And then I usher everyone out the door. Strap everyone into seats, make sure everyone is buckled. That alone can take five minutes.
I have four children. I should know better than to not allow myself much extra time for mishaps. But you know how hard it is to deviate from a schedule once you get everything usually running like clockwork.
So this morning everything was going as usual. The kids were eating their cereal, and I was sifting cat turds, when I heard a bellow from upstairs: "Corbin's pooping!"
Now in case you didn't know, Corbin is my three-month-old. Who, last I'd checked, was quite peaceful in the living room, bouncing in his Jumperoo. So what if he was pooping? Babies poop. So I'd change him. Big whoop.
"So?" I called upstairs.
"It's getting all over the floor!" Colin yelled.
What the ... ? How?
I abandoned the litter box and rushed upstairs to find this:
This probably would have been slightly less disgusting in black and white. Sorry.
This was one of those moments that forces you to freeze in your tracks and take in the enormity of the situation (I've had those moments before). My brain felt fuzzy because for one, it was morning, and secondly, this did not compute: it wasn't part of the morning routine. Nevertheless, it had to be dealt with. So I fetched a towel (as if I didn't have enough laundry to do), gingerly lifted him out of the seat and laid him on it, and resolved the problem.
When the worst was over and I was cleaning up the last of the mess, setting me back like ten extra minutes, I realized that I heard water running full-blast in the bathroom. Scanning the room, I realized that the only child unaccounted for was Cameron, my four-year-old. And when Cameron is unaccounted for, bad things happen.
So I went into the bathroom. Soap suds were mounded in the sink, threatening to overflow; Cameron was dripping wet from his upper arms to his fingers (including the shirt which I had just put on him); and there was a sodden stuffed Elmo lying pitifully on the counter (the same Elmo that I ran through the washing machine, yet again, just yesterday. I should have thrown him in the trash when I had the chance).
"I gave Elmo a good bath," Cameron said guiltily. "He was filthy."
I was so behind schedule that I hadn't yet instructed the kids to clear their breakfast dishes off the table. Because, though they do it every single day after breakfast, I still have to remind them the majority of the time. So our weak-stomached cat Thurman, The Breakfast Bandit, took the opportunity to jump onto the table and clean out the abandoned bowls of soggy raisin bran ... and then barf. In like two places.
Despite all that, I managed to get everyone out the door almost on time. Until I realized my freaking car keys were missing. I never lose my keys. They're always in the same place, where the kids can't reach. Luckily, I keep a spare set. Thank goodness I could find those, because I still can't find my regular keys. Ugh.
It's been one of those days, and it's not even 9 a.m.
Can I just go back to bed?