Monday was a teacher workday in our parts. Not that teachers were allowed to actually get work done on this day, despite the fact that report cards are coming out this week. They really ought to call it a “training day” or “inservice day” or “stuck in the cafeteria when I have a million things I could be doing in my classroom day.” Something that more accurately reflects the reality of the situation.
But I digress.
Seeing as the teachers were occupied with training, that meant T-man and Bear were at home. With me. On a Monday.
That last part might not seem very significant. I mean a weekday’s a weekday, right? Wrong.
I’m betting the kids probably think after they leave for school that I curl up on the couch, drink coffee, blog, and watch tv. Now I won’t claim that none of my day resembles that statement. (Ahem.) But in general? Mondays are hardcore work days around here.
I’ve got Stuff To Do, people, and when I’m firing on all cylinders I can run loads of laundry through while cleaning up the kitchen and getting three blog posts written. If I’m really on the ball I’ll work on my editorial calendar, social media schedules, and catch up with other people’s blogs. It works like a well-oiled machine…until a wrench gets thrown in the works.
This week that wrench took the form of my fourth and fifth graders, but the 65-pound fur ball put things over the top.
Did I mention it rained on and off all day long? That’s probably an important detail.
Teacher workdays almost always get off to a rocky start due to one crucial detail: if it’s not a school day, I’m not setting my alarm. I’m just not. I’ll be up by 8:00 am, I promise, but until then just make it work. So even though I woke up before my alarm this week – 7:30! on a non-school day! whyyyyyy??? – the kids were already awake and in the family room.
I say things typically get off to a rough start because I walk into the middle of their morning and need to assess where we are. Have the dogs been fed? Let out? Did Phoebe eat breakfast? (She’s been on some weird hunger strike for a few days when she’ll only eat if I run my fingers through her food.) Who’s already had breakfast? When do you plan to do your chores? Oh, and here’s what we need to get done today.
Still sounds okay, right? I’ve taken the temperature of the room, established expectations for the morning, and now I’m ready to begin my morning routine. Except there are these little people in my space, and they have their own agendas.
I turned on the coffee maker and was toasting my English Muffin when Bear piped up with, “Can we make monkey bread, mom?”
This sounds deceptively like an invitation to a lovely bonding experience, and it would have come across that way had she suggested it later in the morning. At that particular moment it led to an emphatic request that I be given time to drink my coffee and eat something before entertaining any requests. (Nobody ever interrupts my coffee and English Muffin when they’re in school…)
I won’t bore you with my To Do list since I know we’re all running around like chickens with our heads cut off. Let’s just say there was a lot I wanted to get done, and having the kids home didn’t get me out of it. So I put my head down and plowed through, and I think we would have come out of it okay if it weren’t for Gracie.
There simply aren’t the words to describe Monday’s Gracie. I don’t know if it was the upcoming full moon or the fact that the kids were home or that it was rainy or all of the above, but she was a red hot mess all day long. I was flashing back to the toddler years when it felt like I spent every waking minute following someone short around so they’d still be alive when BrightSide got home.
Same basic concept, although this time there was a greater chance that I would be the cause of bodily harm than some choking hazard. Gracie was just…aarrrgghhh. It seemed like every three minutes I had to stop what I was doing to deal with her shenanigans.
Eating napkins has become a commonplace occurrence in our house, so I’m rarely motivated to fight her for those. But the sneaker deodorizer ball she cracked open and started chomping? That got a swift response.
Mostly, though, I experienced a severe sense of futility as I retrieved object after object from her naughty mouth. Gracie stole gel pens, socks, a scarf, and mittens. She followed her nose into the laundry room where she stole a PetSmart bag off the dryer then ate her way through it until she reached a bone (in the process eating half the receipt I needed for a pet company rebate). She stole a note from school, snacks from a backpack, and one section of a Russian nesting doll.
Gracie even shoved her head into the gas fireplace to snatch one of the rocks off the bottom, for heaven’s sake.
It seemed our girl was craving attention so I finally settled her onto the couch beside me where I could give her loves and scratches. Seems like a good plan, right? And it was…right up until the moment Gracie smacked my keyboard with her enormous paw and deleted part of a post.
BrightSide walked through the door that evening to find two hyper kids playing space simulator in a bedroom, two worn out dogs snoozing on the sofa, and a wife who looked like she’d barely survived the day.
Only seven more teacher workdays left in the school year. With any luck I’ll survive those, too.