Alarm, 5:30 am. Shower, dress, coffee, bags ready.
Big Bro is up! Change, brush teeth, shoes on, please don’t throw a fit! We need to leave. Sorry you can’t play in your PJs. Please don’t cry. Mommy’s on her own this morning.
Little Dude is up. Change, clothes, good morning! Cheery happy to see you babies shouldn’t be burdened by their parent’s burden. A little nurse, but only a few minutes, we have to go, go, go. Stuff the bags in the car. Kids in the car. Reverse.
Babysitter drop off.
Longest workday ever. Longer afternoon meeting. Glances at the clock. Don’t you know I have to pick up my kids? It’s been 10 hours. They won’t remember me. Can’t call my husband to pitch in, he’s known to drive high. He didn’t realize that was a problem. He thought it made him feel better, claimed he was a safer driver.
Zoom out of the parking lot. Call sitter and explain. Pray she is not mad! Hope Little Dude is happy.
Preschool pickup. Sitter pickup. Let’s sing songs! Mommy missed you! No, please don’t fuss or throw a fit. I haven’t seen you in so long! Let’s be happy!
I know dinner is late, but if you don’t stop screaming and pulling on my skirt, I can’t make dinner, and you’ll still be fussy and hungry, see how this works? But wait, I can’t reason with you. You’re 3. And 1. Needy, needy children. I love you but please let go so I can put this ravioli on to boil.
Wash your hands. I said wash your hands. Now. It is dinnertime. Finally. So stop playing and wash your hands. Now.
No, I don’t have anything else. I don’t have plain noodles, this is what we have.
Fine. Here’s some macaroni and cheese.
Playtime? Yes, for five minutes.
I know you’re not tired but mommy is.
Dishes, laundry, feed furry pet, pick up toys, prepare for tomorrow.
No one to talk to. Lonely. Echoes.
Remember: kids are happy, thriving. Remember the good night kisses, the happy hugs.
I’m trying to hard not to think of the emptiness. I can’t trust that bastard anyway.
But I miss him. He’s kind, loving, a great dad, funny. My best friend. When he’s here, and not too tired, or angry, or jumpy, or anxious, or lying.