DEAR SOUP HUSBAND CURT:
How’s your business trip going? It’s been a while since you were away from home for work – over two years! I hope you are enjoying the hotel, the uninterrupted sleep, the catered food, the free beer, better breakfasts than we ever have at home, and a respite from all the responsibilities of parenthood.
But I know you, Curt, and I know that you relish being a Dad. You might be starting to miss the minutiae of our daily lives chez Soup. That’s why I thought you might enjoy this little recap of last night and this morning… because, you know, when you get used to a certain amount of chaos, it’s hard to go Cold Turkey.
Sunday, 10:00 p.m. Rolled into bed, exhausted and ready for sleep. Invited the cute, warm, cuddly 4-year-old Peezer to help fill the void your absence leaves in our giant king-size bed.
11:30 p.m. Was awakened by The Boss and Bubta, who announced their return home from the neighbors’ house, having watched a late movie to celebrate today’s day off school. Grunted an acknowledgement and ordered them to turn off the lights and go to sleep.
1:15 a.m. Awoke and realized that, despite my instructions, lights and the TV are still on. Walked out to the family room. Boss is asleep. Bubta is wide awake and informs me his ears are ringing – again – and he can’t sleep. Suggested he might SLEEP if he would turn the FRACKIN’ TV OFF. Made mental note to worry about the ringing ears.
1:17 – 2:10 a.m. Futile attempt to return to sleep. Tried to remember, did I actually take the Tylenol PM or not, and if I did, wondering how come it wasn’t working.
2:11 a.m. Just as I was finally drifting off, our cute ‘n’ cuddly 4 year old lurched and ended up perpendicular to me, his chubby little feet within kicking distance of my head. Realizing nothing good could possibly come from that, I attempted to reposition him but instead discovered leakage from his overnight Pull-up. Decided there was no longer anything cute about this. Got new Pull-up and jammie pants and wrestled the child’s dead weight into them. Then manhandled him in order to carry him to his own bed, at which point he of course awoke and said, “Why am I going?” Mumbled something about dry sheets. Tucked him into bed.
2:20 a.m. Returned to my bed. While readjusting the blankets, discovered a wet spot where the child’s bottom used to be. Rolled away from it towards my edge of the bed and realized his soaked Pull-up was still on the floor, well within sniffing distance. Resigned myself to inhaling the unmistakable aroma of kiddie pee for the rest of the night. Considered that this might, perhaps, be a new low.
2:21 a.m. Began counting backwards from 100.
2:22 a.m. Scary thoughts and bad memories started creeping into my head. I pushed them aside with happier thoughts of the neighbors’ giant bank of forsythia, just coming into bloom.
2:27 a.m. Lost count. Started over at 100.
2:36 a.m. Lost count again and started over at 100.
2:45 a.m. Started mentally composing this blog post. It was going to start something like this: “When I fantasize about being independently wealthy, one thing I envision is having The Help change the sheets on my bed every other day. My child gave me the opportunity to enjoy clean sheets for the second time in three days – only without the ‘wealthy’ part.”
6:20 a.m. Alarm rang. Realized I must have fallen asleep after all. Hit snooze.
6:25 a.m. A whimpering Peezer marched into the room and said he forgot the car and the book he’d brought into the bed. Gave them to him and told him to go back to sleep. He snitched, “The TV is still on in the family room.” I replied, “Your brothers are out there. Now GO TO BED,” which – amazingly – he did. Attempted to return to sleep for the final 4 minutes of the snooze cycle, because when you’re really tired, it makes complete sense to do that.
6:29 a.m. Hit snooze again, decided that was silly and got out of bed. Immediately stripped bed of sheets and the mattress pad and threw them into the washer. Made coffee.
6:40 – 7:15 a.m. Showered, primped, dressed, packed a lunch for The Boss. Checked email and learned that exactly none of the three escalators were working at the exit of my destination station in DC. Made a note to detrain at the following stop so as to avoid a commuting clusterf**k.
7:19 a.m. Aaaaaah, coffee.
7:30 a.m. Shook The Boss awake.
7:35 a.m. Walked the big, fat, hairy load of a dog. Fed the cat, who was literally YELLING at me to hurry it up with the Super Supper already!
7:50 a.m. Issued first (futile) wake-up call to The Peezer.
7:55 a.m. Realized the washer was not spinning the load dry. Reset it to run the drain-and-spin cycle again. Same thing happened. Decided to pretend this wasn’t happening and promised myself to revisit it this evening.
8:15 a.m. Remembered it was Bicycle Monday at extended care at school; frantically loaded The Boss’s bike and helmet into the back of the SUV. Mentally patted myself on the back for not forgetting.
8:19 a.m. With The Boss’s help, stuffed the dead weight of The Peezer into fresh clothes for the day. Managed a small but crucial victory by waking him in such a way that left him giggling instead of growling.
8:25 a.m. Left a sleeping Bubta on the sofa and loaded Peezer and The Boss into the car to begin the morning delivery route.
8:35 a.m. Pulled into school to drop off The Boss. Noticed exactly zero other bikes parked outside the entrance. “Uh, Mom? I think bike day is NEXT Monday, you know, the first day of Spring Break?” suggested The Boss. “Oh, yeah. D’OH! One week early, ha HA!” I replied. Walked inside and discovered it was actually Luau Day. Decided to file The Boss’s disappointed look in the category of “things better ignored right now”, along with the washing machine. Suppressed feelings of guilt as I returned to the car.
So you see, dear, we are getting along just fine. Don’t you worry about us! The children are safe and happy. But do hurry home. The bed just… isn’t the same without you.