There is a children’s book titled Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. Alexander knew it was going to be a bad day when he woke up and realized that he had gum stuck in his hair. I never read it to my children, because I like to keep their literature a little more upbeat, but I thought of it this morning.
My clue should have been when the alarm shrilled us to wakefulness at 5:30. Gabe got up to go to work (18 hour shift) and came back into our room to tell me that the kitchen door was open and the kittens had slept on the couch. “You might want to check for cat poop when you get up. Also, you shouldn’t use the upstairs toilet today. It seems to be plugged and I can’t open it with the plunger.” I groaned, rolled over, and snoozed until my alarm at 6 o’clock. After fortifying my soul with 1 John, I fell asleep again. A few minutes later I heard conversation in the kitchen, a loud discussion about what stinks?! When I got up, there was a distinctly catty smell and suspicious tracks all through the kitchen where Rita had frantically tried to wipe poo off her feet after innocently stepping into a pile.
There appeared to be nothing else to do except to break out the
big guns Lysol wipes and set to cleaning. I mean, nobody else was volunteering. Just as I finished and set the trash bag outside the door, I heard Alex yelling that Rita spilled chocolate milk in the living room. Two infractions of the rules right there… the pouring of the milk on her own as well as taking it into the living room. So we got a bucket of water and my handy peroxide/lavender cleaner and scrubbed away. Addy had been industriously digging thumb tacks out of my utility drawer, so I put her into the highchair to keep her out of trouble. There are no straps that restrain her unless they have a 5 point hitch. Sure enough, she did a header and needed comfort. Her diaper had soaked through her clothes, so I soothed her and dressed her all nicely for the day before I went to get dressed myself.
While I was behind closed doors, I heard the sloshing of water in the hallway. Apparently Addy thought dumping a bunch of clean clothes into the cleaning bucket, then dragging them across the floor would nicely take care of the extra water in the bucket. Her cute little outfit was soaked. About that time someone flushed the toilet.
It felt like a conspiracy. It really did. I might have said something like, “May the Lord preserve the next person that makes a mess!” And then I think I whimpered and fixed a cup of tea and prayed for the Lord to preserve the mother from too hasty reactions. Because sometimes you just know it’s going to keep coming at you. The day, that is. If you could just snap your fingers: “Janitor, please remove this!” and wave your arms imperiously while you step outside for a minute, it would be so much easier to stay calm.
Last week one day Gabe was helping me clean up the house. He was truly astounded at the flotsam and jetsam around and under and on top of the couches. The girls started dragging some stuff, papers and books, back into the living room before we had even vacuumed the floor. I heard Gabe mutter, “Where is that custard you made? I need custard!” And I said, “See, that is why homemakers gain weight! They have to chew something before they hurt somebody.”
I am making no apologies for that tablespoon full of Nutella that I indulged in when the kids weren’t looking.