This morning I was actually sweating when I got in the car to pull out of the garage. A little morning workout before heading to the office, you ask? Nah. I mean, who needs Richard Simmons when you have Elena? Every morning feels like a race against the clock (and my toddler) to get out the door – and let’s just say I’m rarely the winner. This morning was certainly no exception.
It all begins innocently enough – a shower, a cup of coffee, throw some bread in the toaster for Elena and Ian (who is already downstairs and looking at me longingly for some food), grab some cereal, pour two cups of milk, start to get together the things for my lunch. You know, same gig, different day. Once I’ve got things well underway, it’s time to wake up the littlest Burpo. I opened the door, set to pick out the clothes for the day, and find her sitting there quietly in her crib with an unpleasant smell permeating through the room. Oh jeez. As soon as she saw me, she immediately started pointing down with an innocent “Uh oh. Uh oh. Uh oh!” I won’t go into gory details, but any parent knows what I’m talking about and “uh oh” isn’t what I felt like saying as I’m looking at the clock. Tick tock, tick tock. Luckily Jeff, who was about to head out to drop Ian off at school and then take off for a few days on business, was still downstairs. I certainly didn’t want him to miss out on the clean-up fun so I kindly requested he come up. He worked on the wall – exclaiming something about Elena needing to eat fewer berries -while I got her changed, both of us washed up and downstairs to corral her in the chair for breakfast. Tick tock, tick tock. Meanwhile, I headed back up to get things soaking in the laundry sink.
All settled, for now. Ian and Jeff depart while I finish making my lunch and gather her snacks while also supervising breakfast…picking things off the floor, watching for flipped dishes (thank God there were none), answering the call for “maw, maw, maw” (more, more, more). I mean, it’s nearly impossible to hear (much less watch) what Matt is saying on TV these days with all this going on. Tick tock, tick tock. Finally finished, it’s time for clean up. After being thoroughly wiped down, out of the chair she goes so I can take care of some dishes. Once on the ground, it appears to take her no longer than two seconds to start pulling out and emptying every drawer and cabinet she can reach. By the time I’ve got the dishwasher open, a tornado has swept across our kitchen and half the living room. And her name is Elena. Seriously?? Time for the Clean Up Song: Clean up, clean up! Everybody clean up, clean up! Tick tock. Tick tock.
Enter stage three of the morning routine: Getting Elena back upstairs and in her crib for some play time so I can start the final leg of the morning marathon: dry my hair, get dressed, attempt to make myself look presentable, gather my bag and lunch, gather her bag and food, get everything down to the car…while of course continuing to keep one eye/ear open for happenings in Elena’s room. This morning I get about halfway through my routine when I hear strange sounds coming from her room. What is that?? I enter to find that all the toys I had given her are now scattered across the floor of her room, while the big tag that had been fully attached the bottom part of her mattress (because remember, her sheet is soaking) has been ripped to shreds with little pieces all over the place. She looks at me with a big smile. Ugh!!!!!!! Tick tock, tick tock.
Time to get Elena out of the scene of the crime, so I grab her and put her back downstairs behind the gate. Next stop: the phone to call Maria – who thank God was coming to clean today – to kindly let her know about the mess I was leaving behind. Then, finish running stuff out to the car (a couple trips up and down), forget to take my medication, go back upstairs to the bedroom put on forgotten watch and retrieve forgotten shoes while listening to Elena scream in between begging me to “ga, ga, ga!” (go, go, go!) because she’s positive I’m going to leave her there alone for the day. Run back downstairs, let her out, forget to take my medication again, get her to sit down so I can get her shoes on, which she will promptly take off once in the car. Attempt to carry her down to the car while juggling the last of my things while she’s doing all she can to squirm out of my arms because she wants to “wa, wa, wa!” (walk, walk, walk!) down the stairs. (Which we let her do frequently now, going backwards, but of course it takes a while.) Double ugh!! Tick tock, tick tock.
At last we make it down to the garage where I oh-so-ungracefully hoist her into her car seat (why did I get the big kids??) get the rest of my stuff into the passenger seat, grab the keys and run around to get myself settled. And that, my friends, is when I realize that I’m actually sweating before I’ve even departed the house. Ick. But it’s okay because I’ve finally made it. Another morning of victory! Next stop: daycare drop off. (I’ll save that one for another day, too.) Then, off to “work!”