Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Shrapnel Dodging 101: A Special Class for Moms

This is the new class I’m going to be teaching. Because I learned everything I need to know from the School of Live & Learn.

So last night, we were having one of our typical relaxing nights that consists of giving baths (complete with bubbles running down the walls), frantically dumping laundry into the washer in the hope that some miracle occurs and we all have clean clothes to wear, cleaning the rabbit cage, and matching the mountain of socks that have accumulated in the basket beside my bed. Nice and calm. Hardly a thing going on.

See, here’s what I do. I wait until the most difficult time possible to try to complete as many tasks as possible. It’s this little game I like to play called When Is Mommy’s Head Actually Going to Explode. This week, I waited until Jason went out of town. Yes, I waited until I had lost my—wait a minute, what’s that guy called that protects the quarterback—yeah, I had lost my offensive lineman. He is the guy that holds the line while I can peacefully do laundry and even FOLD it if I’m extremely lucky. He’s the guy who distracts the attacking 3-year-olds so that I can have that ultra-precious 30 seconds in which Mommy can go potty all by herself. (Yes, I have sunk to the level at which this is one of the major highlights of my day. Laugh if you must.)

Anyway, no problem. I had the situation under control. I have recently learned to delegate, which apparently is a way to get my other children to actually DO something instead of just watching me run up and down the stairs until I have a stroke. And I’m actually afraid to have a stroke with Jason out of town, because I’m sure the kids would make sure I was still alive…right before they asked if I was still making pizza for dinner.

The delegating thing was working well, so well in fact that I had one kid monitoring the bubbly bath tub and another kid vacuuming her carpet and yet another kid monitoring the pizza that was soon to come out of the oven. (Yeah, that’s a LOT of kids, but as it turns out, they are fairly useful when trying to accomplish five gazillion things at once.)

So, little kid number one gets out of the tub, gets thrown into a pair of mismatched PJs (hey, he’s lucky they are clean), and is quietly playing with toys while his brother is finishing up his bath. A well-oiled machine. Pure precision.

Oh, and I should mention that I was in the laundry room overseeing most of this action while I intermittently hung and folded clothes. The thing that should have tipped me off was the quiet, entirely too much quiet.

Turns out that during his quiet time, Jadon decided to find the little jar of coins on the top of my dresser, and thought he would do what seemed most logical to him. He threw them by handfuls into the fan that was oscillating around my room.

The next thing I heard sounded like a machine gun must sound or like or a bomb or well, money flying out of a fan. I heard this noise from the laundry room, which luckily enough, is right next to the room he was in, and I came running with full tactical gear, prepared to drag my family out of the ruins of our house that was evidently smack in the middle of the target zone. But oh, no, it was just Jadon’s newest experiment with how to drive me completely over the edge.

I entered my room and saw him laying on the floor, looking up at the fan, with one hand covering his butt—because he sort of knew he had done something wrong when money started shooting out of the fan. (Now, this kid has probably only had two swats in his life, and neither of those could really be felt due to the padding of his diaper. Have I mentioned that evidently our kids are going to be the only ones going to kindergarten wearing diapers?) He looked like this crazy mixture between scared of the shrapnel and scared for his butt, but as soon as he saw me, he was ready for me to drag him out of the war zone that used to be my bedroom.

I was halfway across the room, dodging from side to side strategically trying to avoid any life-threatening shrapnel injuries, when the last quarter finally made it’s way from the fan and plunked onto the floor, and that’s when Jadon turned to me and said, “Oh, dat loud.”

Yep, dat was loud. Needless to say, I was finished with laundry for the evening, and Jadon was finished with his experiments. A quick piece of pizza and a glass of milk (because if I balance something completely unhealthy with something healthy, they cancel each other out, right?), and it was time for bed.

It was also time for Mommy to have a martini…but I had to settle for the last half-empty can of Coke that my older children had deigned to leave for me. It was in that moment that I also knew it was time for Jason to come home. He’ll be lucky if the house is still standing when he gets here in a couple of days.

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