“In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.” – Carl Jung
3:30 am: I’m right in the middle of a dream where I’m wandering in the woods, and I suddenly become semi-aware of some weird smell and something crawling up my side. In a panic, I flail my arms about and scream, “What the F**K?!??” And then I realize it’s my 5-year old putting her morning breath in my face as she comes in for a snuggle. Parenting Fail #1.
5:45 am: My 9-year old storms in, yelling, in my face, “I have NOTHING to wear!” Repeat arm flailing and cursing again. And promptly roll over and fall back asleep. Spouse has registered none of the above and is snoring. Loudly. Parenting Fail #2.
6:00 am: 9-year old stands at the foot of the bed, shouting, “I SERIOUSLY HAVE NOTHING TO FRICKING WEAR!” Her use of an almost-curse-word gets my attention. I lift my head and say, “You have pants downstairs.” I kick gently nudge the spouse and say, “She needs pants.” Start dreaming about having a nanny. Parenting Fail #3.
6:15 am: I just can’t get comfortable with the 5-year olds arm across my face and her toenails that I meant to trim two weeks ago digging into my thigh. I think this might be Parenting Fail #385, but then realize, with relief, that it’s actually only Parenting Fail #4 for the day. I lay and stare at the ceiling and try to muster the energy to actually get some forward momentum.
6:30 am: Tired of the 9-year old pouncing on me and yelling at me and the 5-year old trying to suffocate me, I shake them both loose and declare, “I’m UP.” Big yawn.
6:45 am: Assemble outfits for the 5-year old and 9-year old. The 9-year old decides she wants to wear NOTHING that I’ve laid out for her and assembles an outfit with enough layers to last her through a winter in the wilderness, and the 5-year old takes off almost all of her clothes and declares, “I am going to get dressed downstairs!”
7:00 am: I beg the children to eat something, anything. Oatmeal, eggs, applesauce, ANYTHING. And become reduced to muttering incomprehensibly when they refuse all of my offers and request goldfish and pretzels.
7:17 am: After arguing, pleading, begging and admitting defeat, I feed them goldfish, pretzels and cursewords. Parenting Fail #…wait, what time is it?
7:30 am: Outside with Kid #1 for the school bus. Wait. And Wait. Knowing Kid #2 is inside wearing only underpants.
7:45 am: Bus is late, scream “I LOOOOVE YOU!!” at what I hope is an embarrassing volume at #1’s back.
7:46 am: Stuff Kid #2 into clothes, try to wipe chocolate off her face with my thumb and spit (why is there chocolate on her face? Is that actually chocolate??), chase her around the living room with the hair brush that I neglected to run through Kid #1’s hair. Pretty sure we’re around Parenting Fail #10 at this point.
7:50 am: Run outside with smeared “chocolate” and unbrushed hair on Kid #2. Her shoes are barely tied, but I HAVE MY COFFEE and I’m killing it with my yoga pants and flip-flops in 40 degree weather. I might have remembered to put on my sunglasses to hide the dark circles under my eyes.
7:58 am: Bus picks up #2. More coffee please.
8:00 am: I work, often at home but sometimes I venture to the office, at this job that pays me cash money so I can keep those little darlings fed, clothed and sheltered. I try to also keep up with emails from both schools regarding classroom celebrations, book fairs, fire drills, extra-curricular events and something about cereal box tops, with limited success.
So when you see me in the office and note that I look exhausted and seem cranky, the answers are yes I am and HELL yes so don’t bother me. I also may not have showered since yesterday. Don’t judge me.
I live in chaos, every single morning. I don’t know yet how to organize my mornings better, but maybe someday I’ll figure it out. In the meantime, this is my life…constantly exhausted and striving for balance. But I do my best every day, and hope that is good enough for the rest of my world.