Tuesday, January 06, 2009

My Very Crummy No Good Bad Day

Bill tapped the power button off on our CD alarm as we tried to steal a few more minutes of sleep. It wasn’t to be as Ulie unlatched the barn door (it’s really very much a barn door) that leads into our room and said, “I want out…Daddy, I’m doo-doo. Daddy, I’m doo-doo, Daddy…”

“Okay, Ulie, I’ll change your diaper.” Bill sleepily replied.

I always feel just a moderate quantity of guilt when Bill has to get up before I do and cares for the boys as I lay in bed earnestly trying to get up but not moving a muscle. He’s the money-maker so I should be busily preparing breakfast long in advance of him getting into the shower. I don’t and he’s patient and forgiving enough to never let me know if this bothers him.

So, this morning I decided to handle the boys, both of whom needed diaper changes in the most urgent and desperate way. I retrieved Aulay’s diaper and Ulie’s underpants and noticed that the bucket of wipes was perilously light…I’ll have to make more, later. So, somehow, I managed to clean both bottoms with three wipes between them, not much different than cleaning an oil barge spill with a few cotton balls, actually.

“Honey, don’t forget to call the city to have them pick up our trash,” Bill reminded me, before the “See ya, Honey *kiss* I love you,” ritual.

Our trash bin was beyond overflowing and we’ve had to pile nearly two weeks worth of garbage sacks on top and beside it on the street. I always feel like it’s going to get knocked over or torn apart by birds, cats, or opossums so it makes me nervous seeing it outside for very long.

It was a dire situation, then, when Bill left our driveway and I couldn’t locate our cordless phone. We have a phone on our printer/fax machine, but it ties me down and I hate not being able to continue a phone call while stopping Aulay from splashing his hand in the toilet or grabbing Ulie away from the glass pitcher that cracked when our refrigerator froze the water into ice. I pushed the “find hs (find handset)” button which beeped once, like normal, but bleeped after a short delay, not normal. I enlisted the girls to help me find it but to no avail. I called Bill to ask if he’d help me find it by calling us repeatedly. After about 5 repeated tries of having the wall set ring, not hearing the handset at all, the girls and I scrambling from room to room trying to hear it, and Aulay holding his hands over his ears and yelling, “I go- i !” (toddlerese for I GOT IT), I finally found the handset with the toys in the family room with an obviously dead battery. So I would have to make the call from the office after all that.

Somehow the kids were fed breakfast and released from the table and high chair to play in the family room. At least that’s where I expected them to be, where all their new toys from Christmas beckoned like neon Vegas lights. My wishful thinking was abruptly halted when I saw an Alfred Hitchcock DVD in his little hand. The TV combo was moved into our bedroom, yesterday, so I knew there had been an intrusion. After latching the barn door shut, again, I headed upstairs to check on Elizabeth and saw her with her schoolbooks and assignment sheets in disarray. I already struggle to understand her system but, today, I wasn’t interested in getting it. Seeing the gross disorganization of what should be the girls’ private retreat was the blinking red light as the arms folded down to block the path across the rails of the accelerating locomotive.

“I’ve had it!” I heard my voice cry out like a blaring train whistle.

My inner drill sergeant had awoken and it was time for Mommy Boot Camp.

Elizabeth was given strict instructions to organize her schoolwork while Murron was told that her Barbies wouldn’t see the light of day until her clothes were put where they belonged. Even the boys with their deer-in-headlights countenances were commanded to clean their room which had stuffed toys strewn about, bedding rumpled in various corners, and clothes out of drawers. Ulie and Aulay meekly began to put things away. I left them to their work after remarking how good a job they were doing.

That’s when I was inspired to create movie tickets that the kids could earn by keeping their rooms clean, the toys put away, and by helping with laundry and dishes. I reasoned that it wouldn’t take me very long and the kids seemed occupied with their tasks. After finishing the simple document I clicked the print button. Nothing happened. After repeated tries, still nothing happened…I restarted the computer, I pushed the buttons on the printer, I turned the computer off, I turned off the power strip, I attempted everything I could imagine short of flipping all the switches in our breaker box on and off. Bill called to ask how things were going and, when I told him of the printing dilemma, he suggested that I jiggle the wires a little. Too simple, perhaps, but I was bereft of anything more original so, crawling under the computer table, I did just that.

It worked.

I’d be feeling almost totally satisfied, right now, if my sock wasn’t so wet because of stepping on the soggy washcloth the kids left on the bathroom floor.


1 comment:

Crystal Sauceda-Dodson said...

I feel this way sometimes with 1! You are amazing and an awesome mom!