It was after 11 pm and I was starving. The quickest thing I could come up with was a bowl of cold cereal. I'm eating for two anyways (breastfeeding) so I figured since I hadn't had a second breakfast yet, cereal was a good idea. Then I caught myself putting the container of dry cereal in the fridge next to the milk and I wondered if I had had a long day or if it was just one of those "new normal" days that I've been having lately.
I've learned to constantly survey the kitchen before I leave it to make sure I haven't left the stove on or left food out or forgotten to shut the water off in the sink. It's one thing to leave a cupboard door left open but its quite another to leave the fridge open, believe me. Pulling soft butter out of your fridge is a scary thought.
I stuck the cereal back in the cupboard and made sure the milk was still in the fridge. I grimaced at the black bananas sitting next to the milk in my once sterile fridge. Those black, oozy mush tubes looked like a giant slug got stuck in my fridge and had three kids before he (I guess that would be 'she') succumbed to an anti oxygen environment. "Where is the poor mama slug?" I wondered in my sleep deprived brain. Wait! those are the bananas you were going to make banana bread out of 3 days ago! Oh yeah. Duh.
The baby was screaming and had been for most of the evening it seemed. He was starving but wouldn't take his milk. He needed to be burp but wouldn't burp. He wanted to lay on his stomach but only screamed louder when we put him there. He didn't like the lights glaring but he really didn't prefer the dim rooms either. And he needed his pacifier only to spit it out again. I felt like such a successful parent this evening. Especially as I ate my soggy cereal while the baby screamed ten inches behind me in his swing.
But at least the house was quiet. The other two kids were in bed, safe and sound and everyone was healthy, happy and safe. I just love that word, safe. Its funny how you like simple things like "safe" when you've experienced unsafe things which make for eventful experiences.
"Eventful" is another thing that happens a lot around here and I've learned that "eventful" and "unsafe" are not a good combo. Like the day Janae pulled the baby off the bed. Talk about eventful. And definitely unsafe, if you ask me. (In case you're wondering, the baby was fine and didn't even cry).
Or the time Landon locked the bathroom door shut and I had to take the doorknob off to get to the lock so I bit on the blunt end of a hairpin to jam in the lock and ended up with a chipped tooth that sent me to the dentist where I found out that they charge nothing to sand a chipped tooth down that wasn't chipped that bad but there's nothing like finding tooth dust floating in your mouth and rubbing your tongue against a rough corner that used to be smooth before you bit the hairpin that you were using to get the door opened that your son locked. The end.
Now you understand just how exciting eventful can be at our house and why it usually results in something unsafe. Which brings me to this evening.
Landon and Janae have this "game" they play where they run from one end of the house to the other and back again. And they do it over and over and over and over and... you get the idea. Usually they do it until somebody crashes or slams their body into a doorway or gouges into a protruding corner. The "winner" normally gets a band aide or ice pack and the "loser" is usually reprimanded for not being more careful with his sister. Its a very exciting game and takes lots of energy. That's why I never play it with them. Plus, if I had that kind of energy, I would use it on something useful like making banana bread before the bananas evolve into decomposing giant slugs.
So, as this game was in session, I told the kids they needed to stop running. And before I could say "before somebody gets hurt," Landon suggested setting the timer until the end of the game. I figured a 5 second timer wouldn't hurt so I said sure. He set out on a run again but then I got the bright idea that HE set the timer, to which he was thrilled with. Timers are the latest fad around here.
And with that, he whirled around in a flash and crashed headlong into his sister, resulting in a 90 mph front end collision.
"That's why you don't play this game anymore," I said to no one in particular, considering my voice was drowned out by the crying children burying their faces into my lap and shoulder.
As I counted teeth, checked for crooked noses and made sure the sobbing eyes hadn't been punctured, I could only find blood on Landon where he split his lip on Janae's hard head. At the sound of blood, Landon buried his head again in my lap and wept for all he was worth over the fact he was spilling precious drops of his own blood.
When Janae heard blood, her eyes perked up and her sobs subsided, until I told her she had no blood and was indeed fine. Believe me, its hard to explain to a bloody child that he was fine with blood and to turn around and say to one without blood that they were fine too.
By this point, there was no need to set the timer so we all split ways and the incident was forgotten until bedtime when Landon requested a band aide for his split and puffy lip. He knows that only bloody owies (versus bumps and bruises) get the bandages so I'm sure he thought I was using an excuse when I told him a band aide would not be in order for an owie on the lip.
As I headed out of his room and back to my fussy baby, I wondered how on earth my life ever exploded into so much excitement. With a shower that skimps on hot water, snakes living in our basement, a tired husband sleeping in our quiet room and a wailing baby on my hip, I feel like there's no reprieve. Not even a hot shower! Every busy mom needs a hot 10 minute shower once every few days. Not only does it regain your sanity but it also gives you a good opportunity to wash your hair and maybe get clean once in awhile.
So, to make the most of the eventful, new normal and unsafe day, I lit a blue berry muffin candle and made a mental note to remember to blow the flame out before I went to bed. I would hate to burn the house down tonight. Especially over a nostalgic candle. Then I sat up with a fussy baby who soon cuddled in and went to sleep in my arms while I enjoyed the flicker of the burning candle and basked in the aroma of fresh baked goodies while eating soggy shredded wheat.
And that was my reprieve.