I have been planning a "Day in the Life" post for awhile. I always love reading about other people's ordinary days, so I thought I'd do a post on one of our ordinary days.
We, apparently, don't have ordinary days.
This past Wednesday, for example, wasn't ordinary, except, I suppose, for the fact that it, like all of our other days, was peppered with anything and everything out-of-the-ordinary.
Like most of our days, the events actually started the evening before. Steffen brought me my phone, and I saw that there was a little water under the Otterbox screen. He must have splashed some water on it. I took it out of its case, cleaned and dried it off, and then popped it back in. After the kids went to bed, I realized that the phone's flashlight was on. And it wouldn't turn off. I figured there was some secret setting that I was missing, and I didn't want to wake Nathan up to fix it, so I just buried it under a book so that the light wouldn't keep me awake and went to sleep.
At four the next morning, my alarm went off. When I tried to swipe it to turn it off, I couldn't get the phone to unlock. All I could do was tap the side button to make it snooze. At that point, I saw that the phone was once again wet. Uh-oh. Maybe it hadn't gotten "splashed" after all. This was looking like an all-out dunking. Nine minutes later, the alarm went off again. Hit snooze. Nine minutes later, same procedure. I decided to turn the phone off. No luck. That thing wasn't going to be turned off. I tried turning the volume down. Nope. That didn't work either. Nine minutes later, alarm, hit snooze, and so on.
By six o'clock, I was seriously considering smashing the phone. But I was determined to see if it could be fixed before taking any drastic measures.
At six-thirty, I realized I had forgotten to print the kids' assignment sheets the night before. (We go to a university model school. The kids go to school two days a week and then do assigned homework on the other days. Teachers post the assignments on a website and parents print them off at home.) Usually, I print assignments a week ahead so that I know what's coming, but I had been sick the week before, so I was still playing catch up. Normally, printing all the kids' assignments takes ten minutes. Unfortunately, the company that manages the assignment website had made some changes overnight. Every assignment for every child had to be clicked on and printed (or cut and pasted into another document) individually.
It took me forty-five minutes to get all of their assignments together. (I am still not actually sure if I got every assignment on their sheets.)
I was now really behind. I don't schedule anything extra on Wednesdays unless I am left with no other choice. This particular Wednesday fell into that category, and two of my boys had appointments that morning, and they had to be dressed decently. I went to make sure the kids knew to start on breakfast and then school while I ironed the boys' clothes. And, of course, at that very moment, an entire bowl of cereal got spilled in the middle of the kitchen. I cleaned it up, made toast to replace that serving of cereal, and started laughing.
"Well, this day can't go anywhere but up!" I told the kids.
Not true, my friends, not true.
We had a "my shoes don't fit and I hate all dress clothes of every kind" meltdown. I still managed to get the boys to their appointments on time, and we even did a good amount of school while we were waiting.
That, however, was pretty much all of the school that got done that morning. All of the other kids were distracted and all of the morning chaos had, it seemed, rendered their brains useless. I did my best to get everyone back on track and reminded them that their long-awaited Sonic dinner reward was going to take place that very night.
Over the course of the morning, I had taken my phone to the repair shop where they informed me that the damage was probably too extensive to make a repair worth it, especially since the phone was a few years old. Sigh. I spent a few minutes mapping out a new battle plan for the afternoon, including a trip to the AT&T store to get new phone. The battle plan was beautiful. This day was going to turn out okay after all.
And it would have if it hadn't been for the general unwillingness of the soldiers to follow the plan.
I did get my phone. (Nathan persuaded me to ditch my iPhone in favor of a Galaxy S4. Excellent choice so far.) School, however, wasn't going as successfully. You see, my kids are assigned the same amount of homework to complete Wednesday as they have over the entire weekend. That means that we have absolutely no margin for error on Wednesdays. And since "errors" are the name of the game for just about every day at our house, Wednesdays have a tendency to become disaster days nearly every week.
By three o'clock, I was "fit to be tied," as they say. I made it quite clear that, until every last assignment was done, the next bottom that moved off of a chair for any reason was going to be grounded. We did manage to get school done, but the house looked like it had been through hours of a two-preschooler-free-for-all. I told the kids we needed to clean up quickly so that I could pick up Whataburger and get to AWANA on time.
And it was at this point that I realized I had made a critical mistake. I had promised the kids Sonic. A couple of kids had told me they'd rather have Whataburger. I figured one carcinogenic meal was as good as another, so I said sure. But what I didn't know was that two of my children think Whataburger is "disgusting." I was faced with a major meltdown of epic proportions. I tried to turn back the clock. We'd revert to Sonic. No dice. Two of the kids think Sonic is "disgusting." I tried convincing them that it's all disgusting, so it really doesn't matter. I told them they needed to work out a compromise. They made about as much progress on that as Congress.
Finally, I saw that there was no way these kids could have their reward that night. The fits were too loud, too disrespectful, and too ungrateful to warrant any sort of treat. That unfortunately meant that the non-fit-throwers had to suffer right alongside the guilty, but that's life. I sat them down individually and told them that the reward would come at the end of a good day, a happy day, a pleasant day.
After they became convinced that I wasn't going to change my mind, everyone calmed down slightly. The house was set, if not exactly to rights, at least in some semblance of order. We got to AWANA on time, and we pulled ourselves together enough when we got home to get lunches and backpacks packed for the next day.
And, just after the kids went to bed, the battery on my old phone FINALLY died and the alarm stopped going off every nine minutes. Peace reigned supreme at last.
At least until the next morning.