January 16, 2009

Overworked AND Underpaid

I feel I need to start my story the night before...

It was a quiet evening in our finally clean home, ‘cuz I scrubbed all day, and the children where fast asleep. I lay on the couch, exhausted from my day’s work, in which I only had myself to blame, because I was lazy the days before, so things had gotten a little out of control. And when I say little, I mean no clean dishes (except for a spaghetti spoon, which I find hard to eat with because it isn’t easy keeping the prongs from going up your nose;

a pizza cutter, some cookie sheets- my husband doesn’t need a reason to make his portion sizes EVEN bigger, a medicine dropper, which doesn’t help in quenching your thirst very well,

and a few other odds and ends) no clean laundry (except the clothes I SWORE I would never wear again, but now have to) and the chance to play the game LAVA, but this time, instead of the Floor being the Lava and stepping on objects so you don’t burn up, the Objects are the Lava, and you can only step on the floor in order to keep yourself from multiple degree burns. It was quite challenging, but I beat my high score with extra bonus points for style.

But as I lay there extremely tuckered out, I could not for the life of me go to sleep! So I turned on the Discovery channel thinking: “This documentary on pilots will SURELY put me to sleep.” Finally, at midnight, after watching a way too long documentary and learning how engines, snowboards, bologna and kitchen pots are made, I decide that I should take a swig of generic Nyquil and go to bed. As I lay in bed, I feel the warmth spread through my body. I start to relax and think “why didn’t I take this 4 hours ago?”. Then I hear a small cough. Then more coughing. And then a gurgley-type of cough that made me a little concerned. So I walk downstairs without my contacts in, groping in the dark for a light switch, then groping around in the light ‘cuz I’m blind as a bat (my children broke my glasses), grab some children’s pain reliever, a glass of water and head to the kid’s room. It was then I realize that my daughter is puking, coughing and crying at the same time. Perfect.

I get her cleaned off, put her in the shower, and get clean blankets for her crib. When she’s done, I wrap her up in a towel and hold her for a little bit. As we sit in the bathroom, I hear the faint trickling of water. I did run the shower, so it must be the water in the tub continuing to drain. Please remember I’m still blind at this moment. So I get her diaper on, lay her down and turn on some soft music. I walk back down the hall, and step in a puddle of water. Or so I thought. There was this massive puddle by the wall next to the bathroom door. My first thought was: “A pipe is leaking somewhere!”, so I look in the bathroom for a water trail, but there is none. I then remember that when I opened the bathroom door, my son was just standing there with a glazed over/droopy look, so I sent him back to bed. I take a closer look at the puddle. There are small footprints from the puddle to my kids room and they do not belong to me. I lean over and smell. Sure enough. My son had peed on the wall! That was the faint trickling noise I had heard. So I clean it up, (the Nyquil starting to take it’s toll) and as soon as I’m done, I hear more coughing. And puking.

The process of puke-clean-repeat went on throughout the night, and finally, at 6 in the morning, my daughter decided she was finished throwing up and went to sleep. One hour later….

(To be read in a sing-songy voice)

A neighbor takes my son to school, and as I turn on PBS for my daughter, I am fighting sleep. But finally:


After laying her down, I lay down, ready to drift off into a land of blissful peace, my mind once again starts to think about all the things I should be doing while my daughter is sleeping. Crap.

Even though I am unbelievably tired, I cannot go to sleep. Maybe if I eat something and make my tummy Super Full....

I decide to make an egg salad sandwich. I boil the eggs, during which I play a game of Mahjong, and then prepare my sandwich with glee.

Sometimes I don’t realize how hungry I am until I start eating. Such was the case with this sandwich. I didn’t taste, I inhaled. And then I decided I needed another one. So I made another. Deciding to enjoy it this time, I look down before taking a bite. To my Horror I saw:

Yes. That is MOLD. And yes, this is the SECOND sandwich. It is now time for me to go back to bed.

But guess who wakes up! Children have THE best timing ever. Like, deciding to get sick and keep you up all night when you take Nyquil. Or peeing on the wall/floor when you don’t have your contacts in.

But the day must go on.

I pick up my son from school, but as we walk home, he runs ahead of me with a neighbor friend, and as he turns into the neighborhood, I loose sight of him. I run after him and make it to the locked front door, but there is no sign of him. I walk around a little, calling out his name. Nothing. Feeling my heart beat a little more quickly, okay, a LOT more quickly. I run over to my neighbor’s house thinking maybe he followed his friend home. As I get there, she says she sent him home a few minutes ago. I must clarify our neighborhood layout. We live in town homes that were built with no sense of a grid system. They are here and there, in loopy positions, facing every which-way and there are no back yards. It’s like a mini maze. So completely-almost having a heart attack, I run back home, and to my relief, there he was. Needless to say he sat in time-out for freaking me out.

I teach piano lessons every day after school. From 4-6 in the afternoons, my husband “watches” the kids while I teach. And in just a minute you will understand why “watches” is in quotation marks.

As I teach, my daughter, who woke up at 7 that morning COMPLETELY better and back to her joyful and very 2-year old self, kept coming down and “helping” my student play the piano. I yell upstairs for my husband to grab her. I yell again. Each yell is getting less friendly. I finally TAKE her up myself.

This goes on several more times for the next 2 hours.

As I finish up my last student, she comes down again, but this time showing me her hand. As she comes closer, the unmistakable smell of peanut butter hits the air. Her hand is covered in the gooey brown-ness, and it looks as if she had decided to play SPA. She had chosen the peanut butter facial peel, as well as the peanut hair infusion. There was also the exotic peanut manicure, and the peanut butter leg wax. She must have forgotten her robe, for the peel, hair infusion and body wax had gotten on her clothes. And I paint this picture because I didn’t take one with the camera. It escaped my mind at that moment.

I think you may have been able to see steam rise from the top of my head. I send my student home and STORM up the stairs. My husband is SOOOO Grounded. Peanut butter was all over the kitchen table, and when asked if he knew about it, you know what he said? She was hungry. So he LET her scoop out peanut butter From The Jar and eat it off her hands. Hello? We do have clean dishes now!

When I get mad, I get quiet. I don’t say anything, but I let my body do the talking. So as I prepare dinner, I make it a point to close the pantry door a little harder than normal, I make sure that the pot is firmly placed on the stove, and that the silverware make that special sort of ring when they hit the table at a certain speed. He must have felt bad, because this morning he brought home my paycheck:

Yes the bag is almost gone. It only took me about 10 minutes to eat all but what you see. And as DIVINE as cinnamon candies are, I don’t think it makes up for the lack of sleep, puke/pee cleaning, pee stepping-in, mold eating, peanut butter cleaning (which by the way blends into brown leather couches until it dries),

And the mountain of laundry that has that undeniable “Puke Was Here” smell.

True Story.


tina said...

my heart goes out to you as one mom to another...I am sorry. It truely seems as if we don't get a break sometimes. I hope you have a better week.

Heather said...

LOL......I keep telling people that if I could safely rent out my children on weekends it would be the best form of birth control! I am always fond of the puking, cleaning, and repeat when I was pregnant and was puking with my daughter..ahhh fond memories. My son never peed on the floor, he did that in the potty. BUT.....he would NOT poop in the toilet! Oh no that was scary, sooo what did he do? He would DODO IN his brothers CLOSET!!! Once he even pooped NEXT to the toilet! COME ON!!!

I feel for you girl, and I have the husband that "watches" the kids as he plays the computer.

AnnieAd said...

It does get better, girls. They finally grow up and move out, and then move back in with more. The good news is: now you're the sympathetic grandmother, and the MOTHER has to clean up all the yucky stuff! My job now is just to hug the littles and say "Go get mommy!"

Jen said...

I soooo agree with the grandma thing. It really does get better. My mom once said, "kids are great, grandkids are even better and great-grandkids are the best!"