Thursday, March 24, 2011

Diary of an omniturnal mom

Plan Z

Mommy woke up one recent morning and thought, "Gee, I feel somewhat well-rested for a change." The baby slept through his normal 2:00 a.m. feeding; she fed him at 4:30 and he slept again until 7:30.

Then she heard the voices again. And they were rather far away. And they seemed to be cooperating with each other. Hm.

Mommy jets down the stairs with a squishy diapered babe who's kicked off his pajama bottoms.

The scene this week?

Danny, dressed in red shorts and an orange shirt, is sitting on the floor with the bottle of children's vitamins. He's trying to open them. Fiona is kneeling next to him expectantly. She notices me and yells, "Vitamins."

Mommy is afraid to go into the kitchen, but knows she must since apparently she's in charge here. Or is she? It's hard to tell when a chair has been pushed up to the counter, the medicine basket is askew and first aid kit contents have been scattered about the kitchen floor. And there's a knife removed from the knife block. And veggie scraps from the compost pail on the floor.

Mess cleaned and breakfast made and actually eaten, Mommy decides to get the younger two and herself dressed. Danny decides that this is the perfect moment to ask for more apple juice. He has a special knack for that. I tell him to wait. He assures mommy that he can handle it.

Yeah, whatever.

Mommy is so sick of arguing with him and she knows that there's not much left in the bottle anyway. How bad could it get?

After dressing herself and two children, she returns to find water and juice all over the floor. Five minutes later, she sits down on something wet.

Mommy seems to have lost control of the older two children in the past few days.

Wait, that's not right. According to her last Diary entry, the children pulled a similar gate-crashing, self-helping escapade a few weeks ago. It apparently has been a gradual slide into chaos; so gradual that mommy has hardly noticed, alternating between pride and utter terror at their self-help skills.

She used to be able to trust them for short periods of time with little to no mischief resulting. Well, with the exception of the great pasta massacre a few months ago. Now, even going to the bathroom is risky. Putting the baby down for a nap may require her to put the other two in straight jackets.

That afternoon, her husband called, right after Time Warner Cable called and woke the baby up from his nap (assholes), and she gave him a 3 minute "there's gonne be a new sheriff in town" speech. 

Top peeves right now? Helping themselves to, well, anything they want and transporting water in cups throughout the house, pouring water from cup to cup. Mommy has had enough of stepping in, slipping on and sitting in wet spots.

They discussed a new arrangement in the kitchen. They are both stunned that the children haven't touched the steak knives that have been in a drawer within their reach for years.

"One day we're going to come down and find Fiona standing against the cabinets and Danny with a knife, saying 'Hold still, Fiona.' And Owie will be sitting there with a top hat on," her husband says.

Very funny. And very scary. And, mommy knows, very possible.

Her husband then reconfigured the kitchen, putting the medicine and knife block even higher up and twisting a pipe cleaner around the refrigerator door to add a little resistance (or buy Mommy a little time). The steak knives are in the top shelf of the china cabinet. 

If this doesn't work, we're going to have to lock the kids in their bedrooms and pray they don't find a way to gnaw a hole in the door or through the wall.

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