Anatomy of a night.

It’s 8:30 pm. You press publish on a blog entry fretting about your children’s athletic prowess (or lack thereof) in between kid baths. After pulling the second one out of the tub, wrapping them in a towel, and calling the third, there’s a giant crash in the hallway where child threw a ball into a picture frame. You quickly survey the damage and call spouse for backup with broken glass while you shepherd children through bedtime routine.  You ponder the irony of child being unable to catch a ball they threw to themself.

It’s 9:00 pm. You console the child feeling the pressure of school recital, ballet recital, martial arts belt test, and general angst of having 23 days left in school. After child is calmed and in bed, you (against your plan for an early bedtime) channel your inner Pinterest mom and make a paper chain counting down the days of school left and hang it in the dining room.  You decide a real Pinterest mom would have had pretty scrapbook paper and fancy scissors to execute that project, but whatever, your kids will think you’re cool anyway.

It’s 9:30 pm. You solve spouse’s computer “I uploaded them but where did they go?” image issue with their hosting site.

It’s 10:00 pm. You manage to get in your 10-minute meditation session while *in* bed. You pensively look at the Hugo-nominee library book that you couldn’t finish before it has to be returned tomorrow. Smartly, you choose not to try to binge read the remaining 310 pages.

It’s 3:27 am. You wake up to a child standing by your bed and the dreaded words, “Mom, I need help. I thought I had to fart but it was poop. And then I threw up in the bathroom.” The bathroom is the scene of an apparent poop-splosion. You get child washed off in tub and in clean clothes, nasty undies rinsed out, toilet and sink cleaned and bleached, poopy sheets pulled off bed. You make the bed with the first set of sheets you find (you are convinced they are the wrong size, but fuck it, they’re sheets. The light of day says they are the right size. You are still uncertain how that miracle happened). During the bed-making process you manage to give yourself a giant bruise on your leg from the pointy corner of footboard. Of course it was the child who shares a bedroom who is sick, so this all must be done in the dark, silently, lest you have two children awake at 4:00 am. You go downstairs to bring the child gatorade. In the 30 seconds you were gone, they have another accident. Another bath, another set of clean clothes. You decide to layer the bed with a leftover crib protector. You put the sheets in the wash, assure the dog it’s not time to go out yet, wash your own hands, check on the child one last time, and they puke again (but in the bucket this time, yay!). You get them back up, have them brush their teeth again, decide against a second attempt at fluids since that ended so badly, and tuck them back in.

It’s 4:35 am. Your alarm will go off in 25 minutes. You consider whether it’s better to go back to bed to try to fall asleep for a few blessed extra minutes or to turn off the alarm and just get up now. You choose bed. You lay there, listening to child’s music and the washing machine and spouse’s even breathing and other child talking in their sleep. You pray that talking child is just dreaming, and is not going to wake themself up. Slowly, you relax as you gain confidence that sick child is not going to suddenly puke again and talking child returns to deeper sleep. Your alarm goes off and you get up.

It’s 6:00 am. You leave a note for spouse on child’s bedroom door and a text message for spouse on their phone indicating that in no uncertain terms should that child attend school today. You walk out the door, thankful that the poop and puke are now spouse’s problem. You decide that you earned a treat and stop for a latte on the way to work. It’s been a long day already.


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