Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Screaming uncle

If my life had a theme song these days, it would be that one from the Benny Hill show. (I had wanted to somehow embed that song to go with this post, but, well, I don't have that much time on my hands.)

I envy my husband. At least he knows when his "day" starts by when the alarm clock goes off. I don't even know where one day starts and another ends around here. Is it when the baby wakes up wet and hungry at 2 a.m. or when he wakes up at 6:30 and I throw some toys in his crib so I can try to catch a half hour more sleep? I just don't know.


By 9:30 this morning, I was on my knees in my kitchen, banging my head against the floor and crying, "I can't do this, I can't do this, I can't do this." I reached for the phone to call my best friend who was on her way over to drop something off. I saw that she had called, hit redial and walked toward the dining room to find her at the front door. Never before have I been so glad to see another adult.

Just minutes earlier, I had released myself and two children from my son's bedroom. Have I ever mentioned that I'm claustrophobic and my worst fear is being stuck in an elevator with kids? Well, this was actually worse. I was upstairs changing sheets and trying to locate a pair of pants my son had pooped in when Fiona sprinted into the room and closed the door.

It's locked.

Utter. Panic.

Last I saw the baby, he was standing by the (empty) tub. Did I remember to close the gate at the top of the stairs? Yes, yes. Okay. Next thought: Where is that plastic fork I used to release myself the last time this happened? (Yes, there was a "last time." Don't judge.) Oh, dear God, I couldn't find it. I scoured the room, trying to conceal my panic as Fiona and Danny followed me around the room saying something. Really, all I could hear was screaming inside my head. I glanced out the window at the Hispanic workers on my neighbor's roof and wondered if a woman screaming from an upstairs window would transcend the language barrier. You know, a kind of universal S.O.S.? Would they get it? Would they call 911? I tried to open the window and found that it had been SCREWED SHUT to keep Danny from opening the window.

(My husband later laughed at me and asked how I thought that someone from the outside could get us out any better than I could. Shut. Up.)

Double, triple panic. I could feel myself beginning to hyperventilate. Breath, you can do this. Think. What would MacGyver do? You need something thin and rigid to pop the lock. Meanwhile, I heard a small thud followed by Owen crying in the bathroom. The boy can pull up, but he's not so graceful about getting down just yet.

I finally found a wire coat hanger, straightened it out and popped the lock. I'm free after the longest three minutes of my life.

And that, dear friends, is how I wound up completely unglued by 9:30 this morning. Actually, that was the last straw.

After my 6:30 a.m. ritual of throwing toys in Owie's crib, I heard Fiona stirring and remembered that she was wearing only a diaper and pajama shirt which made the odds of a diaper removal rather high. I also calculated the odds of that diaper having poop in it and those odds, too, are rather high. Unfortunately, I was right on both counts. And she put the, um, package behind her door.

Okay, next adventure ... while I was cleaning up that mess, I lost track of Owen. (It's a wonder this kid is still alive.) Then I heard running water. He's learned how to turn the bathtub faucet on in our bedroom. By the time I arrived, there was an inch of water in the tub, a mile-wide grin on his face and a wicked twinkle in his little Irish eyes. And he's poopy, of course.

Next, Danny is up. I hear this charming diatribe from his room, "You get out. No, Fi Fi. ARGH." And he's sick. He'd been coughing all night long. Then, shortly after coming downstairs, he decided to do a little Christmas decorating—I found him in the dining room plugging in electric candles and setting them up on the window sill. After breakfast, he coughed so hard that he threw up on the floor. It's 8 a.m. and I've already dealt with two poops and one pile of vomit. So what's one more poop incident, right? By around 9:30, I noticed that Danny has changed his pants. Which means he's had an "accident." And it is while I am hunting down the poopy pants and anything else that he may have soiled that I was trapped in the room.

Honestly, some days it's a miracle that the kids are alive by the end of the day. A few weeks ago, when my best friend and her family were over for dinner, they witnessed no less than three incidents in the space of two hours that could have lead to semi-serious injury. We'd like to thank them now for not reporting us to social services.

Oh, and to make matters worse, the baby refused to take a nap this morning. This put a serious crimp in my plans for synchronizing naps. By 11 a.m., I started making lunch, knowing that Owie would last until about noon and if I fed the older two and got them upstairs, I might still be able to pull off plan A. I did (and managed to get some rest for myself) with a little help from Benadryl, which is a slightly more humane coping mechanism than that of the old woman who lived in a shoe. If you recall, she whipped her children soundly and put them to bed. Let the record show that I did not do that, okay?

I write this all down so I can embarrass my children later with tales of their early exploits. Hopefully, I'm not providing evidence for my involuntary commitment hearing. I'm also hoping that if I can make you laugh, maybe I will soon start laughing. Which I do when and only when these incidents run through my head to the tune of the Benny Hill show theme song. It's a start.

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

I love you! You don't tell on us and we don't tell on you! That's how friendship and parenting small humans works! See you Friday.