Here I am, hanging my head in shame...it's been a month since my last post and that's not the only thing I'm behind on. I haven't answered emails, returned phone calls, or gone to the gym. I barely manage to cover the basic necessities of personal hygiene each day. There's been an alarming increase in the number of Pop Tarts being consumed for breakfast and an equally distressing increase in the number of takeout meals that are being consumed for dinner in the evening. On top of everything else, I ache all over (especially my hands) and all I want to do is sleep.
Gasp! What could be wrong, you ask? Is it chronic fatigue syndrome?? Is it clinical depression? Lyme disease? Menopause? Nooo...it's worse. My condition is caused by (dramatic organ chords here)...The House. Yes, it's true. Our recently acquired 100 year old house is getting a facelift before we move in; each day, we have electricians, plumbers, carpenters, general contractors, and a host of other tradespeople swarming over the place...and then there's the painting. Most days, there's only one painter working...and that would be me. Oh, the kids show up from time to time and give me a hand but now that school's back in session, our days go something like this:
6:15am--Life-giving latte is delivered to bedside by Dad (without which the rest of life as we know it would not take place)
6:30am--Chef Mom is up and starting breakfast for 5 kids. (OK, how hard are Pop Tarts?)
7:00am--Bus picks up first kid for school; Mom waves blearily from door.
8:00am--Bus driver Mom transports other 4 kids to school
8:30am--Chef/housekeeper Mom returns home to start dinner prep, throw in laundry, pay bills
9:30am--Mom the Painter heads to The House to begin the work day
9:35am-1:30pm--Multiple coats of primer and paint are applied to walls, closets, ceilings, etc. from basement to 3rd floor...to infinity and beyond.
1:35pm--Painter Mom is sighted in the local grocery picking up fresh vegetables for dinner...and more Pop Tarts. Cashiers begin to whisper about the new fashion statement Painter Mom is making...Bag Lady clothes with a different paint hue each day...hmmm.
2:45pm--Painter/Shopper Mom returns home in time to shower and greet the bus dropping the youngest child at the door at 3:00pm; homework support is provided by newly transformed (and slightly damp) Teacher Mom.
4:00pm--Bus driver Mom picks up other 4 kids from school.
4:10pm--Teacher Mom helps with homework while Chef Mom completes dinner preparations. (or orders take-out Chinese...or pizza...or selected other delivery du jour meals.) Various other tasks are accomplished as needed (i.e. field trip permission slips, after school snacks, more laundry, emptying lunch boxes, answering questions about boys, world peace, girls, why the sky is blue, prime factors, and the best outfit for picture day, etc.)
5:30pm--Referee Mom mediates a few disputes between siblings while Chef Mom beats the starving Mongol hordes back from the food prepared for family dinner. The bottomless fruit bowl is offered to appease the hordes until Dad returns from the salt mines to join the clan for dinner.
6:30pm--Dad arrives amid fanfare and trumpets, greeted by the children with enthusiasm (Dad's home! Now we can eat!!!).
6:38pm--First child has swallowed dinner whole and is asking to be excused. Miss Manners Mom refuses and asks first child to tell us about his/her day. Mandated polite dinner conversation ensues.
6:45pm--4 other children complete dinner and ask to be excused. Miss Manners Mom sighs deeply and excuses said children.
7:00pm--2 greyhounds begin to whine and beg for a walk. Mom and Dad walk said greys to The House for the nightly progress inspection.
7:30pm--Mom and Dad receive various cell phone calls from children re: ice cream, TV viewing, equity and fairness issues, etc.
8:00pm-- Bedtime Mom is in the house. All TVs and electronics are turned off, showers are started, teeth are brushed, books are read, the evening winds down. By 8:30, children begin to drift off to dreamland. The big kids settle down around 10:00.
10:05pm--Dad is already asleep. Organizer Mom is packing lunchboxes, checking backpacks, doing laundry and dishes, reviewing the next day's schedule.
10:30pm--Tired Mom is slipping into a coma...dreaming of the next day's painting project...wondering why we thought we needed a 6 bedroom house with 3 floors.
4:00am--Painter Mom is awake, wondering if it's too early to slip over to The House and paint another closet before the kids need to get up for school. Sigh.
Are there 12 step programs for Painter Moms? Is there an end to The House's seemingly insatiable need to drink up gallon after gallon of paint? (The children are beginning to suspect that The House is haunted...perhaps by a demon who thirsts for Latex?) Will neglected family and friends forgive Social Director/Blogger Mom's lapse in communication in the past few weeks? Will the other Mom personas (not to mention the kids and spouse) survive until the nightmare is over? Stay tuned...pictures soon.