Our guest poster, Christina Spicuzza, shares her "morning routine" with us today. I know most families with multiples can relate.
A bit behind on laundry duty, I try to throw a load in the washer at 7:30 in the morning to get a jump on the day. My two year old Ethan is attempting to be helpful, but only getting in my way in the tiny closet of a laundry room. Just outside the door, his twin brother, Colin, halts his play and gives me a look I know too well.
"Did you poop?"
He points to a puddle on the floor and says "Pee".
"Ok, take off your undies" which is all he's wearing, and I am thinking that at least I can throw them in the laundry right away. As I continue to sort the dirty from the filthy into the washer, Ethan bounces all over the tiny laundry room chanting "Hungry! Hungry!" while pushing all the buttons and turning all the dials on the washer. I say to Colin, "give me your undies" and I look over to see his attempt to be helpful. He took his undies off and tried to clean up the mess using them as a towel. As sweet a gesture as it is, in reality he has created a 6 ft diameter smear of urine on the floor. I have but a moment to sigh before the sopping pair of undies are hurled at me and smack into my arm in all its warm wetness.
Back to the kitchen, it's time to make my oldest daughter's school lunch. Ethan is still bouncing at my knees yelling "Hungry! Hungry!", even though his microwavable Trader Joes pancakes sit in a cold stack on his breakfast plate.
"Do you want a sausage egg sandwich?"
"You have to eat the egg too, not just eat the sausage and leave the rest"
I take out a frozen breakfast sandwich and pop it into the microwave and quickly set it for 1 minute, knowing that I need to come back in 30 seconds to rearrange the sandwich or it won't cook right.
In the next room, I hear the dreaded "uh-oh" uttered from Colin. In my mind, I already know what it is. I rush over to see Ethan's chocolate nutritional drink, which Colin intensely covets, has been spilled on the carpet. Grab the vinegar, grab a towel, blot, blot, blot. Then clean up the urine smear drying on my floors on the way back to the kitchen.
Where's my coffee?
Turn on the Keurig, reads "not ready, add water". Crap, the bottled water is in the garage. The unattached garage. That requires me to go outside, in the front, to get to it. I am in my pajamas.
"Alexis! Can you run out to the garage and get me a jug of water while I make your lunch?" I ask of my 13 year old. There is at least some benefit to having kids old enough to do stupid little things like this for you.
Gotta make her lunch, she needs to leave in 10 minutes. Pull out the
peanut butter. Ethan begins the "Peanut butter! Peanut butter!" bounce
and chant. I pull out a small spoon and give him a taste. Pull out the bread. Ethan wants another spoonful. Spread the PB on Alexis'
sandwich and Ethan wants another spoonful. I quickly put it back
in the cabinet before another request. Add jelly to the sandwich,
and then Ethan is chanting "Jelly! Jelly!"
"You want a spoon of jelly?" This is a completely new request, so I question it.
"New jelly!" as he points to the cupboard I had just opened to put away the peanut butter, which contains a yet unopened jar of jelly.
"No, I am not opening new jelly" and I decide it's time to employ mommy ignore tactics, and go on with what needs to get done.
It's at that moment, I remember that I was supposed to turn his breakfast sandwich in the microwave after 30 seconds, 5 minutes ago. I rotate it and set it for 30 more seconds while I get back to trying to finish my daughter's lunch. Throw in a drink, the sandwich, some bagged snacks, and go to the fridge. Champagne grapes, those are a big hit for all the kids right now, and will go great in the lunch. Upon sight, this creates a frenzy for Colin. Frantic calls of "Gapes! Gapes!" as I wash off a bunch for the lunch. I manage to ignore the immediacy in Colin's request long enough to get the grapes in the lunch.
Where's that water for the coffee maker?
Alexis has taken her sweet
time to get completely ready, tie her shoes at a snails pace, and is
almost getting herself out the door. Ok, maybe I should have just mad
dashed out there, jammies and all.
Ethan's sandwich! I grab that out of the microwave, and sit it on the ottoman in the living room in hopes to lure him out of my busy kitchen.
"Eat the egg, and not just the sausage!" I remind him.
Back to the kitchen, I rinse off grapes for the eagerly waiting Colin. I present him with a bowl of grapes, and he is happy. Knowing that as soon as Ethan sees the bowl of grapes, I will have another request for grapes, I quickly make up a second bowl for Ethan.
Water is here, finally! I fill up the Keurig, and now I just have to wait for it to heat up and make a cup.
I am getting Alexis ready to leave for school, my husband arrives from
the back room, freshly showered, neatly dressed for work. When he
arrives on the scene, Alexis is packed and out the door, and two little
boys are the picture of happy eating breakfast and grapes. Not the
slightest hint of the previous half hour of mad chaos.
I send him off to work too, and sit down to finally drink my coffee and take 30 seconds of respite.
I push a clearing through the cluttered kitchen table, and find a swarm of ants have attacked my table overnight. My relationship with ants in not unlike Bill Murray and the gopher in Caddyshack. They are my sworn enemy that I wouldn't hesitate to use massive explosives in order to eliminate them. So, it's a mad dash to remove the weeks of excess clutter on the table, and kill the ants. But I am not done then, I must follow them to the source to kill them, or I will not rest. I search and find their entrance into my house and attack them at the source, a kitchen window. I spray inside the window sill, and go outside to spray, followed by a naked Colin who finds the open door an invite to play in the back yard.
After a good 20 minutes of killing ants and chasing naked children in the yard, I get that coffee, a little colder than I'd like, but still drinkable. And for breakfast, I get to eat a sausage egg breakfast sandwich, minus the sausage that Ethan has eaten and abandoned the rest. Cold. Yum. I actually got breakfast today.