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All My Children

I love having a large family, most of the time. I enjoy the chaos and craziness of my kids. But there are times when I just need a break. Like after this weekend, for example.

Saturday, I woke up after only four and a half hours of sleep (and four little feet in my back), gave my daughters their traditional Webkinz Valentine’s Day gift and headed to the kitchen for a strong cup of Irish tea. I sat down at my computer to read my email and skim the newspaper and just as I was about to take my first sip I hear “MOM, SHE HOGGING THE COMPUTER!”

After explaining to my 4 and 6 YOs about patience and setting the timer on my iPhone for 15 minutes, I sat back down to my now cold tea. Got up, went into the kitchen to nuke my tea and as I passed my 18 MO she started to scream. I’m sure she was saying in her baby talk “How dare you walk past me and don’t pick me up for my morning snuggles”. Well, it was probably a bit more colorful than that, she has quite the temper.

Anyhow, I'd had enough of her baby blackmail from Friday night (see earlier post) so I asked my 10 YO to pick up the baby for a little while so I could drink my tea. After getting everyone fed and properly dressed I hopped into the shower and got ready for my day.

My husband was a dear and took care of the kids so that I could run some errands. I spent the afternoon making my 10th trip (this week) to the drugstore, filling up the gas tank on my husband’s car (that mysteriously always seems to be on empty when I drive it) and shopping at the grocery store, laughing at the men picking up their last minute supermarket roses and boxes of candy for their sweethearts.

I wondered what little treat my husband had for me at home. I should have known. Nothing. He was the best gift-giver before we were married. Surprising me with perfume, spa gift certificates, roses for no reason and once for my birthday, he carried a gorgeous cake his chef had made for me all over Manhattan and on the train home to Stamford without incident. But after nearly 13 years of marriage, now the only time I get a gift from my husband is when I buy it for myself.

This time I gave him plenty of notice and I set the bar very low. All I wanted was a card. He could have made it for all I cared, I just wanted some effort. And he wondered why I was in such a bad mood when I got home. Okay, he cleaned the house for me, and I really appreciated that, but all I wanted was a card! Anyhow, I digress.

After dinner, dishes, jammies and another round of trying to put the baby to bed I finally get to sleep around 12 AM. And like all weekends the girls wake up at the crack of dawn (but when they have to get up for school they sleep in until I physically remove them from their beds). I put a pillow over my head and tried to stay in bed as long as possible, but by 9 am there was no sleeping through the noise.

I got up, made my customary cup of tea and sat down to check my email. That is when I saw the calendar reminder pop up and I realized only I had 45 minutes to get dressed and take my 6 YO to a birthday party across town and we still had to stop and pick up a present. Who has a birthday party at 10 am on a Sunday?!?

I ran around like a crazy person throwing on clothes and trying to comb my 6 YO's hair while simultaneously brushing my teeth. I'm thankful no one lost an eye. Anyhow, I grab my 6 YO and run to the car, pull out of the drive and get halfway to the store before I noticed I'd left my tea sitting on the counter after taking 30 precious seconds to pour it into a to-go cup.

We arrived at the store, ran in, grabbed a gift bag, a Polly Pocket play set and a Lil’kinz and high-tailed it out of there. I get several blocks up the road before I realisedI’d forgotten the birthday card. As I looked down to see how much time I had to make it to the party, the permission slip caught my eye and I realized I was heading to the wrong facility. Of course I had just passed the correct turn off, but because I was on a divided street and I had to drive four blocks out of my way to turn around.

We managed to make it to the party only ten minutes late. I dropped my 6 YO off and headed home passing a bagel place on the way. I made a quick u-turn and $19, 13 bagels, 2 tubs of cream cheese and one small chai latte later, I smiled. I finally get to enjoy my tea in peace and quiet.

Can I stay in the car all day?