minute drive to Evan's preschool in ten minutes. So I do this whole schtick Monday afternoon. And I still have a headache. From here we go to buy diapers, because I only have two more left at home.

Monday evening: From Target (diapers, remember?) we go directly to Jensen's football pictures. He changes his clothes in the van. Two hours of absolute chaos. We make it home by 7:45. I throw leftovers at the kids and toss them in bed. Then I curl up with my dinner of microwave popcorn and a juice box and watch the Democratic National Convention.

Monday night: Caleb gets up three (1-2-3) times. What?!?!

Tuesday morning: Jeff comes home. Jensen makes the bus. We're off to a good start. I have an early doctor's appointment, during which time I find out that my thyroid function is drastically low. (I could have told you that without having blood drawn, but it's nice to at least have a reason for being so immensely tired.) We're looking forward to a pleasant and relaxing afternoon.

Tuesday afternoon: Seems our hot water heater has sprung a leak. (Reminder: this is a brand-new house.) Jeff figures it out when he notices our downstairs carpet is squishy. He pulls back the carpet and calls our builder and a plumber. In the midst of this joy, I repeat the pick-up-the-kids exercise. Fun!

Tuesday evening: As soon as I retrieve the kids, we tear out the door to drop Jensen at football practice. Then we take Evan and Caleb to an early-childhood education program (check out Parents as Teachers-- very nifty program). After which Jeff whisks Jensen away from football to go to Cub Scouts. At 7:45, Evan and I (Caleb's still tagging along) eat a nutrient-devoid dinner at McDonald's. Yum-my. At home, Evan won't go to bed until Jensen's home, which doesn't happen until 9:00. (Evan's a bit skittish after getting lost Sunday.) I'm assuming Jensen and Jeff ate something somewhere, but am really beyond caring. Oh, and we forget to put out the trash. And we find out sometime in this craziness that our credit card number has been stolen.

So, by 10:00 last night, I couldn't decide which I wanted worse: a cigarette, a stiff drink, or my bed. But I don't smoke, and sleep trumps booze every time. (God, I'm old.)

I can hear all of you who have survived multiple years of this kind of activity snickering at me. It's okay; you've earned the right to laugh at my expense. But please, do NOT tell me it only gets worse from here. I know, I know.

That's what scares me.

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