I still remember my first day back to work following my year long maternity leave.
Geoff and I both woke up at six, had coffee together, got stuff ready for the kids, checked the weather forecasts, selected outfits for ourselves and the kids, showered, woke the kids up, made breakfast, ate breakfast with the kids, walked them to daycare, since it was a nice morning, came home and then left for work in our separate vehicles after a hug and some softly spoken words.
Fourteen months have interceded.
And things have gone to hell in a hand basket.
No more chit chat over coffee before the kids wake up.
No more early morning walks to daycare.
This morning went like this:
The blare of the alarm clock, which I promptly shushed with the most wonderful invention in the world:: Snooze. Finally get out bed, grumbling, at 7:30, throwing objects at Geoffs snoring head to get him out of bed (not sharp objects- just little things).
Go into the kids room, give them their first gentle shake that it's time to wake up.
Second, not so gentle, shake for the kids to get up. Lights on in the bedroom.
The cats meow at me, circling my feet, waiting not so patiently by their food dish. "Shut it," I tell them.
(Oh, I feed them- eventually, so don't be getting all humane society on me.)
Do my hair haphazardly.
Pull the one or two shirts that is hanging limply in my closet out and get dressed.
Extract the kids from their beds by force.
Throw a pair of clothes at them, grabbed at random.
Payton throws her dress back at me. "I don't want to wear this dress. I want to wear this dress," she says, pulling out a dress that's two sizes too small. "It doesnt' fit," I tell her, bracing myself for it.
She throws herself on the floor, crying. No, not crying. Shrieking. Howling. Wailing.
Alex looks at her. "Sisters crying," he tells me, as though I can't hear her. As though everyone within a five mile radius can't hear her. I walk away from that scene, closing the door behind me. The thought crosses my mind: I wonder if they still perform exorcisms?
I start browning beef to throw in the crock pot to make chili for supper tonight.
Payton yells at me from her room, demanding something.
I rush to help her get dressed. I comb the snarls out of her hair. I put a bow in it. I watch at the window with Alex on my hip as the Garbage Truck comes, a weekly must see spectacle in our house.
I give the kids cold cereal for breakfast and a half a banana for Alex. Payton regards the banana with loathing. "I hate bananas" she says.
Yesterday, she liked them. I can't keep up.
Finish making the chili.
Look all over the house for a stray shoe. Find the stray shoe in the laundry hamper, of course, where else??
Help Payton pack for her field trip today.
"She has a field trip today?" Geoff asks me as Payton and I discuss it.
He is so out of the loop sometimes. I give him a look.
Rush out the door ten minutes before I'm expected at work.
And my husband?
Wake up. Go to garage for a cigarette. Come inside for long shower. Shave-- lengthy process. Get dressed-- another lengthy process. Grab a cup of coffee and leave.
I think I need to start drinking something stronger than coffee in the morning.