And that set the tone for the rest of the day. I grumbled as I stumbled out of bed, and noticed my dreads had a mind of their own today. I washed them in the bath last night, instead of the shower, then I went to sleep with them still wet. Bad. Idea. Messy and untameable. I was too tired to care at that point. Besides, I was too busy picking up cheese that Zoe had taken upon herself to get out of the fridge before promptly concluding that she wasn't actually in a cheesy mood after all, plus the shredded cheese looks much prettier all over the carpet...
I cooked a yummy breakfast, quinoa, mushrooms fried in coconut oil, toasted burger buns and scrambled egg with parmesan. The kids wolfed it down. Happy tummies, surely that can only mean good things, right?
As I started to pick up breakfast, Zoe thought it would be funny to pick up the plates with leftovers and throw them all over the room. Hey, I'm super mom, I can handle it. I displayed patience, redirected her efforts to something more wholesome, put on some awesome music and started cleaning. I felt fed up with the clutter everywhere and decided this weekend we will do a big declutter and I was also putting a ban on visiting any more yard sales. The mess was wearing me down.
I picked up some veggies to put in the fridge and as I opened the door, 3 half gallon glass jars full of raw milk came flying out as the section they were in caved under the weight. I watched them soar in slow motion while they made an impressive clatter and thud, and then smash. One jar bit the dust. My two Clingons, (Zoe and Turtle of course) didn't seem to understand that, "GET AWAY FROM HERE OR YOU WILL CUT YOUR FOOT!!" has no hidden meaning and is a pretty important instruction to follow. Moreso, they thought their Mum was the most fun lady ever, to so kindly provide a milk river here in their very own kitchen for them to paddle in. I franticly tried to move my hands fast enough that they almost seemed like more than two hands, a pair to grab towels with, a pair to hold kids back with, a pair to mop up milk with and a pair to pick up glass shards with. Super mum or what?
Exhausted after the exertion and feeling rather fed up, I sat down for a 5 minute breather before getting back to cleaning. That's when I remembered my job isn't just Mom, or Cleaning Lady, but also Referee, and a 5 minute breather from being ref isn't such a good idea while the game is still very much on. A few scratches, kicks, loud noises and tears later, I decided I should get back to work. I tried to bring about world peace, or close enough anyway, then go back about my business.
A few minutes into cleaning, Kaya screamed up at me that Zoe had just smashed a very important cabinet and there was glass everywhere. By this point, I just gave up the super mom facade. I did the multi pairs of arms thing again while Turtle pouted at my feet, "hug, hug" and the kids' tv show yelled obnoxiously in my ear and the glass repeatedly poked through my bag and fell back to the floor. I suddenly snapped, and summed up my most authoritarian voice, "Kaya and Lana, switch off the tv show right now, get upstairs and tidy your room!".
They whined and whined (I could have asked them much more gently and got a better response, shame on me), fought with each other and screamed about how they had the worst Mum ever. Lana point blank refused to help. Kaya screamed at her about it and refused to help if Lana wasn't. Turtle was desperate for some comfort after the cabinet had broken and frightened him, and was scared with all the screaming, so he followed me, tugging at my clothes and crying. Zoe wasn't making any noise. She was too busy pulling out all the baby wipes, tearing them to shreds and throwing them around the room. Confetti. Wow. Fun.
It was a pivotal moment. I allowed the confetti to be therapeutic to watch and I imagined a rhythm in the "You're a horrible mum" "I won't help tidy until She says SORRY" "hug hug hug hug" while I contemplated whether I was going to crack and lose it, or do something else. Something else sounded like the more righteous option, but what was that something? I've just gotta get out. I have to get out. "Kids. Clothes on, shoes on. We're going out." No idea where, but we'll figure something out.
Rene kindly met us and took us to lunch. He only gets a 30 minute lunch break so it was rushed, and I couldn't say much, but it was like a breath of fresh, ocean air after spending a week at a landfill. I needed him, and he helped set things in perspective just by seeing his face. The kids spilled juice all over the place, and I'm sure it was a much less relaxing lunch than he's used to, but I hope he knows how much I appreciated it.
After he returned to work I realized I was not ready to go home yet. I was also suddenly aware that Turtle was covered in tomato sauce, had no shoes on, very dirty feet and hair was sticking up every which way, Zoe was wearing the same messy clothes she wore all day yesterday, I was wearing a huge baggy shirt that I had slept in, my hair had still not been fixed Kaya's hair was like one giant dreadlock and Lana was mismatched. I have never looked so...People of Walmart. Oh well, not much I can do about that at this point.
We went to toys R us with no intention of spending any money. 5 minutes into our adventure, Zoe squats down and her face goes red. "Ok girls, I know we just got here, but we need to go to the car to change Zoe's diaper, then we'll come back". Insert mutterings of discontent. Zoe didn't like the idea either, so she took off, as fast as she could go, which is pretty darn fast, by the way. I told Kaya to stay beside her brother (who was in the cart) while I launched into a sprint to try to catch her. While Zoe darted in and out of the aisles, trying to lose me completely, I ran into Kaya wandering at one point. "You are supposed to stay with your BROTHER!" I wasn't gaining on Zoe at all. The folks who work at the store, who usually insist on asking, "can I help you find anything today" this time simply watched me with their mouths agap as I bolted across the store, trying to outsmart Zoe, but failing miserably.
Then she just stopped. Ok, this must be a trick. She let me approach her. She looked a little worried. She muttered something, but I was lost in my rush of victory to take it in. It was only as I was scooping her up that I replayed her words and realized they were something like, "Oh no, my diaper, the poop is falling". I put her in the cart and noticed she was covered in excrement. And now so was I. My huge, baggy tshirt was smeared with brown, my hand was fairly redecorated.
I pushed them out to the car only to realize we had no diapers or wipes. I tried to clean it as best as I could with some napkins. But it was just not happening. I found a diaper, loaded them back in the cart and back into the store. Still covered in poop. Straight to the bathrooms, washed up, washed her bum, turned my huge baggy shirt inside out, "So the poop is next to your BODY? Ew" "yes Kaya, so the poop is next to my body. Because I love it, that's why" then went out and spent an hour, People of Walmart fashion, poking at toys and not buying anything.
Then we went to the pet store to look at the animals, but Kaya got an upset tummy and started rolling around the floor, melodrama style. I'm just going to rush the rest of the story, because Daddy is home now "phew" and there are some more disasters building up. We eventually went out to the lake and played pirates. It was a fun escape. Then I stopped at a yard sale and bought some more junk. Yes, I did. Zoe ran away at the yard sale and I had to chase her across some foreign neighborhood, leaving Kaya with the littles in someone elses yard. We piled in the car, drove around in circles. Watched some men throw balls to their dogs. Visited a portapotty for fun. And eventually had to come back home. Back to the landfill. Back to reality.
One of those days.