We were already on the road to hockey camp this morning (running late, per usual) when I noticed that my gas gauge was in the danger zone. Seven miles to go before an empty tank and 12 miles remaining to get to the ice rink. I’m no math major, but even I knew enough to take the nearest exit and fill ‘er up. I parked the van and stepped out into the beginnings of a major thunderstorm.
Ever the multi-tasker, I decided to take the next minute of free time – while the gas pump was simultaneously filling up my tank and draining my bank account – to do a pre-bus of the kid zone of my van. I noticed a to-go cup sitting in the back row cup holder. Hmm, I thought, that’s odd. We were at Dunkin Donuts four days ago, what could possibly be in that cup? And then, like a lighting bolt from the darkening sky, it hit me. Chocolate milk. The days old cup was holding curdled, disgusting, smelly chocolate milk. Willing myself not to look at the contents of the transparent plastic container, I grabbed it with the intent of getting it out of my vehicle as fast as possible. This tactic was, in hindsight, a big mistake. In my haste, I slammed my elbow against the back of the passenger seat and dropped the cup on the carpet. In my version of the events, this all happened in slow motion and I let out a long, “Noooooo!!!” before the brown, curdled liquid exploded onto my gray interior. The smell was immediate. Both kids responded with overdramatized shrieks of horror and I just stood there. Disbelief was soon replaced by rage and it took me a full 30 seconds to realize that I needed to get it out of the carpet. So, like any mother, I grabbed the one item that can be trusted to clean up any mess – a baby wipe. Nine wipes and a few choice words later, and we were back on the road to our original destination….with the windows rolled all the way down.
This is what Monday smells like.
If today were a movie, the first scene with the chocolate milk would be what my high school English teacher used to refer to as foreshadowing. Nostrils sufficiently damaged, we finally arrived at the ice rink with a few minutes to spare. I laced up my son’s skates, slapped his helmet on his head, threw him his stick and waved goodbye. Baby in stroller and big sister in hand, we stepped out into the lobby only to be welcomed by the roaring sound of a downpour on the metal roof. I had one of those, “well, shit” moments where I debated between: A. staying in the lobby with the girls until the rain let up a bit, or B. braving the torrential rains for the period of time that it would take us to cross the parking lot. Maybe I was feeling adventurous or, more likely, I was thinking about all of the chores that were waiting for me at home, but we chose the latter. I put the baby’s blanket over her head (she immediately pulled it off), grabbed sister’s hand a little tighter, opened the doors and ran. If Noah’s Ark had been parked next to my van in the parking lot, I wouldn’t have been the least bit surprised.
Two steps before we reached the van, the biggest clap of thunder that I have ever heard in my life caused all three of us to scream. That is not an exaggeration. The baby screamed, sister screamed, and I (the one who is in charge of protecting them and supposed to be making this terrible storm seem like nothing more than a gentle spring rain) screamed like a girl in a horror movie. In my defense, it was really freaking loud. By the time I got both girls safely buckled in, I was drenched and they were hysterical. Sister was screaming, “I miss Daddy!” and the baby was genuinely frightened. I climbed up into the front seat and pressed the ignition button. And then I remembered the stroller that was now doubling as a five-gallon bucket outside. I readied myself to dodge the lightning bolts, opened the door, and threw the stroller (still fully assembled) into the back. When I returned to my seat, I reflected on the irony of the situation. As a mother of three, there are many days that go by where I don't get the chance to take a shower. It was only 9:00 a.m. and I had just had my second one of the day.
This is what Monday feels like.
Safely home, I began to prepare our lunch. Mealtime is not generally a fun time at our house. As someone who will eat basically anything, I’ve managed to raise the pickiest eaters this side of the Mason-Dixon. But, today, I was ready. The menu was packed with my go-to, pre-approved items that were sure to please everyone. I made a hot dog for sister (no bun please, just a giant puddle of ketchup), warmed up peas for the baby, and cut up watermelon for both. I asked my dear daughter to set the table and she even retrieved waters for all of us. Things were turning around it seemed. It was going to be a lovely lunch! With both girls happily munching, I sat down to enjoy my hotdog and took a monstrous bite. As I was chewing, I looked down at my plate and noticed that the color of the bun was a bit off. The normal light brown color had been replaced by a hue of blue with a fuzzy texture. Yep, the entire bottom of the bun was covered in mold. On the bright side, I think I’m all set on penicillin for the next year.
This is what Monday tastes like.
The rest of the day passed without incident. That is, until my oldest two children were reunited after hockey camp. They were in the presence of each other for all of five minutes before the arguing began. Round one was a debate over whether the tennis racket in the garage had an ‘M’ or a ‘W' on it. You would think this issue would be simple to resolve, given that it is a Wilson racket. Alas, my daughter can’t stand to be wrong and argued her position for a full 15 minutes. Even after I broke the bad news that it was, in fact, a ‘W’ on the racket, she dismissed my verdict with a curt, “I still think it’s an M.” Round two included a heated discussion regarding crayon colors. Was the crayon in question peach or was it orange? It was the Cold War all over again as the Iron Curtain descended upon my house this afternoon. The two sides were dug in deep and the threat of mutually assured destruction was not acting as a deterrent today. After round three, a disagreement over which song from the Teen Beach 2 soundtrack should be played first for their living room dance party, I stepped in and exiled them to their separate rooms – with the demilitarized zone of their shared hallway in between them.
This is what Monday sounds like.
After dinner, I figured I was in the home stretch. T minus two hours before bedtime. What could possibly go wrong? So naïve. So utterly naïve. I asked the two older kids to keep an eye on their baby sister so I could put away the leftovers and rinse off the dishes. How is it that two minutes can be all that is needed to mess up a house that has taken me two hours to clean? I loaded the last plate and returned to the living room to find all of the magazines pulled out of the basket, all of the previously folded clothes scattered across the floor, and the contents of a new bottle of baby lotion soaking into the carpet. She didn't get the nickname of “Babyzilla” for no reason. I picked up the magazines, left the clothes on the floor, and scooped up the lotion with, you guessed it, a baby wipe. I went back to the kitchen to return the blueberries to the refrigerator. When I opened up the door, I bumped my elbow on the counter and dumped the entire container of blueberries all over the kitchen floor. You can’t make this stuff up. I grudgingly picked them all up, put them back in the container and put them right back into the fridge. I then made myself a mental note to make my husband a batch of blueberry pancakes when he returns home from his golf trip.
This is what Monday looks like.
I used to feel bad for Monday. I used to think that it got a bad wrap and that it was, at best, an excuse for another cup of coffee and, at worst, just a little misunderstood. But after today, I think it deserves every bit of that reputation. Monday, you are shaping up to be a real downer. And, if this Monday night rainstorm interferes with my satellite service and interrupts my regularly scheduled programming (read: The Bachelorette), we are going to have to rethink our relationship. I might just have to cut you out of my life entirely. Sorry Monday, it’s not me, it’s you.