“I can’t be the only one who does everything around here!”
That was me screaming at no one in particular and everyone at once.
Apparently there was some weird and beautiful light this morning. I missed it because I was too busy yelling at my family.
It all started yesterday. Sometimes when my life is balanced on a teetering tower of Jenga blocks, I know it’s all my fault. At least I’m game to take the blame. I’m disorganized. I’m bad at time management. Maybe I decided to watch TV rather than make lunches and pick up toys all evening. The house is generally a disaster which can probably be tracked back to me somehow or other. I mean, sure, sometimes I will spend several hours cleaning and organizing the playroom, say, only to have the kids trash it before the day is over. And I don’t mean they left their toys out. I mean it looks like they drank a twenty-sixer of tequila, rocked out to a full house at the ACC and then came home to party out the remainder of a cocaine binge in the basement playroom. Only it looks a little worse than that.
But yesterday, man, I thought I was doing all right. I thought I’d done as good a job as I can ever reasonably be expected to do on a regular basis given the constraints of my very humanity. I helped two kids with their homework while entertaining a three-year-old, responding to email and cooking dinner. I then oversaw piano practice, creative play and read stories.
Next, since my husband still wasn’t home — shocker — I corralled everybody upstairs and into their pajamas. We brushed teeth, read stories, sang songs and little tots were carried back to bed a half dozen times.
Then (with the help of my husband who finally came home) I cleaned the kitchen and read all of three pages in a book before crashing for the night.
Not bad, Rebecca. It may have taken eight years, but you have finally got this day-to-day parenting stuff down.
Then somehow (while packing lunch and overseeing breakfast and orchestrating shoes into backpacks and rain boots on because it looks like rain and weren’t you supposed to leave those shoes at school anyway?) things started to unravel. Remember, I hadn’t yet had any coffee.
“Your math book, Colum. Where’s your math book?”
“No, the book we had as I sat at the dining room table last night and made sure you finished your work.”
“Where did it go?”
“Didn’t I TELL YOU to put it straight into your backpack?!”
Meanwhile my husband who has never in his life laid eyes on this math book is searching under stacks of paper where it could not possibly be. And I am doing my best to blame him for the fact that I am the only person in the house who has any knowledge of where anything goes or how anything works (which is only partially true, probably). It’s completely unfair for me to blame someone who is working out of the house five or more days a weeks for not knowing that I bought these items for school lunches which go in these containers that are half in the dishwasher and half in this drawer here because I reorganized again. And Colum’s school pants are in the dryer and Irene will just have to wear Mary’s socks today because I haven’t had a chance to do her laundry. That’s Irene’s homework there, no it’s not library day today and, what? Are you for real asking me if there’s hockey practice tonight when it’s the one thing you’re in charge of?
It’s totally not fair for me to blame my husband for not knowing the things that only I can know but must I have to know them all at the same time as soon as I wake up in the morning and WHERE IN THE HELL IS THAT MATH BOOK!?
Well, it’s gone. Might as well take that kid off the math and science track now. I spent a full 40 minutes AFTER they’d left for school looking for the damn workbook and I have no idea where it could have gone on the trip between the dining room table and his backpack at the back door, but I can only assume that we’ll never find it.
Luckily he’s good with languages.