I so wish I were exaggerating. But I'm not. This post describes perfectly what life is like in our house right now.
Every morning brings a routine of chaos. If I wake up covered in my infant's urine, I am instantly relieved. Phew, it wasn't poop this time! As I'm changing the baby and myself, my toddler erupts into the room. He literally erupts, he throws the door open and springs forward, filling the entire room with his presence as he yells some morning command or greeting (such as "Good Morning Jose!"). As the room fills with Ryan's presence, it also fills with the poignant smell of poop that has been marinating in his diaper for at least an hour or two.
So, I change Ryan, grab the baby, and step into the hallway. That's when I see my six year old gazing mesmerized by the TV (Power Rangers) while sitting atop a giant pile of Legos. (Yes, the messes begin before I even open my eyes). Jacob sees me and asks what's for breakfast. Usually, I'll be out of the easy breakfast foods, like oatmeal, waffles, or cereal. So I'll have to choose between preparing a breakfast egg sandwich, whipping up a batch of from-scratch pancakes, or dropping a pile of cough drops on the table and hoping they will forget about food until lunchtime (yeah, right).
I feed the kids, usually while holding a fussy baby and scarfing down the scraps and leftovers for my own breakfast. Then I feed the fussy baby. Then I attempt, with much rocking and swaying and shushing, to get the fussy baby to sleep. If this is accomplished, I might finally have a chance to take my first morning breath and consider what day it is. This is when I really, really love to enjoy a couple sips of hot tea.
This morning, after feeding the kids and getting Jonathan to close his eyes for a second or two, I put the kettle on and made myself a cup of tea. Jonathan's eyes popped back open before the water even finished boiling. So I prepared the tea one-handed (fussy baby in the other). As I was stirring in my hazelnut creamer, I heard a loud "gush" and peeked into the dining room (slash living room, slash tv room, slash playroom, slash entryway) to discover that Ryan had knocked over an entire cup of water.
I put my tea down, I put the baby down, and began to clean up. Two minutes into the clean up, the baby is crying. I pick him up and feel the slimy texture of infant poop. It's seeping out of his diaper, through his clothes, all over me. I rush Jonathan into the bathroom where I do a quick wipe up and bath (the entirety of which he screams through). I walk into the kids' room to grab a fresh outfit for Jon and almost trip over my six year old's sopping wet, urine soaked pullup. Discovering the pullup is similar to what I imagine it must be like to throw a giant rave party, pass out in the wee hours of the morning, and wake up to discover my living room is occupied by a half dozen hungover college students. Wait. It's probably not like that at all. But it IS very unpleasant.
I yell at Jacob to throw away his pullup. Then I put on some socks because I can't shake off that nasty feeling of sopping wet diaper crystals touching my flesh. Finally, I pick out a new outfit for Jonathan, who has been hanging out in the nude this whole time. Just as I put Jonathan in a cute penguin romper (if your baby's clothes aren't ridiculously embarrassing, you're parenting wrong, people), I hear Jacob and Ryan yelling at each other in the other room. Short version: despite the fact that BOTH sides of the couch are equally comfortable, Ryan and Jacob both want to sit on the right side.
As I dictate the terms of a negotiation between the two older kids, Ryan asks me for something to eat. I glance at the table where the breakfast sandwich I slaved over sits untouched. Another negotiation ensues and ends on the following terms: Ryan will eat his sandwich if I feed it to him "like a baby" (aka: cut it up, stab pieces with a fork, and place them in his mouth). Lazy jerk.
Still holding Jonathan, I feed Ryan approximately half of his sandwich before he declares that he is full. So full in fact that there is not room in his tummy for a single, tiny 'nother bite (two year olds are so dramatic). As I clear the table, I come across my untouched mug of tea. It's almost jeering at me. It's cold so I pop it in the microwave while I try to empty the dish drainer with one hand (baby). As I lean forward to put away a casserole dish, I knock over a bowl. It breaks. To be more precise, it shatters. All over the floor. I ban all children from the kitchen, put the baby down (who begins to instantly cry), and sweep up the glass.
Finally, I'm done. I refuse to touch the rest of the dishes until my husband comes home in approximately eight hours, sixteen minutes, and 45 seconds (but whose counting?). I grab my tea out of the microwave, cuddle the baby, and finally, FINALLY sit down on the couch. Phew, I realize that this is the first time I've sat down all morning. I put my feet up, rest the baby-laden arm on a pillow, reach for my tea and bring it to my face. The sweetness touches my lips. And it's cold.