Mother’s Little Helper

I woke up feeling feisty this morning, daring even, despite nearly a week of severely fragmented sleep, dealing with a toddler made psychotic with teething pain.

I merrily announce that we’ll be having blueberry muffins for breakfast.  Samantha is ecstatic, ready to be my helper.  We’ll have a mother-daughter bonding experience.

My blueberry muffins are a recipe of my own creation, a high protein super food national magazines should feature on their covers.  It is tailored exactly to the tastes of my children, down to their preferred textures and colors.  It is optimized for maximum child nutrition.  It creates only half a sink of dirty dishes.   It doesn’t take long to make.

It doesn’t take long, that is, until the delays begin to slowly rack up.  A spill here.  A tussle there.  An ingredient lost.  The children are getting hungrier and hungrier.  Their behavior is increasingly chaotic and irrational.  With the increased noise and movement, my brain is getting fuzzier and fuzzier.  Each step in the baking process is taking longer and longer.

By the time I’m spooning the batter into the muffin cups, the kitchen is a surreal scene.  Simon is angrily shouting “BUT I TOLD YOU!” about something to do with the muffin cups.  Samantha is walking in tight little circles, repeating, “What’s my next job?  What’s my next job?  What can I do next, Mama?  What now, Mama?”  The toddler is wrapped tightly around my leg.  He is pressing his face against my jeans over and over again, then looking up at me and cackling.  My lack of reaction is making him try harder and harder, until I finally figure out that he is attempting, with increasing success, to bite me.

I am the only adult in the house.

I understand how Valium became known as “mother’s little helper.”

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Fleeting

Silence and peace.  Samantha and Seth are eating.  Simon is in the shower.

I am standing over the sink, eating lunch, staring out the window into a beautifully sunny day, pondering the mysteries of life in this tiny slice of mental space.

Seth moves from stuffing his belly to deconstructing his lunch, crumbling his biscuit into the floor, and rubbing the slice of turkey in it on his chest.

Simon appears in the kitchen door, water sluicing down his stark naked little self.

He grins at me, as the water mixes with Seth’s crumbs.  “I left foot prints.”

 

Supportive

Samantha is in the other room, plinking out her first rendition of Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.  It is our duty as her parents to listen avidly, even though we’re busy in another room.

We are enthusiastic supporters!   “WOOT WOOT!  Play it! Play it!  WOOT!  WOOT!  Play it!  Play it!”

Samantha starts playing, but her Daddy and I might be getting a little carried away.  “WOOT WOOT!  Play it! Play it!  WOOT!  WOOT!  Play it!  Play it!”

Her beautiful little five year old voice lilts from the piano room, “I would be HAPPY if you STOP!”