Routine, Schmoutine

I have my morning routine down to a science. Wake up before everybody else, slap on some mascara and concealer, brush my hair, and put on a bra so I don't frighten anyone to death, get breakfast ready, locate clothes for four children - which are in various places including (but not limited to) the dryer, the laundry basket, the closet, the drawers, the floor. Locate everyone's shoes, which are supposed to be in the closet but are only actually there about 50% of the time. While the kids are squabbling at the table eating breakfast, unload the clean dishes from the dishwasher, then tend to my downstairs chores: scoop the litter box, feed and water the animal menagerie, start laundry. Then it's back upstairs to oversee dressing and help tie shoes. Then into the bathroom to comb everyone's hair, brush teeth, wipe breakfast off faces with mom spit a baby wipe, what-have-you. Make Colin's lunch, write him a cute note to tuck into his lunch box, and make sure everyone has their various papers and folders signed and homework completed and accounted for and that every last single thing is stuffed into backpacks.

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?


  1. Both of my kids used to blow out the top of their diapers, straight up the back, staining onesies for life. Even more horrific when you're holding them.

  2. oooooh and I was EATING as I read this one.... *sigh*

    you're totally allowed to go back to bed after all that. I salute you.

  3. OMG! There's just one mess after another when you have a houseful of kids & pets! I know this from experience when you were little - sorry I didn't warn you! LOL

  4. Holy crap! I hope you made it through the day!

  5. This is exactly why it is beyond my scope of imagination that anyone would EVER want a baby. Period.

  6. Wow! Just WOW! And somehow you managed to BLOG with all of that going on. You amaze me. I seriously do NOT know how you handle the insane things that happen in your life on a daily basis. I'm pretty sure though, God knew he could send you the kids he did, 'cause if the mess making happened like that at my house, they might be deadish. So instead, I just deal with the sassiest sass faces EVER! And a lot of snotty yelling. Anyway, you deserve prizes for your efficiency and amazingness! Just sayin!

  7. OMG - I am laughing so hard. My middle daughter was a poop blower outer - we went through about three outfits a day. I wish I could tell you it gets better, but...

  8. I was exhausted by the time I got to just the 3rd paragraph. I was saluting myself for starting getting showered, dressed, started a load of laundry and put a pork roast in the crock pot before work - all with no children under foot. Now you make me look like a lazy slacker! I don't know how you do it!


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