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Saturday, February 6, 2016

If you give a kid a snack

There are plenty of these posts out there, but today I feel like chronicling my story.  The reason?  After a week of staying with our kids, my mother said the 8 words that every daughter wants to hear her mother who always has a clean house say: "I now understand why your house is messy."
Very much like the parody of "If You Give a Mouse A Cookie," called "If You Give a Mom a Muffin," here is my blog entitled: "If You Give a Kid a Snack."  (sorry, mine is not going to be nearly as cute or rhyme-y)
Other possible names for this blog include, but are not limited to:
"Why I never answer my phone."
"Why I'm crazy and need drugs"
"Things to consider before you have children."

It's morning, breakfast is over, the kids have begrudgingly brought their cereal bowls to the sink.  They have so far played several games of Disney Guess Who and watched at least 3 episodes of My Little Pony and Wild Kratts.  It's time for a snack!
Thing 1 chooses a snack and opens it in the living room while finishing the last 4 minutes of Wild Kratts and of course, drops the torn corner on the couch along with a few crumbs.  This same child suddenly realizes that the snack packaging would make an amazing craft and goes to grab the safety scissors.
He grabs the scissors and knocks the jar of coloring implements on the kitchen floor.  He pauses to look at them, then skips merrily on his way as he has things to create.
The dog selects a crayon and chews it to pieces on the living room floor- a new favorite hobby she has recently discovered.
Meanwhile Thing 1 is cutting the snack bag to confetti, inevitably dropping several tiny, impossible-to-pick-up pieces on the floor where they flutter around amidst breakfast crumbs and dog hair.
Mom grabs the vacuum and begins to suck up the confetti, crayon, and floating pieces of dog hair.  A few seconds later the vacuum unexpectedly stops.  Puzzeled, Mom pushes the power button several times, then follows the cord back to the wall where the baby is smiling innocently while sucking on the prongs of the power cord. Mom wipes off the prongs, but as she is leaning over to plug it back in, smells a poopy diaper.
While changing baby's poopy diaper, Thing 2 manages to bang her knee on......something.  Mom kisses the knee but of course, the slight red mark requires a bandaid because Thing 2 has begun screaming that she's dying.  Mom, who is a bit preoccupied with the poopy diaper and squirming baby who is suddenly desperate to be anywhere but on the changing table, tells Thing 2 to go ahead and grab a bandaid from the bathroom.
While taking the dirty diaper to the pail, mom sees the aftermath of a child who thinks she's dying and needs at least 2 bandaids to cover the owie- several torn pieces of paper and the little rounded ends of the bandaid strewn around the bathroom.  But, the baby is pulling Thing 2's hair so she thinks "I'll bring the vacuum up here in a bit and get those, the upstairs could use a once-over anyway."
When mom gets back downstairs to extricate Thing 2's hair from Baby's grasp, she trips over the vacuum cord and stubs her toe to the point of bleeding.  She starts to ask Thing 2 to get her a bandaid when she is distracted by Thing 1 who is about to pour the glue he just uncapped all over the kitchen chair he has decided to craft on.
After replacing the glue cap, mom notices the dog has eaten another crayon and stoops to pick up the coloring utensils.  The dog stands at the door begging to go out so she heads to the slider to do so. Go, poop rainbows, you crazy mutt. She thinks as she slides the slider shut.  Unfortunately, Mom did not notice that Baby has followed her and promptly stuck her fingers in the briskly closing door (it's cold out there!).  Cue screaming baby.  Mom soothes baby who is not having it and requires cuddling on the couch with a snack.
Mom decides it's a good time to put on a baby-friendly show and chooses Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood.
Daniel Tiger is going to the Library. Yippee!!
Suddenly Mom remembers they have overdue books and as she heads to the fridge to pull out the dinner she had forgotten to get out earlier she realizes there is no milk and she is one ingredient short for dinner.
We'll run to the library, play for a few minutes, then the store, and by the time we're done it'll be rest time.  Maybe I can get away with a piece of fruit and the free cookie at Meijer for each of them for lunch... 
So she loads up the kids after a mad search for a toy that is apparently required for the 5 minute car ride, plus a clean diaper, paci for the baby, and matching socks.
As planned, the library is a hit and while she didnt get to check for thay new book she wanted because the baby pooped again and everyone needed a trip to the bathroom-twice- Mom knows she can check onlin later. When it's time to leave there are tantrums and plenty of whining about not wanting to go to the store, but Mom holds firm and bribes them with a cookie.
After a free cookie, a piece of fruit each, and a meat stick straight from the bag in the grocery store, Mom gets everyone home and to their rooms for rest time.
Mom goes downstairs and puts away groceries, manages to scrounge up a lunch that won't kill her healthy eating plan, and sits down to eat while checking emails.
Oh look! The kids need money in their accounts for hot lunch and Kindergarten registration papers need to be printed off.
She finds the checkbook to refill the lunch accounts, steals "drawing" paper from the kids' stash for the printer, prints the pages and begins to fill them out.
Baby wakes up, kids get up from quiet time.  The only way to transition the baby from naptime to a semi-happy wake state is to snuggle on the couch again with a snack.
Mom decides to try to multi-task and google how to make her couch stop smelling funky but baby thinks the phone is her toy and steals it, then hides it under the ottoman.
Once again, Mom remembers she has not pulled out the meat for supper so she runs downstairs and grabs whatever is available while realizing she forgot that one ingredient she needed.
Back in the living room everyone is getting restless so Mom sends the big kids outside.  Now the baby is crying at the window.
Mom looks at the baby for a moment and realizes that neither of them has been outside for more than 30 seconds to walk from the car to the house in....2 weeks.  It's Michigan in winter, after all.  So, she bundles up the baby and they head outside to "play," which involves mom following the baby around and trying to keep her from running into the road 637 times while simultaneously paying rapt attention to all the demands of "Mom, watch this!" from Thing 1 and Thing 2.
Thing 1 falls down and requires a bandaid for his bruised finger.  Mom tells him to go ahead and get himself a bandaid, so he disappears inside for approximately 20 minutes at which point the baby is cold and Mom decides to investigate. But Baby does not understand that she's cold because its cold outside and screams "Nooooooo!" the whole way into the house while clawing at Mom's face. Mom and Baby find Thing 1 who got distracted in the bathroom and is standing at the sink sans pants with his alligator letting him "swim in his natural habitat."  His sleeves are soaked so Mom tells him to turn off the water and go change his shirt.
It's snack time and time to start prepping for dinner so Mom pulls out some fruit and crackers and everyone eats at the table except the baby who shakes her head at everything but then demands a cracker to walk around with.
Thing 1 remembers his earlier craft and begins cutting more confetti which reminds Mom to finish vacuuming while the oven preheats.
Looking around the living room, Mom realizes she doesn't have time to pick up everything and sort it so she throws everything in a corner to finish with the vacuum.
Finally the vacuuming is done but Mom realizes the oven is now fully preheated and time is running short for dinner so she runs to the kitchen to throw it in the oven and try to find an acceptable vegetable side dish. Meanwhile the baby is actually pretty happy winding the vacuum cord around the living room so she lets it go.
Somehow Mom manages to finish making dinner, but by the time Dad gets home and drops all of his belongings in a pile in the mudroom, takes the vacuum cord from the baby while saying "Honey, did you see that she's chewing on this??" and mom feigns shock and claims "No, I'd never..." everyone is crying because they are SO hungry and Mom is the meanest because she won't let them have another snack and she is no longer their "favorite Mommy."
After plating tiny amounts of each item for the kids, Mom and Dad sit down to eat and spend the majority of dinner answering questions like "can I have more honey on my biscuit?" and "how many bites of this do I have to eat before I can be done?"  Between the two of them Thing 1 and Thing 2 manage to eat the serving size of your average sparrow and claim they are "soooo full."  Baby has 5th and 6th helpings.
It's bath night so Mom asks Dad to pick up dinner and takes the kids up to get clean.  30 minutes later the bathroom is strewn with clothing, the bandaid wrappers from earlier, water, and towels.  The big kids are now starving, but mom loses her shit and tells them they will have to starve.  They head to their rooms to get dressed and mom puts the baby to bed.  She returns to the big kids to find they are still naked and dancing in ways that make her wonder if they should be pulled from public school.
30 minutes later everyone is in bed and Mom goes downstairs to find Daddy asleep on the couch, dishes still on the table.  She kicks gently nudges him awake enough for him to say "I was just going to check the news...snore."
Mom puts away the leftovers, loads the dishwasher, tossing in pans that should probably be handwashed, gives the table a cursory wipe-down and collapses on the couch.  She turns on the old XFiles just in time for Hubby to wake up and say accusingly, "should you really watch this stuff? Let's watching something else." And promptly steals the remote.
As she looks around the living room, strewn with every toy she had originally thrown in the corner and a few she didn't even realize they owned, she notes the pieces of confetti she missed and pulls out her phone from under the ottoman.  There are at least 25 notifications she should probably attend to before bed, plus a book she should search out and hey, do they sell dog food on Amazon?
She sighs, looks over at her husband sleeping peacefully in his boxers with one sock hanging off and thinks: At least I vacuumed.