7:30am: I wake up to overly whiny and dramatic wailing. “Maaaaamaaaaaaaa!” on repeat. I am groggy and annoyed as I always am when presented with the prospect of getting out of bed, but even more so today because I have a sinus infection and because I stayed up super late last night finishing Season 8 of Weeds on Netflix. When I open her door, the the wailing immediately stops. The first things out of her mouth are: "Where is my PT Cruiser?" and "I want to wear mine pretty dress."
10:30am: Having met the childrens’ basic needs of survival, I am now a beached couch whale. Tuesday is wearing a sparkly silver tutu over her jammies and is superbly happy about it. Dirt is in monster footy PJs. They are amusing themselves civilly enough, and remain adequately responsive to my angry whale song periodically reminding them to play nice.
Now they are doctors on a mission to fix me. I am alerted to the fact that I have drifted off by a booger sucker being jammed up my nose. “Be brave,” Dirt tells me, trying to hold my hands back from blocking the offending aspirator, “it won’t hurt and then you’ll feel all better.” Tuesday starts bringing me cloudy water in a tiny medicinal shot glass. I suspect she is scooping the water out of the bowl I left soaking in the sink, but she is so caring in her presentation that I have no choice but to drink it. She brings me at least four rounds, sweetly forceful in demanding that she pour them in my mouth. Dr. Dirt concurs that water is good for sickies, and brings me a full pint glass of clean refrigerator water. He says. “You may have more after you finish this.” He also doles out gummy vitamins and demands that I hold a broken thermometer in my armpit.
12:00: I roll myself into the car because I have to go to the f-ing store. Milk, eggs, butter, diapers, toilet paper—the oh so exciting essentials. I’ve been putting it off all morning. Because he can change his own clothes, I tell Dirt to get dressed. Tuesday is still in pajamas and tutu, because I lack the motivation to dress her. We just add pink boots to up the fashion quota. I am happy that I am prepared with Kleenex in the car, and blow my nose each of the twenty-eight minutes it takes to get to Safeway. The used tissue collection in the door pocket of the van is gross. (So is the pile on the floor as I write this currently.)
|Why would you take a dog shopping?|
At the store, Tuesday rides inside the car cart and Dirt rides on top. They are generally pleasant as I shop and my sniffling is minimal, although as the cart gets progressively heavier I need to lunge forward to get it in motion. Finally it’s time to push toward the checkout, and I realize I’ve left my wallet at home. My mind starts swimming: can I call Dooley and relay a credit card number by phone? Do I abandon all my groceries and chalk up two hours of purposeless recreation? Do I leave the cart and drive the thirty minutes home for my wallet and thirty minutes back to the store for the groceries and thirty minutes back home again? Should I make a break for it and shoplift a massive cart full of food and diapers? Perhaps the sheer unstealthiness of absconding with such unwieldy bounty would make it possible. Right at that moment of stunned contemplation, Dirt pulls a bunch of stuff off the shelf onto the floor. I tell him to pick it up in the most-intense-but-most-quiet public mean mommy voice possible. Then it dawns on me that there is a Wells Fargo in the Safeway. Luckily I left my expired driver’s license in the diaper bag, and luckily they accepted it to withdraw cash.
Then the overly friendly manager—the same one who smiled when we walked in, the same one who asked if I needed help while shopping because I “had that look”—asks if I’d like any assistance out to my car. I wonder if I emanate bedraggled help me vibes or if he’s hitting on me. “No thank you I’ll be fine,” I reply, sniffing. I know my eyes are puffy. “It doesn’t look like you have the staff to spare anyway.” Then he offers himself. Well, if you insist. Not that I don’t have things under control or anything…oh wait, there goes Dirt out the one-way automatic doors and now he can’t get back in. So then it is super awkward, politely fighting over who gets to push the thousand-pound kid-and-grocery-laden cart uphill in the parking lot, but I don’t put up much of a fight. Help is welcome, regardless of motive.
1:30: I drive through Sonic and ask how many chicken nuggets I can get for under $9, which is the amount of cash I have left. I feed the kids their well-balanced, nutritious meal on the drive so I can put them right to bed when we get home. I grumble at my haggard reflection in the rear-view mirror. Dirt asks me what I’m grumbling at. “I look like crap,” I mutter. “No you don’t!” he replies brightly and adorably. It’s amazing how kids can lift your spirits with their happy simplicity.
2:30: Groceries are finally put away, kids are finally in their rooms. Supposedly napping. I am attempting a nap of my own. Dirt gets up a bazillion times to go to the bathroom and/or get a drink of water and/or ask for a hug. I am trying to be firm so I can get some rest. The sweet little boy who’s constantly saying “Mama, I love you” for no reason at all turns into an angry screaming monster when being forced to nap, slamming doors and yelling “I don’t love you!” When I finally begin to fall into a luxurious sleep, I’m snapped out of it by “Mama, come see my poop”. Then when I settle back in, my own congested pig snore startles me awake. Soon nap time is over. I am sad.
9:00pm: Kids are down for the night. They ate leftover Tuna Helper and I had leftover soup. We watched Lilo and Stitch and made Hippopotamus cake for my sister’s birthday party tomorrow. I decide now is a good time to take a shower; maybe I’ll feel better or something. When I turn the water off I hear dramatic wailing, so I run down the hall in a towel, dripping water all the way, only to encounter Tuesday whining, “I have boogers”. Me too, dearest pie. Me too.
1:00am: Stupidly, I am still awake. Blowing my nose, watching The Breakfast Club and writing this lackluster narrative, realizing that the tone has totally flat lined and so now I am going to bed. I hate trying to sleep when I can’t breathe through my nose. My lips are already so damn chapped. Mouth-breathing and pig-snoring, here we come!