Yesterday morning I got slammed with a bad migraine that had me debating whether it would bring more relief to bash my head in with a hammer or a brick. Since neither of those instruments were handy, I settled for popping a bowl of popcorn as a bribe (at 10:30 in the morning), stacking my children on the couch in front of a movie, and heading to bed so I could smash my head between two pillows. I told Michael he was in charge, which, admittedly, is sort of like trusting an electric eel to take care of two little goldfish -- goldfish that know how to jump out of their bowls, flush some things down the toilet and then burn down the house to destroy the evidence.
They did pretty well, all things considered. Everyone only paraded into my room about ten times with various complaints, and only one of those times did I have to climb out of bed to stop my toddlers from flooding the bathroom. But why is it that children need things all the time? I mean, they want lunch every single day. Really, can't they just skip a meal now and then?
After I'd put off Michael's hunger pangs for the ten thousandth time (and after my desperation had provoked me into giving him permission to use a chair to climb up to unlock the pantry and dole out snacks to everyone), I poured my kids a bowl of cereal, took note of the sugar all over the floor and the fact that someone had drawn all over my toaster with a marker, and flinched briefly when I saw the state of my living room. Then I said, "Michael, come get me when everyone is done eating." I can't quite remember what happened after that. I think it's because I might have died a little bit.
Luckily, after lunch comes the glorious time of day when everyone under the age of 30 is required by universal law to GO AWAY. I plopped Matthew and Leah in their cribs, handed Michael my iphone, and went back to smashing my head between pillows.
Quiet time is the only reason I survived yesterday. It is the only reason I have survived tax season. It is the only reason my children have survived tax season. I am not even exaggerating.
I mean, last week while I was taking a shower (which I should never, ever do because bad, bad things happen when I'm in the shower), Matthew and Leah climbed up on the counter, managed to undo the lock on my spice cupboard, and then proceeded to use an entire bottle of cumin, ginger, and red pepper flakes to perform some sort of rain dance in my kitchen. Also food coloring. Lots of food coloring.
(In case you are wondering what sort of emotion I've been feeling most often lately, it's somewhere between loony and filled with murderous rage).
But, I kept control of myself long enough to dump the Spice Bandits in the bathtub, sneak a piece of Easter candy out of the cupboard without Michael seeing me, and decide I could come to terms with my kitchen smelling like a fifth floor walk-up in Chinatown, as long as it meant I didn't have to clean it up for three hours.
Actually, I cleaned it up less than an hour later, which was much faster than I cleaned up the second flour bombing incident (which happened the day after the first one in spite of my double checking the lock - there's that murderous rage again). After that one I shut my pantry door and ignored it for seven hours. Apparently seven hours is how long it takes for my blood pressure to go all the way down, except in cases where a little-girl-who-shall-remain-nameless dipped her feet in her used potty and made little pee footprints all over my living room. In that instance I think it was about 24 hours.
But, we all survived, and we've learned a few things along the way. I mean, now Leah knows that it is highly unpleasant to dump half a bottle of red pepper flakes down one's Hello Kitty panties. Also that Mom will do this weird convulsion thing when it comes to anything involving footprints made out of pee.
And they wonder why I'm so strict about quiet time.