(This is the continued story of how I “survived” a week alone with three kids, two dogs, and a full time job.)
Wednesday – Day 6 – “I apologize for my behavior.”
Jacked locked us outside the house during on trip out to load the car. Logan climbed in a window to let us back inside. Logan’s ear ache seemed to be getting worse but I don’t have any sick days saved up yet. I felt like a horrible mom for not being able to take him for three days and cried all the way to work. I arranged to leave work early to take him to the doctor but when I got to his daycare to pick him up for the appointment, he argued that he was fine and wanted to stay and play basketball. I may have called him ungrateful in the car. After his appointment, we went to get his haircut. He took clear advantage of my mom-guilt and I agreed he could get a “soccer style” if he would style it each day. When I entered the daycare and was signing in, I heard a sweet voice say “Hi mom! I’m in trouble!” Jack was in the office for not being a good friend. “Mom, I am a bad bunny!” After dinner, (I have no idea what I fed them…did I feed them?) I decided we ought to take a family walk to burn off excess energy. Logan argued that his sweat would mess up his new hair and Jack fought me for control of Norah’s stroller. They boys began throwing rocks at one another and I’m sure there was also some stick swinging. I began shrieking and threatened to spank everyone if they didn’t stop. A rock then hit me in the temple. I blacked out momentarily but when I “came to” I realized we were standing at the end of our neighbors’ driveway, which was full of cars. “Oh good”, I thought, “they have guests over to see their new screened in porch…” I later texted an apology for my behavior. I sat down to nurse Norah and lick my wounds. I made the mistake of noting that everything seemed calm. Logan then began arguing about chores and Jack began yelling “I’m slipping. I’m sliding.” over and over. After I finished feeding the baby, I discovered that Jack was indeed slipping and sliding around the hardwood floors on a banana peel. I was too defeated to clean up the banana slime. I fell asleep on the couch but woke up on the floor with an imprint of laces from Logan’s shoe on my face.
Thursday – Day 7 – “-raspberry noises-”
Even later out the door because Logan had a complete meltdown that he didn’t know how to style his hair. I found a toad in my bathroom. No clue. Jack was dropped off at daycare screaming “I want to be a bad bunny!” Norah was dropped off also screaming. Since she has no words yet, I can only assume she was pleaing with her higher power to find her a less chaotic family, preferably one without Jack. Trey came into town to see Logan’s play and left soon after. I attempted to appear as though I had everything under control. I’m fairly certain my inability to complete coherent sentences led him to know my true functional level. It began to rain on our way to Logan’s play. When we pulled into the church parking lot, Jack announced “It is raining! We’d better dance!” He refused to walk inside until both Trey and I danced in the rain. Jack required significant wrangling through the play and kept yelling “I’m going to see Logan!” When my mom offered him a phone to take pictures with, he became upset because Logan wouldn’t “cheese.” Trey and I had a minor spat due to both of us being fatigued and neither feeling as though the other had empathy for aforementioned fatigue.
Friday – Day 8 – “The day I completely lost my shit.”
We were late to work but not due to any chaotic events. A summer rain storm caused us to slow down and ease into the day. I worked diligently to practice mindfulness throughout my day as to keep a sense of peace within my soul. Trey will be home tomorrow and we are going to celebrate surviving the week with friends tonight. Deep breaths. Deep cleansing breaths.
And then came the afternoon from hell. Logan was upset that I picked him up during a basketball game at his summer day camp. Jack was upset that I interrupted his playing with his best friend. Norah was simply upset. The drive home was full of spit and vinegar. I’m certain all four of us were crying at some point during the 3 miles between daycare and the house. When we entered the house, it was clear that Norah needed to eat NOW! Her whine had escalated to a blood curdling scream. Logan disappeared with my phone and I asked Jack to find a toy. As soon as I sat on the couch, disrobed, and began feeding Norah, I heard Jack talk about eating the chocolate on the floor. Mmmm! Chocolate does sound good. WAIT!? We don’t have any chocolate and even if we did, it wouldn’t be on the floor!? The lightbulb went on above my head and I began screaming at Jack NOT to eat the dog poop on the floor! He argued that it was chocolate and I argued that it was not. Norah kept eating. He signaled comprehension that the poop was not chocolate by yelling “It’s ok, Mom! I won’t eat it! I’ll step on it and dance on the poop!” (because we all dance on poop, right!?) Before I could respond, Jack stepped on the poop and began smearing it with his foot across the hardwood floors. Norah kept eating. I screamed, “Stop! Sit down!” Jack obeyed and sat…right in the smeared dog poop. He then took off his shoes, stood back up, and began standing in the poopy smear in his sock feet. I ripped Norah off my bosom (that word makes this story more classy, right?), laid her on the floor (different floor than the poop floor), and rushed topless towards Jack to stop the insanity. As I reached him, the doorbell rang. I stood up and found myself making eye contact through the glass door with a door to door salesman…well, I was looking at his eyes. His eyes didn’t know where to look. (left breast, right boob, eyes, floor, repeat) I quickly covered myself, threatened Jack to not ever move again, and answered the door. We had an awkward exchange and I sent him on his way, probably scarred for life. I don’t remember much after that. I know that the poop was cleaned and we had a great time at a friend’s house but there are a lot of blanks in the story. I wish I could blame the lost time on alcohol or mental illness but the only excuse is that I lost complete control of anything. (But have I ever really had control?)
Saturday – Day 9 – “Trey’s epic return”
Trey’s return was epic not because of any one incident but simply because my partner came home. Even though he returned and napped all afternoon, knowing that there was another adult around made all the difference. I definitely am in awe of parents with more than three kids and am in awe of parents who don’t have a coparent for moments in which they need to tap out. Parenting is hard. Kids are tough. Life is crazy. I slipped and I slid from control to chaos but we all lived to tell this story and more stories in the future.