This morning I woke all the kids up for school. When I got out of bed, my Jack Russell did not. I noticed immediately because she follows me everywhere, crying like a child if I so much as shut her out of the bathroom. I was concerned, so I went back to my room to figure out what was the matter with her. Molly threw up all over me and my bed three times. Yay! Not even seven in the morning and I'm already cleaning up vomit, and changing the linens for the second time.
My attempts to get my kids ready are foiled by my asking one of the children to please turn the television on and to put it on the weather channel. Flipping channels they found Despereaux on HBO at Oh damn dark thirty on a school day. I waited patiently for the movie to be over so that they would be able to put their shirts on, right side out. The programming Gods were laughing though, because Hotel For Dogs came on right after. We are officially too late to catch the bus.
This leaves me with four children to dress, four heads of hair to brush, and eight shoes to put on in record time. Thanks to my oldest daughter's cast, she is in need of my handmaiden services as well. Then it is just a matter of walking two dogs (one has to stop to barf every few feet) and strapping three children who resist to various degrees in the car seats. We are off on the first school run.
The first round is a success, the children are on time, and the baby only throws up all over her car seat once. We arrive home just in time to unstrap three children from their car seats, feed two dogs, two cats, and one baby.
Oops, look at the time! It is now past time to start restrapping babies in their hated (and thrown up in) car seats in order to make the second school run. Not one to waste a good car seat strapping in, we'll stop at the store. First, we need to hit the local organic produce spot because my kids have eaten three pounds of apples and two bunches of bananas overnight.
Okay, we're there. I park in the back, next to the loading dock so that I can 'borrow' the only shopping cart there big enough to hold at least two of my kids, which is usually designated only for stock. It takes me 15 minutes to get the kids out of the car and into the store. We order smoothies for breakfast since we're there anyway. My phone rings, it is the school, my daughter forgot her lunch money and I need to drop it off. We grab some fruit and our breakfast and we head out. It takes me another 15 minutes to get the kids back in the car.
We stop at the big grocery store to get some meat for dinner. Lamb sausage on the grill sounds great (too bad I'll be too tired to actually fix it tonight, but, I don't know that yet) and after another struggle to get the kids back in the car, we head home.
I am exhausted from all the car seat shuffles and decide to put the cold stuff in the fridge and run by the school, that way I can save the "unbuckle, rebuckle" process. Once there I have to circle five times to find a parking space and finally settle on one that seems to be closest to the "ESE Permit Only" sign, but, not so much so that I couldn't plead ignorance. It takes me another 15 minutes to set up the double stroller and put the babies in it. The four of us head up to the office. We drop off lunch money and head back to the car, much to the chagrin of my three year old, who has decided that he *must*see his older sister. He bolts. I am not fast enough to catch him pushing the regular double stroller. Finally, an ESE aide sees my plight and after a frantic nod from me, tackles my three year old and holds him down until I can catch up.
I struggle to carry his fifty plus pound weight with one arm and push the stroller with one hand. The pain from my arthritic wrists is nearly enough to bring me to my knees. We get back to the car and I start the car seat process all over, this time I'm tired and it shows. It takes me nearly 20 minutes to get everyone situated.
Home again means that I can load the dishwasher, sterilize bottles, change the litter box, and lament over the mounds of laundry overtaking my home do to my broken washing machine. Lunch time! That will be four different meals. One gluten free. One toddler friendly. One of rice cereal, and a sandwich for me. Of course the dog, who has purged her insides of whatever ick she had eaten, is starving and she steals my sandwich while I'm trying to coax my 6 month old to eat her cereal.
Today is early release day! Time to go get the kids. The first half of my day must be repeated in reverse.
Snacks, homework, unload the dishwasher. Start baking a loaf of gluten free bread to serve my three year old with his dinner. Then start boiling two pots of water, one for regular pasta and one for the brown rice pasta. Another pot for alfredo sauce. Preheat the oven for the regular garlic bread. Slice the gluten free loaf and commence turning a few slices of it into garlic bread.
Serve dinner to one happy child and four who couldn't manage anything but, 'gross' among them. Rehang the drapes the kids pulled down while I was fixing dinner. Decide NOT to try to get the baby to eat any more cereal, or more appropriately, any cereal at all.
Time to throw away enough food to feed a small army of appreciative children somewhere too far away to send it to. Then time to bathe three, *groan* no four children. Check homework. Put one baby to sleep. Sit down at the computer to blog so that I can look too busy to help anyone with anything for a few minutes.
Still left to do? Take out the garbage. Walk the dogs. Put the rest of the kids to bed. Take something for this cold that I seem to be coming down with, thanks I'm sure to Typhoid Mary and her bubonic plague spreading offspring at the ER the other night. Then I have a stack of school forms that need to be filled out, half of which want my credit card number.
To think, I get to do it all again tomorrow!
3 weeks ago