(NOTE: At the time of writing, Mary is seven, Ren is four, Eden is just shy of her first birthday. Location: Tilty-Floored Farmhouse. It’s their break from school. I’m working from home while caring for the kids.)
8 a.m. Content the children with snacks and cartoons, take a cup of coffee and the laptop back to bed.
One hour into vacation and it’s going great.
8:02 a.m. Eden’s crying.
8:03 a.m. Eden’s screeching.
8:45 a.m. Feed Eden leftover tortellini for breakfast. I figure she doesn’t mind because no one told her the social rules of breakfast food.
9:00 a.m. Nurse Eden, put her down, go back to cold coffee.
9:05 a.m. Ren stomps upstairs to tell me she and Mare are bored. I crack out the cool marble-tower-run-builder-set thingy I bought for just this occasion. It’s Dutch.
9:10 a.m. Ren is crying that she can’t read Dutch; crying wakes up Eden. Ren can’t read at all, actually, but that’s a moot point.
10:00 a.m. Up to my ass in marbles and Dutch. Eden is finding new and interesting ways to kill herself with marbles and piss off her sisters by smashing towers. That’s when it hits me: Holy SHIT this is a lot of kids.
1:00 p.m. Driving to Starbucks in 65-degree weather. Home Alone is playing in the back. Ahh … Christmas music and violence. Welcome, Spring.
2:00 p.m. Home from Targay Baybay. Sending the children out to play. Only 115 hours of spring break to go.
3:15 p.m. Screechy-Mc-Asshole is not happy. Ren is going to run away. Mare is halfway through the first Little House book. VACAY IS AWESOME!!!
Me: Fever, headache. Crap all over the house. The children watched too much television and our one excursion was to Trader Joe’s where people asked me how come Mare didn’t have a coat and Ren was wearing nothing but a leotard?
Dinner was rice and broccoli with a side of hostility and regret.
A blur of cold medicine and tears.
Ren barfed in our bed after her Dad stuffed her full of treats at the Celtics game.
10:00 a.m. Eden is down for a nap, bigs are watching crappy TV, I am catching up on work. Yay!
Noon I want to take the kids somewhere, but Eden has no more clothes. Her drawers are totally empty. I consider that it would be really wrong to spend another day inside. And, in that vein, doing laundry would keep us inside, wouldn’t it?
1:00 p.m. Load the kids into the Loser Cruiser. Eden’s totally naked, except for a diaper.
1:30 p.m. At Target we run into Ren’s teacher. Ren gleefully explains that we’re there to buy clothes for her naked sister. She’s so excited she almost falls over, in her mismatched shoes. I’m just proud we got all the barf out of her hair and I really feel like I’m doing well. (Plus, honestly, lady? If you didn’t feel the need to take a freaking break I wouldn’t be in this position now, would I? Am I right?)
1:45 p.m. “I’m totally telling this story to Eden when she’s old enough,” Miss Thanren* says.
“Oh, you won’t need to, all she’ll have to do is Google herself.”
1:50 p.m. We pick a cute outfit and upload the pictures to Facebook. Everyone agrees Eden looks great in brown.
2:00 p.m. Errands, a few presents for the girls, STARBUCKS! — sun is shining, now we’re cooking with gas!
*The head teacher’s first name is “Smarter”
8:00 a.m. Okay, people, home stretch of Week One. Let’s everybody go back to bed and pretend we’re in the cabin in Little House and if we move … the WOLVES WILL GET US! Shhhh … Wolves don’t get quietly sleeping children.
8:03 a.m. Yes you can watch SpongeBob.
8:07 a.m. Is there a limit to how much mucus can pour out of my cranium? Seriously?
9:20 a.m. Get shut out of Zumba because the gym nursery won’t keep Eden more than an hour and you have to get there 20 minutes early to grab a spot. Pissed and frustrated
9:30 a.m. Eating fruit snacks from the vending machine, still pissed.
9:40 a.m. Gym Director personally apologizes, hears my suggestions. Gives me guest pass to tomorrow’s private class with Miss No-Organs, whom I passionately love despite the fact that she cannot possibly be carrying everything she needs for survival in that tiny abdomen.
10:00 a.m. Much less pissed. Gym management is excellent.
1:00 p.m. Schmoop naps. I look at the smattering of Cheerios all over my floor and put a good long thought into sweeping them up. Then come to my senses and play a round of iPhone solitaire.