It's ridiculous to me that I don't learn my own lessons until I try walking through the glass door 694 times until I see how much easier it is to just open it and walk through it. If I do not begin to prep dinner by 4:30pm, all hell breaks loose. And then I am surprisingly caught off guard that it is all unraveling at my feet.
By 5pm I came to the realization oh crap the people need to eat food again! As I bust out all the ingredients as quickly as possible, usually slicing a finger on the sharp edge of a cabinet frame or banging my head on the pantry door, the baby begins to whine. The preschooler is occupied with play-doh at the kitchen table so as to not crush his brother's head or body by trying to "hug" him.
It is always turns into this kind of evening on the day I decided to let the dishes go and play with the kids instead. Sounded like a good idea at the time, but now the baby is screaming, I am digging through piles of old dishes so I can scrape last night's dinner out of the measuring cup (why do I still only have ONE measuring cup?). I shove and bargain for counter space every direction I turn as the crusty cereal bowls and dirty griddle mock me.
I feed the baby two bites, then consult with the recipe again. Give another two bites to baby, then I begin to conduct clean-up instructions for the play-doh massacre and there goes the phone ringing. Before I can think to check my cel phone I try to guess how many hours late Mike is going to be home, I find the clean-up committee leaving another pretty yellow stream for me in the bathroom. My teeth begin to grind and then laundry buzzards ring into the air like a shot gun at a race, simultaneously. Pick us! Stop what you are doing and tend to your washer and dryer! My timing is getting more and more off track, the monkey gets a banana as dinner is not happening as quickly as needed. It's a 16 piece band and I am in charge of every instrument, showing up rather late for the performance.
I envision Mike walking onto the set of a western movie post shoot-out. It looks as though the baby was a victim of an orange paint bomb. His brother's finger nails are embedded with blue, even jammed into cuticles and wedged between teeth despite his unconvincing attempt at telling us he did not eat the play-doh. I have several layers of regurgitated baby food crusted into various patterns on my shirt. My hair is pulled out of my pony tail, most of is has been yanked out earlier by tiny hands and strands are heading every direction. The crinkle in my forehead is most pronounced. I am oh-so eligible for the hottest pin-up photo shoot imaginable, even making the top ten MILF list.
....so Mike gets home on time and that surprise fills me with one of the best smiles of the day. And although my lack of preparedness for the needs of my family in the evening doesn't change the downward spiral of negative behavior the rest of the evening, I can try and learn to do better. And remember how much better we all do with routine and schedule.
I imagined this is how every night would be once I had two children. The funny thing is, this type of night is actually the anomaly. So when going to sleep tonight, I can spend more time reflecting on some really awesome parts of the day. Like Evan's first forward crawl. And my friend who is a single mom and the job offer she got that will finally provide a regular schedule and sufficient paycheck for her and her son. And Zane reading new words in a book all by himself. And talking to one of my favorite friends, laughing together. And having all of our laundry clean and folded in record time! A day is a day, with it's good and bad parts.