My Circus, My Monkeys

I just went into my kids’ bathroom, because I’d like to curl my hair and right now there are roofers on my roof and there’s a skylight in my bathroom. So I go in and I’m like, what the fuck is that smell? (Sorry for the foul language but there is really only one word that adequately sums up my initial reaction to entering my kids’ bathroom.)

I gingerly lifted the lid of the toilet and there it was. I will spare you the gory details, but let’s just say I now know why the bathroom smells like the water treatment plant. And not. one. kid. tells me about it. If I had to guess, it was my firstborn…who didn’t appear to be in any particular hurry this morning but now I know why he opted to put his contacts in in the kitchen.

The dogs are done losing their minds over the sound of 12 people making our house quake from the top down, which is good cause now I can concentrate on writing. But I really just needed a good twenty minutes of fresh air before finishing my hair. Anyway…

Everything was going swimmingly yesterday as we all managed to wake up on time – even Neph, who didn’t have to get up and go anywhere –decided to get up at 6:30 a.m. anyway to create a traffic jam in what is quite a large kitchen with one of his many food inventions interpretations in the middle of my breakfast and lunch preparations. Apparently he has not yet grasped the stay-out-of-a-woman’s-way-in-her-kitchen concept.

So the two boys were buzzing around the kitchen doing what teenage boys do, and soon it was time to drive Owen to the bus stop because he’s “injured” and just can’t walk that far. Seriously, this kid has used that broken collarbone for everything from avoiding trash duty to carrying his dirty dishes out of his bedroom (and yes – I have already asked him how they got there in the first place).

Anyway, Neph was singing the Twelve Days of Christmas (oh yes, he was) and when he got to Seven swans a-swimming Owen followed it with …Eight geese a-laying.  Oh – the painful irony! My kid not only doesn’t know how to count, he doesn’t know all the words to this song, but Neph – who doesn’t even celebrate Christmas and pshawedRudolph – does.

Anyway, I got 4 loads of laundry done and colored my hair a new shade (though anyone in the house has yet to notice – which is alarming, since the color is medium red violet – oh, only four shades darker than the original color). Ava was asking me a ton of questions (before school this morning) about The Boy in the Striped Pajamas, which she watched the night before, so I decided I’d better watch it in its entirety. I knew it was going to be difficult to watch. But I didn’t expect to have to share those last horrifying, slobbery-tear moments of the film with Neph. I kind of prefer to watch tear-jerkers by myself, you know, so I can relax into the despair rather than have an aneurysm trying to hold it all in, cause I’m private like that. Turd. Neph sat his ass down right on time.

When Owen got home he tore the bottom tray of his braces in half – the second set this has happened with and with 2 days left until he changes trays. An hour later Ava was home and decided to make dog cookies, so she Googled a recipe and whipped up the whole thing herself, and then abandoned the batter for me to shape and bake. Once these were done, I sealed them in Tupperware and went about my laundry again.  I saw it coming… I heard Neph make his way upstairs while I was hanging clothes in the closet, and soon after Ava came running down the hallway hysterical because he just ate a dog cookie.

Now 3 kids were standing in our narrow hallway all shouting at me about dog cookies – are they really dog cookies?! Because Ava is a prankster and it would not be beyond her to either lie about it or convince him to eat one. Owen suggested that perhaps Neph should think twice before eating things. Neph said they weren’t bad. I thanked him for that, and reminded him that they were for the dogs.

The dogs were pacing around the house for what seemed like an hour, fraying my nerves. Seriously, I’d have thought poor Sabra would be exhausted, since she hadn’t slept all day and spend most of it trembling against my legs while the roofers broke the sound barrier inside our house. 

Well, I think Pi really is losing her mind but my God – she’s 83 years old! She has these moments when she just walks around the house like she’s looking for something that she never finds. Her new thing now – besides belching up a mouthful of water and bits of food – is walking through the water bowl. She did this twice yesterday and it took a bath towel to mop up the tsunami. The day before, she stepped into the food bowl and upended it – food went everywhere. This time it was Todd’s turn to get pissed off, which left me sniggling and speechless.

Anyway, while the dogs were pacing around, Ava and Owen decided to start a pillow fight in the living room – where, by the way, the Christmas tree stands with all the priceless Taylor-Backes ornaments, the ceramic Christmas village lighted houses around it, the countless pictures both hanging and placed around the room…not to mention 3 lamps. I ordered them to stop it and like all good children, they kept going. Ava launched a large pillow at Owen and knocked over a picture frame and I lost it.

After the chaos and a short time out later… Ava and I were watching Elf past her bedtime because after several hours in the 300s and a complete set change, her sugar was low and we had to keep correcting it every 15 minutes. Todd called me on his way home at this point and neither one of us could finish a sentence between instructions to Ava, and Neph and Owen loudly talking shop about video games.

Meanwhile, Pi walked too close to the top of the stairs and fell down two of them. I ran to rescue her and then as I was coming back up – the cat was leaning precariously over the top step and then yaaaaaaak. An entire bowlful of cat food at my feet.

This is my life. 

But wait – there’s more.

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