It’s 12:30am, Do You Know Where Your Kids Are?

Hectic doesn’t begin to describe my life. I have accepted this. It is
just par for my course. I have grown accustomed to standing, fully
dressed, keys in hand, purse on my shoulder, trying to herd 4 kids
out the door to school without waking the 5th kid, while handing
out backpacks and making sure someone remembers to grab the
overflowing trash bag to take downstairs on the way out the door,
only to realize that the 15 yr old is still wearing plastic flip-flops
with socks as the 12 yr old comes rushing back in announcing that
he’s forgotten to “hustle up” his hair. If there is ever a woman who
can juggle cooking dinner while washing dishes and sorting laundry
as she hollers step-by-step instructions to her husband who is
attempting to restore his laptop computer to a previous setting due
to the 10 yr old who, despite being threatened with no computer
privileges until he reaches puberty and being put up for adoption,
searched for, went to, and played on a Chinese free game site that
is notorious for trojan horses and viruses, I am she.

Today,  I got up at noon. Don’t roll your eyes. I wasn’t “sleeping in.”
I didn’t go to bed until 6a.m. Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah.
I got up at noon. Slugged back 2 cups of coffee, washed a load
of clothes, made up the beds in the girls room and swept it out.
I WOULD HAVE made up the beds in the boys room but the
blankets had that funky aroma of feet, ball sweat and bad breath,
so I hung them all on the clothes line out the window and swept
the room. I broke up three fights, got dressed and grabbed up all
the leftover watermelon rinds, tomato and cucumbers ends, cores
to lettuce and old bread out of the refrigerator (YES, it was saved
in a bag) and dropped it off to my husband’s aunt who is raising
ducks. I called the chicken vendor and had him slaughter two
chickens for me and then raced like a crazy woman to get to his
shop while trying not vomit do to the cheap cologne that the
guy sitting on the bus next to me bathed in prior to leaving his
house. HORK!  I picked up my chickens, hit the open market
and got fruit and vegetables, bought some fresh bread and beat
feet home only to find an entire sink full of damn dirty dishes.
I called in the 15 yr old and said, “YOUR TURN. I did them
before I left and I was only gone an hour.” Begrudinlgy, he
did them. I cleaned the chickens and put them on to boil.
 I measured out the appropriate dosage for the 14 yr old’s
nebulizer treatment, doled out the right amount of antibiotic
liquid meds for the 45 yr old with an infected molar whose
gag reflex STILL will not allow him to swallow pills
and a lot of adult meds just don’t come in liquid form. (No, really.
Do you know how many pharmacists in Augusta, Georgia think
I’m either insane or an abusive parent due to my having to drive
all over the city looking for liquid morphine after his surgery?!)
I cooked a fantastic meal of chicken, Middle Eastern potato salad
and a fine watercress green salad, washed up the dishes and then
jetted down the stairs to the roof of our neighbors house in order
to scrub 6 area rugs and a hall runner.
I returned home to find my husband still poking around on the
laptop. I took over the computer doctoring, turned on the tv to
a good movie (Hitch) and threatened the lives of 4 kids who’d
been on the PC all day long if they didn’t let the 14 yr old have
a turn as my husband went down to his aunt’s house to help fix her
washing machine.

Five minutes after he walked out the door, the tourists across
the hall knocked and wanted to use our bathroom AND fill up
all the empty soda bottles, buckets and pots and pans with
water. Look. If you have enough money to buy a summer
beach apartment AND a refrigerator and stove to put in it,
then scrape up another 350 pounds and buy a friggin’ water
pump to make sure your apartment has water. Don’t have us
running from the faucet to the front door for 20 minutes
straight and THEN send your non-flushing grandmother over
to poop in our bathroom when we DON’T have a ceiling fan
in there.

We finished with the bucket brigade and then 10 minutes later,
my husband called and asked me to send the 12 yr old down
with the hammer he’d forgotten to bring with him.
He specifically said, “Send one of his brothers with him. It’s after
11pm.” So I suggested I’d send the 15 yr old who had been passing
gas on the back side of the oscillating fan I was sitting in front of
while trying to fix the stupid laptop and trying not to throw up.
The 11 yr old about that time, cranked up the volume on the tv as
loud as it would go, while the 14 yr old starts yelling, “TOO LOUD!”
from the bedroom. The 15 yr old starts complaining of abdominal
cramps (ya think?) and the 12 yr old started yelling at the 10 yr old.
I couldn’t follow the shouted conversations, the movie or the damn
directions for finding the right restore point I wanted on the computer
so I didn’t notice who went in what direction when I heard the front
door slam. After about 45 minutes the 15 yr old was sitting in the
living room again. I asked him, “Wow. You guys really went down and
came back up that fast?” Then started the yelling between the destructo
twins (10 and 11 yr olds) fighting on the couch about who was in
whose seat so I didn’t hear what 15 yr old said. 14 yr old got hungry
and came out to ask me to cook her some chicken wings. I finished
making the wings and then went into the boys room to check on the
12 yr old. The room was empty. So I checked the girls room. Also
empty. I didn’t think it was possible to overlook him, but I checked
the living room and my room again. Not there either. So I freaked out.
I asked the 15 yr old why he came back up without his brother.
He said he never went down with him. So then starts the argument
about what’s more important? Pooping or following directions.
I decided this was not helpful and called his father to find that the boy
neglected to tell him that I a) didn’t know he’d left alone and b) didn’t
know that the 15 yr old had opted to go to the bathroom while the
10 yr old refused to go at all because the 12 yr old had shouted at
him. See? See what all this tuning them out because they’re getting on
my nerves does? It leaves me asking at half past midnight where the
hell my 12 yr old is. But I guess if things weren’t this chaotic, it
wouldn’t be my life. And I’d have a mansion and eat lunch with Oprah
and I’d be thin and I’d have a personal trainer and size 5 pants that I
could actually fit in. (Because I associate calm and tranquil with
having money and a small butt.)
But the truth of the matter is, I’m not. I am relatively calm, take
tranquilizers, have a thin wallet and  wear stretch pants. Oh well.
I’m a good cook with good kids and clean rugs and a man that
understands that sanity is not all it’s cracked up to be. Who could
ask for more?

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