6:02 Wake up to kids making their own breakfast. Roll out of bed when oldest offers to help youngest use the potty. Youngest is not potty trained. At all.
6:20 Trying to check weather on computer. Youngest insists on showing me how her turtle dances. Youngest does a jump-spin maneuver. Not sure where turtle fits in.
6:42 Go to the bathroom. Hidden sensor I must have on the toilet sounds so that all three children are outside the door with urgent questions. Questions so urgent that they must be shouted all at the same time while fingers are stuck under the door as punctuation. After questions are shouted, children all begin crying because their two siblings wouldn’t let them talk.
6:45 To protect chidren, make vain attempt to use disinfectant wipes on commonly-touched surfaces. Remotes, doorknobs, and my shirt hem are all lemony and 99.99% germ free.
7:04 Remind children to do their chores.
7:05 Remind children to do their chores.
7:06 Step on Lego while reminding children to do chores.
7:07 Remind children that I’m sick. And to do their chores.
7:08 Yell something about unfinished chores and Santa tears.
7:14 After a helpful middle child asks if Cheddar Cheese Combos and some pepperoni slices found in the bottom of the freezer count as “healthy,” get up off couch to repack kids’ school snacks.
7:45 Despite dire warnings of permanent nerve damage and possible tail growth, dig out the heating pad and blissfully shove it between the peanut-butter-smeared couch pillow (not the company ones) and my back. Wi-fi reception improves dramatically.
7:46 Heating pad must have same sensor as toilet seat. All three children come running and want to touch the heating pad.
8:00 Middle child decides to practice piano. Middle child never wants to practice piano.
8:01 Middle child thinks playing the same wrong notes repeatedly and at increasing volume is practicing.
8:01 Begin researching which alcoholic beverage cures flu/migraine. Settle on “whatever we have.”
8:02 Scratch out a warning to oldest child who is running in socks on hardwood floor.
8:02:30 Pick oldest child up off hardwood floor.
8:05 Send two children out on coldest day of the year with a chipper “Have a nice day!”
8:06 Sit on couch and try to get to know new laptop computer. Touchpad is sensitive. Not only are entire blocks of text deleted or moved around, but several times I am briefly transported in time and space, only to be pulled back by youngest daughter asking for a pepperoni slice. I say no. She breathes on me and I realize she’s asking forgiveness, not permission.
8:07 Brush daughter’s teeth, which, like most toddlers, she handles with chill grace and acceptance.
8:09 Rinse off toddler toothbrush and tell her she can stop screaming now.
8:10 Take Tylenol. Close eyes.
8:11 Open eyes. It’s quiet. Too quiet. Toddler has found safety scissors and her own cowlick. Take one of those away.
8:12 Close eyes again.
8:14 Mysterious cheese smell.
8:15 Mystery solved when eyes open to daughter’s toes two inches from my face. This is how she asks me to read books to her. I pop a lozenge and get cracking. My eyes ache and I think my glands have been secretly switched out for Volvos.
…to be continued…