Yesterday was one of those days where you knew you should have just stayed in bed…of course my job as a Domestic Engineer comes with exactly 0 vacation days and 0 sick days, so I suppose getting up was really my only option. My morning started around 5:38am when the summer sun began bursting through my blinds. I tossed and turned, in and out of sleep, waking to check the clock. Today was Joey’s 5th Birthday, but I had to get up and take Cecilia for her 12 month appointment at the doctor’s. Having just bought my new cell phone, and not yet having had to use the alarm feature, I was afraid it wouldn’t go off and we’d be late. Tossing and turning, turning and tossing and then a familiar sound. A truck. A trash truck. Shit! Today was Tuesday, our normal trash day, but it was also the day after a holiday which usually meant our pick up was delayed a day. Although my can was not full, it also did not get put out the week before because we were away on vacation. The week prior to that we had maggots *gag* in the can from a ripped trash bag and some flies which must have gotten in when the lid blew off. I had to clean that can myself; armed with a large quantity of bleach and the garden hose I did my domestic duty and scoured the can as I held back tears (and my lunch). So with the recent trauma of the maggots, the half full week old + trash, and the 100 degree weather we’ve had this week, I literally sprang out of bed. Running down the stairs, I called to my still sleeping husband to yell to the trash men I was coming right out as I heard the truck coming down the street. Panicked, I quickly hit the alarm code and threw open the back door, only to hear the truck passing my house! I skipped about four steps off the deck and grabbed the trash can. I swung the gate in the wrong direction and began to shout “Wait! Stop!” as the trucked pulled around the corner. I pulled the can through my side yard and across my neighbors driveway. “Wait! Please, stop!” I shouted as I ran barefoot and bra-less down the street. Finally, one of the men heard my cries of desperation and motioned for the truck to back up. I thanked him profusely as I became suddenly aware about my appearance. Dressed in an old MBNA tee shirt, fancy striped capri pj pants, no bra, hair sticking straight up, and breath probably worse than the trash, the sanitation worker very kindly dumped my trash can and told me to have a nice day. I was just thankful that I was wearing pants. Flustered and frazzled as usual, I then took the empty can back around the house and could already hear my husband laughing from the bedroom. He apparently was too asleep to tell the truck to stop, but awake enough to watch me run down the street dragging our can behind me. It was probably right then that I should have called it quits for the day, but instead I got dressed and prepared to leave for the pediatrician’s office.
I always feel bad taking my kids to well visits, especially when they are in a good moods, knowing they’ll be screaming and crying later. Due to my germaphobia, I tend to make my well appointments for the morning before all the sick kids get in the office. I learned early on with my oldest child that even a well visit can result in a repeat visit later in the week with a now sick child. So armed with my own bag of toys, I played with Cecilia as she sat in her stroller. Another family of three was also in the office, their mother busy on her cell phone. Her three kids crawled over seats, tables and all over the floor all while screaming and yelling at each other. I tried to ignore the mayhem as she did, which is probably why I didn’t notice the two year old come over and immediately grab Cecilia’s pacifier out of her mouth. “What the hell! Watch your kid, lady!” I proclaimed inside my head. I took the pacifier from the toddler and told her gently, “No, no touch please.” The nurse then popped her head around the corner, calling us back and saved me from smacking children that are not mine us from any further waiting room nonsense. The rest of the visit was pretty routine; Cecilia grew an inch, gained two pounds, and screamed at any doctors and nurses within ten feet of her. The doctor, in an effort to calm her, set his tools on the table for her to play with. She immediately picked up the tongue depressor and thrust it up his nostril.
After a tiring morning, I put the baby down for a nap and took the two boys, who had been stuck in the house due to 100+ degree temperatures the last few days, out to the grocery store to get Joey’s specialty birthday cake. The girl at the bakery asked Joey how old he was and he replied, “I’m eighteen. I’m an adult.” Jake immediately says, “Yeah and now Mommy says he’s a S-O-B.” I quickly explained that Joey is constantly trying to get permission to do things by reasoning that he is old enough and an ‘adult.’ I further explained that my response to him is that if he is in fact an adult, he needs to go out and get a J-O-B, and that I do not call him an s-o-b (which would be more insulting to me anyway). The girl continued to laugh at (me) Jacob as we walked down the next aisle. Realizing the boys were in a “performing” mood, especially after the girl at the bakery laughed and laughed, we quickly picked up a few other items before heading to the checkout lanes. My heart sank as I saw only one lane other than the express line open, and instead of standing behind three full carts, I made the choice to do the self checkout. All that stood between us and the privacy of our own home, free from the judgments of the outside world, was a very large older gentleman with just a few items. He smiled kindly and the boys took that as a cue to started telling him about today being Joey’s birthday. As I began to scan our items, the man, who had to be 6ft 4inches tall and 275+lbs, still listened as the kids rambled on. A sense of strange foreshadowing fell over me, and I rapidly scanned the items now, practically throwing them into the cart. Then the moment I knew (call it mother’s instinct) was coming, was upon us. Sweat rolled down my face as I punched in the debit card pin number and forcefully pushed “enter,” as the man asked Joey, “so is your Mommy making you your favorite dinner tonight? Or are you getting something really, really good like pizza?” My eyes locked with Joey’s, silently pleading for him to answer politely, he then turned to the man and plainly replied, “Mommy said we could have a BBQ tonight. She says we order pizza too much, and too much pizza and junk will make me fat. Did you eat too much pizza??” My mouth fell open, and for a moment that felt like a lifetime, no words came out. Grabbing both of the boys and the cart, I, in my usual fashion, quickly apologized and made a mad dash for the door.
The day’s close couldn’t have come soon enough. After a healthy birthday dinner of hot dogs and corn on the cob, Joey enjoyed his “Batman” cake, and was excited about opening gifts. I was happy that he was happy with all that he got, even though it did not include the TV, Robot, or paddle boat he had been asking for…
After the kids went to bed, my husband and I finished working on this new website, which I hope you all enjoy! We’re still a work in progress, but the new site should allow for a lot more functionality (and fun). A special thanks to my husband for all his help (and support so far), and for all the old and new readers who have been helping me along the way! I’m glad you all have enjoyed the posts. After days like yesterday, I find it to be more like free therapy than anything else.