Tuesday, September 18, 2012

The Mommy Wars: A One-Woman, 2-Act Play

Act One - The Working Mommy

5:30 am The alarm rings. Jump out of bed (okay, more like stumble as my glasses are knocked to the floor in the flailing about to turn off the alarm.) Shower, dress and head downstairs for breakfast. Pass husband on stairs, exchange fleeting kiss, eat, pack lunch, back upstairs to brush teeth. Wake kids up. No dice. Play silly games to get kids out of bed then attempt to dress them. Soothe grumpy kindergartner. Everyone back downstairs for breakfast, packing of backpacks. Husband exits, stage left. Wrangle/cajole/threaten/scream to get kids back upstairs to brush teeth. Repeat 'Leave the cat alone' until insane. Back downstairs to put on shoes and coats. Herd children out the door into van; take kindergartner to school. Forcibly extract preschooler from the before school care room; wrestle him back into his car seat. Drive to preschool, disentangle legs from octopus arms and head to work.

8:15 am Walk into work and am immediately tossed into the lion's den even though I spent all Friday, came in on Saturday and logged into the network on Monday to cover the day off. Go through email; try not to throw monitor across the room. Draft and delete several dozen responses as sarcasm is not appreciated by anyone in the building. Prep samples, lug samples to technical building in rain because to move the van is to lose the parking space. Carry on one-sided conversation in head as to how to rein in the idiots. Conclude it can't be done - they'll just build a better idiot.

9:45 am Drink coffee.

10:00 am Begin sample evaluations, run reports, hide from co-workers.  Repeat as needed til the end of the day.

5:00 pm Pick up preschooler, drive home, make dinner, clean up after dinner, help kindergartner with homework, give baths, brush teeth, read stories and put kids to bed.

8:30 pm Finish cleaning up kitchen, help husband clean up family room. Think about cleaning floors and bathrooms; collapse on couch instead.

Act Two - The Stay at Home Mommy

7:00 am Kids wake up and come in bedroom. Got a blissful 8 hours of sleep so no big deal. Change pull-up on preschooler, turn on TV, set kindergartner up with orange juice and goldfish, preschooler gets milk. Boot up laptop and log into work. Repeatedly get up from computer to find playhouses, refill milk glasses, repeat 'leave the cat alone' until insane. Break up fight number 1 of the day; threaten to not take them to fun place.

8:00 am Still attempting to work; preschooler wants breakfast. Fix it so he can eat and watch Imagination Movers at the same time. Remember to make coffee. Drink coffee. Continue trying to work. Break up fight number 2 of the day.

9:30 am Fix breakfast for kindergartner, go take shower. Have preschooler join me in the bathroom so give up and let him stay. Talk to him about showers. Get dressed and dress kids. We're going to go have some fun but first, a couple of errands. Surprisingly, no groans. Tear room apart looking for credit card - realize that it's expired and make mental note to find the new one...somewhere in the basement. Throw in load of laundry

10:15 am Load kids into van, run the necessary errands than off to fun stuff. Break up fight number 3 of the day. Wonder if fun place serves beer and if so, is it too early to order it.

11:15 am Arrive at Chuck E. Cheese and kids proceed to lose their ever-loving minds. A great time is had by all.

12:45 pm Bigger kids coming out so head home; stop for one more errand. Get drinks and change preschooler's pull-up for nap time. Log back onto network to monitor situation, kindergartner asks to play Legos. Play Legos. Remember laundry and put in dryer.

2:15 pm Kindergartner asks to watch TV, tell her not until 4. Whining commences. Suggest coloring/painting/reading/homework. Decides on homework. Asks if it's 4 o'clock yet. Have impromptu lesson in telling time. Pull out homework assignment. Asks if it's 4 o'clock yet. Finishes weekend homework, Monday's homework and Wednesday's homework. Asks if it's 4 o'clock yet. (It isn't) Stare at clock longingly, says, 'It's taking forever.' Tempted to agree.

4:00 pm Finally! Turn on TV for kindergartner, start prepping dinner. Realize that I have everything except for the seasoning pack. Decide to make do with beef stew seasoning. Hope no one notices. Wake up preschooler. Put another load of laundry on. Apply tattoos to kids.

5:15 pm Husband home. Clean up kitchen, reload dishwasher, put laundry in dryer. Finish making dinner.

6:30 pm Eat dinner, clean up kitchen, husband plays with kids. Bath time! Take out trash, brush teeth, read stories, put kids to bed.

8:30 pm Finish cleaning up kitchen, help husband clean up family room. Think about cleaning floors and bathrooms; collapse on couch instead.


Conclusion: There are no winners. It's all hard. Now, where's my wine?

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