Wednesday, July 06, 2005

I wonder what my hourly wage is?

Days like today make me wonder how childcare workers do it day in and day out. My neighbor and I were chatting about the sheer relentlessness of childrearing. We were commiserating about how hard it is when she blurted out, "Why do you think I majored in gerontology?"

My kids weren't unusually undisciplined today, but they just sucked the energy out of me. My lowest point was about 2:30 pm. I distinctly remember thinking, "How in the hell am I going to stay awake through one more meal, swimming lessons, bath time and bedtime?" So I did what any other self-respecting stay at home mom does - I made coffee.

About 3:00 pm, feeling a bit better on my caffeine buzz, I made a critical error. I decided that I had to go to Shopko. The kids had been playing nicely together, but I disrupted that apple cart and put them in the car. Critical error number two occurred when I decided to try on some jeans. In a dressing room at a discount store. With two preschoolers. Oh - I also decided to answer my phone when my pants were off. So there I was talking to my friend about something important going on in her life while my children decided I needed a spanking. They started giggling and screaming as they swatted and swatted my butt. I managed to get the jeans only up to my thighs - even though they were supposed to be in my size - and that negative body image moment just capped off the entire event. Can you even imagine what everyone around us must have been thinking??? I hung up and tried to continue shopping, but it was fruitless. Ella almost broke a baby swing she INSISTED on sitting in, Harrison tried to shoplift a stuffed giraffe, and we managed to try every toilet seat in the Shopko restroom.

The kids made it home alive (I was pretty mad) and I promptly put them in front of the TV. I'm not proud, but I had gone into survival mode. The above picture shows how Ella collapsed about ten minutes later. "No Mommy! I don't WANT to take a nap!" Sure you don't. It was at this point that I didn't think I could make it through six more hours of active parenting.

The quiet time did help, though, and I actually enjoyed swimming lessons tonight. I took some great pictures but forgot to load my memory card, so I won't be able to post them. I'm heading to bed now so thankful that each day has a night time. I'll go check on them one more time. They'll look very cute and harmless which will be enough to propel me through tomorrow.

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