Monday, February 2, 2009

What Did You Do All Day?

Today, I read where a woman who had no children wrote a question to an answer column in a paper basically asking, "Why can't my friend who has children find time to call me? What does she do all day? Don't tell me she has laundry, cooking, chores, etc. because I have to do that too. Why can't she manage her time as well as I can?"

The columnist answered her nicely, but told her pretty much, that it takes twice as long to get anything done when you have kids.

I thought I could illustrate this point. Here's what happened today. This is not an isolated incident. This is pretty much what happens every day in my fun-filled life.

On my agenda for today was cleaning (because my house always gets trashed over the weekend), paying bills (groan), doing laundry (I had 8 loads to do because I let it slide over the weekend), writing up 4 reviews that I committed to last month, and a little Tae Bo (because I'm sick and tired of looking like I'm pregnant when my youngest child is almost 3).

I grabbed a cup of stupid tea because I decided to try and give up coffee. My reasoning behind this stupid plan was that I generally drink a cup of cream with a teaspoon of coffee for flavor and I decided it would be a good plan to cut out those calories. Yeah, I don't know. It seemed like a good idea when I came up with it last night around 2:00 in the morning. Note to self: never come up with ideas past midnight. They're never good.

So I sat down with my stupid tea after getting kids off to school. I'm in flannel pants and t-shirt, no make-up, and unshowered at this point. The little kids are eating the wonderful, nutritious breakfast I prepared for them - granola bars. I checked my mail and started writing up a review. Before I could finish this ONE review, I had to get up because the little kids were pushing the kitchen chairs over to the pantry so they could grab some fruit snacks. Their plans foiled, I sat back down to write. A few minutes passed and I was interrupted with,
"Mom! Mom, can you get this toy for me?"

"Sure, honey," I said while still sitting on my butt writing, hoping they would forget about the elusive toy. No dice.

"Mom, please can you get this toy?" they pleaded.

I got up and got them the requested toy. Then they asked me to grab the Snoopy Snow Cone maker off the top shelf of the closet for them. Know why they have a Snoopy Snow Cone maker? Because evil people without children got it for them.

OK, back to my review. By the time I figured out what the heck I'd been writing before the interruption, my dryer buzzed indicating my laundry was done.

I got up and switched loads and folded laundry. As I was folding laundry, I noticed about 4000 toys on my bedroom floor. Sidetracked, I picked them up and put them away. While putting the stray toys away, Clay called to me, "Mom, come listen to my song!"

As Clay called me to listen to his song, Brooklyn asked me to help her put some Barbie dolls in an airplane with no seats. I tossed the Barbies in the plane.

"No, they have to be sitting down!" she corrected me.

"But there aren't any seats. Go find the chairs, Brooklyn."

"No! I don't want chairs. Make them sit here," she instructed me. After 10 minutes of playing Barbie and trying to figure out just where exactly they were supposed to sit in the empty plane, I gave up and went to listen to Clay's song.

Clay, however, had completely forgotten about the song and was crouching in the corner of my room inhaling fruit snacks. Well, duh, I had left him alone for 10 minutes. What else would he be doing?

I sent Clay to his room to get dressed and clean up, then I grabbed some more lacking-in-caffeine-tea and sat back down to write. I looked through my notes to research some information about Campbell's soup for the review. Before I'd written a single sentence, my dryer buzzed again. Back to the clothes. Switched loads, folded clothes and started back to my computer. I was sidetracked because the kids were neglected and wasting away and starved.

"Will you make us some macaroni and cheese, Mom?"

After telling Clay to get his butt dressed (again), I made some macaroni. While the macaroni was cooking, I opened some mail and went through some paperwork. The kids were off playing. When the macaroni was done, I went to find the kids to tell them lunch was ready. Where did I find them? In the bathroom, of course. Note exhibit A.

EXHIBIT A

Know how much water a roll of toilet paper can hold? A stinkin' LOT! I picked the toothpaste off the floor, tossed out 2 water-logged rolls of toilet paper, picked up 4 damp towels from off the floor, grabbed a toothbrush that was stuck to the wall with a suction cup and put it away, and cleaned the mystery purple goo from off the lid of the toilet seat.

Meanwhile, were the kids eating their macaroni and cheese? Oh no. That would make my life much too simple. Nope, they were rearranging the kitchen furniture and had somehow managed to move the kitchen table almost into the family room.

At this point, I nicely told them to sit down and eat, "SIT DOWN AND EAT ALREADY!!! OHMYGOSH YOU GUYS ARE DRIVING ME LOOPY!!!"

I switched loads of laundry once more and dared to take a minute to go to the bathroom. Note Exhibit B.


EXHIBIT B

Apparently I didn't get the memo regarding "Fun With Toilet Paper Day".

This, my friends, is why when lunchtime rolls around, the only thing we've done is a few loads of laundry and a paragraph worth of writing. It's called DAMAGE CONTROL!

(Know how many times I was interrupted while writing this post? Neither do I! It was THAT many times!)
P.S. I did finally finish one review. You can see it HERE. Watch Chef Tom make chicken soup!
And, as long as I stay up until 2:00, I'll have another review/giveaway for an HP printer up tomorrow. Check back.

73 comments:

Feisty Irish Wench said...

Knitters call non-knitters "muggles". Perhaps some name should be created for non-parents who don't have a bloody clue that kids are sticky, dirty, noisy. Some people are smart enough to know kids are not their cup of tea, and avoid spawning. Now if they'd get even smarter and keep their snide comments to themselves.

Julie said...

LOL! You forgot to mention the fact that kids have a special kind of radar. They could be completely absorbed doing something nice and quiet so you think you can squeeze in a quick call...but alas not more than 30 seconds after saying hello you get discovered and the whining and screaming commence...gotta love it! ;)

Queen of pink in a house of blue said...

hey, your kids think the toilet paper goes in the same place mine does...IN the toilet (or in the tub, or sink....whatever has water in it).
we went through 6 rolls that way last week!
note to self: child door knob covers don't work if door is not shut!

Stephanie said...

It was exhausting just reading the post.

Monica said...

Amen, sister.

Karen said...

I know what that day is like. And it's just as wearying reading about it as it is living it.

Tanya @gottfamilyfarmlife said...

You got to love laundry as it never ends, my son makes sure of that daily and I only have one. Why are boys so messy? LOL.

Cookie said...

Really??? Is that all you did all day?!?!
I feel the same way. I had plans to do stuff this afternoon. Instead I got called into the principals office. I got a call from CPS. I got to talk to the teacher and the nurse in my pediatrician's office thinks it's ok to wait a month to have my son evaluated for ADHD :S because I so enjoyed this afternoon, I'm looking forward to a repeat performance almost every day for the next month.

Cookie said...

oops almost forgot the envigorating migraine that followed my fun-filled afternoon :)

Cookie said...

but luckily my kids did happen to miss the fun with toilet paper day memo

Magda said...

Ooooo, I can SOOO relate!! And I only have 2 kids!!! On a positive note though, I noticed your kids play a lot together... (I know I know, they also trash the house together...) I can´t wait for my 9 month old to be old enough to play with his older sister (hopefully with minimal damage around the house :))

And I have SSO question: do you find yourself having to limit TV a lot with your kids, especially the younger ones? My 4 yr old would stay glued to the thing all day long if I let her!

Magda said...

...and another SSO question I had for you: do you get hate mail or hateful/ridiculous comments ? Probably not too many, but if you get some, I bet some actually pretty funny. Maybe future blog material???

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

I have no idea how anything gets done at my house, and I only have 2 kidlets.

Mom Taxi Julie said...

haha, I read that somewhere too! Throw in a kid that keeps crapping their pants all day and you have my house!

Robin said...

I don't know how you do it! I'd lose my freakin' mind! Probably why I stopped at 2...a person knows her limits! : )

Lee said...

This is just the thing I needed to read. It helped me remember I'm not the only mommy out here trying to get through the day. Thanks for a light-hearted end to a looong day!

Rebekah D. said...

That is so my day! At the end of every day, I think, "How did I manage to work ALL day and get NOTHING accomplished? What did I do all day?" You're right. Damage control. I don't know what I did with my time before I had kids, or even when I had only one kid, for that matter. Nowadays, when the older two are gone and I'm down to just the baby, I can get so much accomplished! It's like having no kids at all, easy-breezy! I console myself with the thought that one day, when my kids are grown and gone, I'll be a much more efficient person than I ever would have been had I never had kids.

Karen R. said...

Give yourself a pat on the back! You are doing a GREAT job!!

Mary Moore said...

Kids know when you really don't have the time...and mine are 13 and 10, and their radar is just as good now as it was then.

Aimee said...

So happy to hear that I am not the only one! =D I only have half of the kids though. Hey, the unrolled t.p., two of my bathroom tp holders does that on it's own. Unroll that is, not jump in the tub, or the bowl. I didn't believe any of my kids when they said they didnt do it. I even blamed the cat. Until one day I saw it happening all on its own! I hollered at it but it didnt hear me, it just kept unrolling as fast as it could. One other thing my kids like to do is wash their hands with the towel IN the sink. =D

Letty said...

This is exactly why I can never expect to get anything else done when I am doing laundry. It is so fustrating! I am always proud of myself if something else did get done that day (besides damage control of course!)

noexcuses said...

Ahhhh...ain't life grand! When you are old and writing your memoirs, you will laugh so hard you'll wet your pants while you relive all of this!

I'm thinking you sleep like a rock most nights! I hope that is the case!

Awesome post!

Tanya said...

You've inspired me. I am going back to buying the "single roll" toilet paper when my babies grow up. That way when a roll is trashed, it's half...

Cheri-Beri said...

Here's how I solved the "more cream than coffee" dilemma. Coffee + fat free 1/2 & 1/2 + Splenda "Flavors for Coffee" in french vanilla. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

Anonymous said...

God bless you, Dawn! Keep up the great work!

Donna in PA :)

Jennifer said...

As sad as your day sounds, with a 3-year-old and 1-year-old twins in my house I am looking forward to the day when I can at least HOPE to get a load of laundry done or write in peace! Power to you, Dawn. You actually make my typical day sound "normal". Thank you!

Tammy said...

I cannot tell you how many rolls of toilet paper I lose that way! The other day, my 5 year old got mad at his 17 year old cousin (she lives here) and poured half a bottle of hair conditioner into her makeup drawer. That was fun.

RefreshMom said...

I only have two kids but my days feel like yours. Only you put the "you're driving me loopy" part much nicer than I do when I get to that point!

SEQLDbyfoot said...

You should see what happens when a whole roll of toilet paper gets put in with a load of laundry!

Martha said...

I can totally relate, while I have only one human child, I also have a household of pets and a full time job that I perform at home. The pets seem to sense when you are most absorbed in something or trying to meet a deadline, just like kids. The dog wants out, the other dog wants to eat the food in the dish that is guarded by big dog.... the cat wants to SLEEP between me and the keyboard on the desk. Cat chases cat, dog chases cat.... Then the child at school decides she doesn't want to be in school and texts me while in the girls room and at lunch... telling me that she just wants to come home and go to bed... how many ways can one type NO? All this and 8 hours of work too. This is why my 4 loads of laundry (because I too blew it off to have fun this week) are being done now at 5:00am on Tuesday!

Anonymous said...

At least they were nice when they asked for help. ;)

Anita in Indiana

MaBunny said...

Oh Gosh Dawn, I think i'd be bald - i'd pull my hiar out - you seem to cope with it well!
Love reading your blog and chekcing out your reviews! Hope you get more accomplished!

Keren said...

It's funny cuz it's true!

I totally agree about the Snoopy Sno Cone - except ours came from a family that does have kids. My girls would "play" with the SSC every minute of every day if I let them. And by "play" I mean, "Mommy, can we make Snoopy snow cones? You don't have to do anything; we'll do it ourselves...[1 minute pause]... Mommy, we can't do it, can you make them for us." I really wouldn't care if they could do it themselves, but it's just too hard for them.

The only thing I would add is that after I made the mac 'n cheese and they didn't eat it immediately because they were busy destroying some toilet paper or something, they would finally come to the table and then refuse to eat it because it was cold, and even if I tried to reheat it, it would no longer be "gooey."

I am waiting for the glorious day that I can sit down for a meal, any meal, and actually not get up from the table until I finish eating. Then maybe I'd get to eat hot food once in a while too.

Patois said...

I see, what, seven opportunities for you to have picked up the phone and called a friend. Slacker.

Anonymous said...

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Pat

Elleah said...

I have a hard enough time getting things done with just one kid who needs me all the time, never mind 2 or 6!

Fearless Mom said...

oh dawn, you might want to ease up on your commitments. either that or send the kids off to preschool part-time.

Michele said...

Hi Dawn! I'm hoping that this link will work for you. This is the full copy of the "Dear Carolyn" column and her reply. I keep a copy of it on my desk at work! Hang in there! http://www.azstarnet.com/sn/fromcomments_related/185672.php

Laura W said...

Do you mind if I take out you kids' names, insert my kids and send it to my husband the next time he asks "What did you do today? It sure wasn't clean up."
It may save him a frying pan to the head.

Betsy said...

ha - and this is a day when all the kids are healthy - I want to see you blog the next time they have the stomach flu, each catching it approximately 12 hours after the last one had it...

Sandra said...

I have three kids and my weekends are like this too. We have so much decluttering to do but I can't get anything done in between mediating ongoing fights, feeding, cooking, diapering, and butt wiping! One day, in a future not too far away, I hope that I can eat a hot meal, check my email, and use the restroom in peace!

Kymy said...

You just put my day on paper!!! I have 20 month old twins & I call them the twinadoes! We have gotten to the age where I am mostly following them around all day, & then I do my cleaning after 9pm!

Kristen said...

Dawn,

about the coffee and creamer... have you tried splenda and 2% milk?Also, you can make strong black tea, with splenda and milk... both are yummy.

Anonymous said...

ok, this is out of the blue but, does your family have/had any pets?

AlaneM said...

Oh Dawn, I SO identify!! And I've had many conversations about saving money by not destroying toilet paper rolls (or pens, or rubber bands, crayons, or, or, or...)

Amy Flippin Blankenship said...

We have a Snoopy Snow cone maker on the top shelf in our kitchen cabinet. HAHA My "child-less" sister in law gave it to the boys. Too funny!

Quotes from the Sandbox said...

OMG!! I have tears streaming down my face. Thank you so much for posting this. Toilet paper is a favorite at our house too. My daughter likes to take a VERY long piece and swirl one end around in the toilet. She says she's "Lasso-ing". There's water everywhere. One more thing to clean up. Today's mess however was an entire cup of milk that was tipped over at lunch. The milk went all over her stomach, pants and floor. A lunch that would've been over in 10 minutes, now takes 30 because the child needs a bath and there's a lake of milk on the floor.

I needed this. We all do.
Kelly

Goldibug said...

I saw you had 46 comments so I thought I'd add the 47th ;p I just couldn't stop laughing through this post because it's exactly the same at my house. Why do kids love toilet paper so darn much? Thanks for giving me a great laugh today. Your blog is definitly going to be one of my favorites. I can already tell!

ashley nicole said...

Did you know that apples are supposed to work better than caffeine to wake one up in the morning?

And also, just smelling the coffee is supposed to have the same kick as drinking it?

Somehow...I don't think either of those work though. Lol.

Have a great day!!

Mum-me said...

Yes, that sounds just like how my days go (apart from the writing reviews part.)

Sara B said...

Great blog! I can soo relate. You did forget to add the fact that moms rarely if ever...get sick days. So we got to do all that even while sick.

Anonymous said...

I just became a stay at home mom since moving. I only have one out of three kids at home. I am so glad he doesn't have an accomplice. By the time you get anything accomplished, it is time to go get the others. AHHHHH!!!!!

Sherry

mhgood said...

"I picked the toothpaste off the floor, tossed out 2 water-logged rolls of toilet paper . . ."

What, you mean you didn't dry the toilet paper with a hair dryer and make the kids use it later? Lazy, lazy! Just kidding. LOL

Just be glad that (today, anyway) the kids didn't decide to "help" you with the laundry. :-D

mommeeof9 said...

I got home from work around 1 am this morning to discover the kids had not done most of their chores. It looked like there was an explosion in a laundry mat in the living room, the kitchen table was covered in spilled food, the dining room floor was trashed. My 15 yr old swears he cleaned up all the rooms on the first floor yesterday before hubby got home from work. I doubt it, the living room has been a mess for a few days. I reminded hubby that i needed the lkiving room cleaned today before I get home, as my back can not take the bending over and picking up stuff after 13 hours of sitting at work or in the car. He said that he would make sure the kids cleaned it before they go to bed tonight, including cleaning out under the cushions and under the furniture. We'll see if he gets it done.

Barb Chansky said...

LOL, Dawn! An impromptu physics lesson on how much water can a roll of toilet paper hold.
But, seriously, coming from a "singleton" crowd, I can not tell you how many times did my married friends annoy the heck out of me when they hinted that since I am single with no kids, I have time to burn, and they can waste it if they so desire.
Coming from a very family- and children oriented community, I have plenty of first-hand experience of such impromptu lessons. I think that sometimes people just lack tact or brains, that's it.

Thank you for the daily dose of laughs! I usually enjoy them when I need a "mental break" from work:)

Kudos to your great sense of humor!

Anonymous said...

That woman was incredibly dense! Of course a mother is busier than a non mother. My children are grown and my chores around the house have lessened about 1000% but I remember when they were young! I probably averaged 5 hours sleep a night. Also, I drink Bigelow's Lemon lift tea with a half tsp of honey per big cup. I use two teabags and that averages 80 mg of caffein. Almost as much as coffee.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! I feel validated. Also, you gotta love the waterlogged toilet paper! It happens all too often around here.

Stretch Mark Mama said...

What did we ever DO before we had kids? And how could it have been necessary to CLEAN?

Oh. Husbands.

I can say with 100% certainty that there is NO exaggerating in this post! It's my life!

Shellie said...

Deja-freakin-vu! Were my kids over at your house? Thanks for sticking up for all of us.

Jessica said...

Boy do I feel your pain. I think the problem is that we're out-numbered. While I'm cleaning one mess, my two kids are making two more messes. I go to clean one of them, and they're making two more. It just gets worse and worse.

I have a friend who mows the lawn while her husband is at work. She does it so he can see that she did something while he was gone, and it's something that the kids can;t ruin in 15 seconds.

May be worth it.

Jessica said...

I just thought of this: someday, when our kids are older and our houses are quiet, we'll have plenty of time to call our friends. And I bet we'll miss the messes a little.

Jayne V. said...

Wow! I work from home with two little ones--and this is my entire day each and every day! I'm so glad someone understands!!

Janie :) said...

I have soooo much too say about this!

-It's not only mom's without kids but mom's without boys. A friend of mine with only girls recently had a discusion with me about the bottom of the toilet. She had no idea that with boys you get a puddle of pee down there almost every time they pee. She said she only cleans it once a month when it gets dusty. UGH!

-Has anyone seen the 'Give a Mom a Muffin' e-mail? It's so funny because it's so true.

-I no longer store paper products under the kid's sink. My 4 yo flooded it with water one day and I lost 2 full rolls of paper towels and 6 rolls of TP. So much for being prepared.

-it's 1 pm and so far I've had 20 oz of coffee, about 6 handfulls of M&Ms, and a bowl of mac and cheese with some luch meat chicken thrown in because that made it so much healthier. Hey it's better then Span Cordon Bleu.

Kristi said...

Sounds like my day, except I only have 2 kids and a puppy to deal with. I get interrupted more times than I care to count and I am lucky anything gets done!

Michelle said...

Just think, next year Clay will be in kindergarten and you'll only have Brooklyn to entertain....

And stupid me, *I* was the one to buy the Snoopy Sno-Cone maker at the church rummage sale two years ago. Fortunately, only I know where it's hidden right now :)

Today I did one load of laundry. No wait, that was yeterday. OH! I put away most of one load of laundry. And I fed the wee ones. Twice. Ummm. I wrote a check for the PTO. Yeah. I feel ya.

Dreyer Drama said...

I love this blog. It just proves that a mother can work a 24 hr shift.

Janet said...

My 5-year-old and 3-year-old both like to drag the dining room chairs all over the house too. And unwinding toilet paper is a daily excursion. Our toilet paper holders sadly wait the day when they can be used again.
I have 4 words for you:
Celestial Seasonings Morning Thunder.

Michelle said...

LOL! Damage Control. Luv it!

Karos said...

I can't believe nobody has suggested you lose the toilet paper altogether and install a bidet!

Can you imagine the fun the kids (and Barbie?) would have with THAT?

Katy said...

Try a good black tea (with caffiene) like PG Tips, with a little raw sugar and cream!

taebo_melanie said...

Hi Dawn~

My name is Melanie, I am with Billy Blanks Enterprises and we are glad that you are fitting Tae Bo into your schedule! Your blog was fun to read! As a mom myself, I appreciate the time and effort it takes to run a household, let alone fit in exercise~

To say thank you for using Tae Bo we'd like to send you a free t-shirt. If you would send your t-shirt size and mailing address to info@billyblanks.com we will get that right out to you.

You can also check us out at billyblanks.com or teamtaebo.com

Have a great day and enjoy your workouts!

Lori Myers said...

Yep, that's my day. My boys are 4, 2 1/2, and 1 1/2. I feel ya! Thanks for illustrating your point in such an entertaining way.

Anonymous said...

I am a single mom that just lost my job. I use to use my 8 hours of work for a piece of mind, than to come home to clean, cook, bath time. The weekends are worse. My friend doesn't relize why i cant go out every weekend with her, or why i dont date. WELL COME ON!!! who wants to go out on a date with a 3 year old.

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