[For those who read these posts for the sole purpose of Chase updates, please know that the following has nothing to do with cancer and everything to do with our normal (normal?) life. The following really did occur in it’s entirety and prompted me to think about motherhood being humbling and hilarious in equal measure.]
Why, oh why, is my title never just a one-syllable name? The shout interrupts the early morning quiet and my mental monologue once again: “Mom! He’s sitting on my face! Can you tell him to get off my face?!”
“Who needs an alarm clock anyway?”, I wonder.
Make the husband’s breakfast; take the bald one off his brother’s face; make my breakfast; take the bald one off his brother’s face again and put him back in his own bed; make the kids’ breakfast; remind two of the three boys that it isn’t necessary to have every single toy out before 6:30am…and that they don’t have to dump the toys out of the boxes over their heads either. I silently hope the bald one misses his gigantic resection scar while taking a Duplo shower and go back to the kitchen for the two minutes of uninterrupted time it’ll take to hear my name again. One more trip back across the house to disentangle the bald boy from his scheme to scale the 6-foot book shelf, and then breakfast is ready.
The voice in my head has begged me many times to keep all my children drinking out of covered cups until they’re at least 18, but I ignore it as I pour apple juice into little open glasses. This will bring maturity, I think. This will bring a spill, I think. I can feel it in my bones.
Surprisingly, the spill doesn’t occur when the oldest boy tries to pick up his juice by picking up the placemat beneath it; his placemat with the faces of all the U.S. presidents on it… I’m so glad we’ve taken conscious steps to improve his memory and cognitive functions, I think to myself as I scream his name and dive across the table to save the juice.
We ask God to bless our day and keep us all alive.
The youngest two boys are at table wars again. When they play together, they love each other dearly, but when they’re forced to stare each other in the face over food and good table manners, it’s high noon. Always high noon. The bald one nods a single nod and the baby shakes a single shake, and the mimed “yes” and “no” continue at such a pace and with such ferocious passion, that in the time it’s taken me to serve their plates, both boys are standing in their chairs nose-to-nose, screaming at the top of their lungs. “Fine! I never gonna play with you again…ever!!” In a voice filled with calm and motherly reason, I gently inquire into the nature of the disagreement.
I’m told: “He said ‘uh-uh’ to me!” …and I silently wonder if I should alert the United Nations to a new human injustice. “No more saying ‘uh-uh’ to each other.” (oh, the things I say now that I’m a mom…) “Please focus on your breakfast. We need to leave the house soon to take Chase for his hearing test.”
And then there’s the sound of the glass tipping and juice hitting the floor and chairs. “Uh, sorry, Mom. I wasn’t messing, I promise. It just fell over by itself. Really.” I knew it. My bones are rarely wrong when it comes to sticky apple juice.
The juice is over halfway cleaned when the oldest slumps down the steps clothed in high drama and an outlandish getup that involves every piece of jewelry she’s ever owned. She informs me that she’ll be answering to a different name today.
I bite back the urge to tell her that I’ll be doing the same thing and instead, remind her that we’ll be going out in public in under 45 minutes and today might be a better day to wear shorts and a t-shirt. …and to please, for the love of sanity, come and eat her breakfast quickly.
And then there’s the sound of more liquid hitting the floor. A panicked survey of the table tells me it isn’t more juice, but the baby, with wide eyes and half a turkey sausage stuffed in his mouth, grins and calmly announces: “I pee, Ma.”
Dear Lord, please forgive my hateful thoughts towards Huggies and their “overnight absorbency” claims, I think to myself as I clean the floor again.
On the bright side, pee-boy and the juice-spiller were sitting on the same side of the table; so that side of the floor is unreasonably clean for, you know…well, until lunch time.
“Yes, you may be excused from the table.” “Yes, go get ready, please.” The instructions fly on autopilot from my mouth as I clean up the table and wipe the other side of the floor, then deal with another princess outfit crisis; remind the bald one not to tackle people; catch the naked baby streaking through the house and clothe him; tell the bald one not to chew on things; remind the princess that brushing her hair is a necessary part of life and that yes, I am truly sorry that her brother jumped out and scared her in the bathroom; instruct the bald one not to spit at people; remind the baby not to say ‘uh-uh‘ to the bald one any more, ever…and then realize I haven’t seen or heard the juice-spiller in at least 5 minutes. The mental alarm goes off…always fear the silence.
I find him playing Legos on the toilet lid and after pointing out the throbbing vein in my forehead and my quickly graying hair, calmly and lovingly remind him to stay focused. (At this point in his five years on earth, he truly believes “stay focused” is part of his legal name – as in “Aidan Russell Grey Stay Focused!“) Has he done a bathroom check yet this morning? He shakes his head as he dances around the room. I promptly remind him that reaching the point of dancing is several minutes past appropriate bladder holding boundaries and encourage him to deal with this immediately.
I hear the lid being opened and then the unmistakeable sound of the toilet being missed. With less than 60 seconds before we need to be in the car and out the drive, I see a small stream arch across the bathroom floor, up the side of the waste basket, and land inside the trash receptacle. My mental monologue is somewhat impressed as I have a feeling that he couldn’t have hit the wastebasket if he’d tried, but my mental monologue also doesn’t have to get everyone 40 minutes away in 38 minutes.
Impromptu bathroom deep clean behind me, finally settled in the car with as many as possible behind five-point harnesses, I breathe a sigh of relief and pick up the pieces.
And the sign over the highway tells the traffic times and reminds all who pass that driving fatigued is unsafe…
And I think to myself how noble motherhood can be some days.