Thursday through Sunday last week I’d been fighting a virus, and the last two of those days I rotated between my bed and the couch. Sunday morning I gated the family room doorway, turned on Curious George, and curled up on the sofa, praying the Little Butt wouldn’t climb the TV stand or do anything else too emulative of that little monkey he so dearly loves while I slept. The reminder of the day his daddy maintained order while I continued to veg.
Somewhere during Sunday night my fever finally broke, and between the bedsores taking over my hip area and the layer of grime taking over my kitchen floor (no reflection on My Guy—he cleaned up more thoroughly than me each night), I knew Monday would be different.
After downing two cups of coffee—my first since Friday, I might add—practicing yoga (with the occasional need to remove a child from under a pose), and enjoying a yogurt cup with Little Butt, we both got in gear and hunkered down to work. After setting him up at the sink with as little glassware at hand as possible and clear, repeated instructions not to touch the coffee pot, I went into my bedroom and began scouring the house from back to front.
Timeout number one commenced by 8:45. I walked into the kitchen to find the coffee pot full of water and a pile of grounds in the sink. He knows better. Off to the bedroom he went, where he and Silky Bear had ten minutes to sit in the crib and think about obeying. While I’m sure the vacuum cleaner blocked out some of the outcry, he did quite well. No tears ensued, and upon release he happily put all his friends back into bed where they belong.
Side note: It amazes me how children punish themselves in an effort to punish their parents. My feelings weren’t hurt to find the entire inhabitants of the Hundred Acre Wood on the floor, and that left Little Butt with no friends to commiserate.
As water play was now out of the question, I set Little Butt up in his room, dusting and playing in his tent. Before anyone thinks I’m expecting too much of a toddler, please note: he loves to clean. Not that he really accomplishes anything. But he tries.
Ten more minutes pass, during which I whip the family room into shape, vacuuming up the sad remains of handfuls of goldfish. I walk into the kitchen to put the vacuum away, only to find the Little Butt trying to screw the lid on a Ziplock container full of 30 ounces of water—water from the cooler he is not allowed to touch.
Timeout number two commences; this time Silky Bear, Pooh Bear, and all his friends survive the exile.
By this time the kitchen and bathroom floors have been washed, and Mommy is dripping sweat. Little Butt sees the chalkboard on his tall dresser and asks to play, Mommy agrees and gates the door in order to grab a quick shower. All goes well, and only one piece of chalk is smashed on the newly swept floor. I wonder once more why I even vacuum that room.
After cleaning up the messy room, it’s time for play-doh. Ten minutes later as we are cleaning up from this adventure, Little Butt decides to fill one of his yellow play-doh cups with—you guessed it—water from the cooler.
Timeout number three commences.
It is now 10:30 a.m.
And that, my friend, is Monday morning at my house. I’m considering serving myself Irish coffee as a mid-morning treat. Stay tuned.