I would love to eat breakfast. I’m starving actually. But this is how my morning started:
Anyone with two small children knows that dead silence at 8:30am on a day when you don’t have to go anywhere means trouble. I whack Jay on the arm and say,
“Hey, where are the boys? Cuz I don’t hear them arguing…and I heard them playing and giggling on the monitor earlier but I guess I fell back to sleep…”
Jay, still half asleep, “They don’t have the wii today anyway, they wouldn’t be arguing.”
He gets himself up and goes downstairs while I handle the baby and head to the bathroom.
As I’m doing a quick face-washing and hair finagling, mentally perusing my wardrobe to save time when I head into my closet, Jay comes back and asks,
“Guess where they were?”
My stomach drops in dread. Visions of trashed basement rec-rooms (gotta put the kid-proof handle back on that doorknob!!), paint spilled all over his hobby desk in his office, and children hanging on the railing on the deck flitted through my mind.
“In your car.”
I had discovered a plug-and-play controller in my car that I had forgotten about that came with one of our portable DVD players hooked up in there. Ian had played it on the way home from my mom’s last night and apparently enjoyed it so much, he decided to go out and try it again. He also blamed the whole thing on his poor younger brother. The first words out of his mouth upon being caught were:
“Well, Gabe wanted to see me play this….”
I had to have a deadbolt installed on the house door leading out to the garage when Ian was 3 because he kept unlocking the handle lock, standing on the step and leaning out to hit the garage door opener and dashing outside. I had multiple heart-attacks and a few strokes that year due to his shenanigans so a friend installed one up high, where Ian couldn’t reach. I can see I’m going to have to start re-using that! Who knew??
Jay retreats back downstairs to feed the boys while I finish getting myself together.
Not five minutes later he’s back, all worked up.
“Ok, so there are ants all in the kitchen, they were on top the table and everything---“
“---and then Tigger puked like 5 or 6 times all over the playroom and I don’t have time to clean anything up because I have a conference call in like 5 minutes but I fed the boys and all.”
And he goes stomping back out. I sigh. My stomach grumbles. The baby smiles from her bouncy seat. I resolutely continue putting make-up on, knowing all the fires will still be there in another 5 minutes or so.
I make the bed and head to the boys’ room which is a mess. I bellow for them. They come scurrying up the steps, saying , “What? What mom?”
I order them to clean up the mess that is the floor of their room, where Legos, books and discarded pj’s are strewn about. I get Ian proper clothes to wear (he’s wearing too-short sweat pants with his pajama top for some reason and has plastic mardi-gras beads on that his teacher gave him) and he gets dressed in a jiffy. Gabe whines and meanders about the room, telling me he can’t get himself dressed before asking me for big-boy underpants for the first time in two months. (Potty training with him has been drawn out and traumatic for all us. We were taking a break….again.) After much resistance and some more whining, he is dressed in his new Rice Krispie t-shirt (yes, you read that right; it’s brown with Snap, Crackle and Pop on it, ok? ) and he heads downstairs. I then dress the baby, who’s pooped her brains out, right out the sides of her diaper and all over her t-shirt onesie and pj’s. I clean that all up. I open shades and windows upstairs before heading to face the mess.
Yep, there’s the 6 piles of cat puke---you can actually see where he started and how he sort of stagger in a zig-zag pattern across the room, puking a little less each time. (I should be a crime-scene-investigator!) I head into the kitchen where there is leftover breakfast left haphazardly about the table where ants were just reported. Good job guys. Way to clean up after yourselves. I put the baby in the bassinet and head towards the sink which is, of course, full. I then note the empty cup under the table with a delicate drop of milk hanging over the edge, ready to plop on my disgusting floor. I turn to the fridge and stop short at the huge smudge of chocolate on the drawer and cabinet door beside the fridge. (Gabe apparently had some Easter chocolate for dessert this morning) Are we TRYING to create an ant-party atmosphere here? Why not leave a trail of breadcrumbs from our doors to our cabinets and then they can follow the trail of chocolate up the cabinet right to the counters tops, where they can follow the signs to the smorgasbord happenin’ in the sink?
I am apparently the only one concerned with hygiene in this house. I am not allowed to die until our children are grown because left with Jay, they would disease-ridden within a year.
Out of curiosity, I decide to check by the front door, the ants’ initial point of entry a few days earlier. Yep. A conga line of ants snakes from the door, around the corner, along the wall, behind our big basket where we put our shoes, causing me to frantically begin yanking things away from the wall. Basket moved. Throw rug at bottom of stairs kicked aside. Hinged baby gate swung forward from the wall. Ants, ants and more ants. I follow them, all hunched over and squinting, almost scuttling like a crab. Into the laundry room, along the wall by the door to the garage they go.
I am filled with dread.
The cat food is in here and I am afraid to look ahead. I flip back the large throw rug against the door. I shriek at the sheer numbers of milling about ants, all still going in the general direction of the cat food. I see them bumping into each other, pausing, and I just know they are relaying info to each other: Yeah, just a little further buddy, there’s a whole slew of food!!
I stagger on.
I peak into the cat bowls and shriek; they are infested with ants.
Oh, how I hate ants, let me count the ways…..
I fling open the powder room window at the end of my journey from the front door through the laundry room and into the bathroom. I stomp back to the kitchen, pull out the organic ant spray I just bought and stomp back into the foyer where I vent my anger by pressing down on the spray button as hard and long as I can. I spray a pretty straight line all the way down the wall. I dump the cat food into the bathroom trash, tie it up and chuck it out the garage door. I move the large water bowl the cats use and there are ants swarming up the trim on the wall. Ew, ew, ew. I spray and spray and spray, hoping I don’t asphyxiate myself or trigger an asthma attack.
I head back into the kitchen, keeping my eyes averted from the cat puke in the living room/playroom as I pass. I check the table for ants before I begin cleaning it off. I yell for the boys again and explain to them how much the ants like crumbs and how they HAVE to clean up after themselves. We have a “cleaning-up-after-we-are-done-eating” drill which they know but have not been doing lately. I ask Ian to show me where the ants were. He points out the silver strip under the table (our kitchen table straddles the linoleum/carpet line of our open kitchen and family room) and sure enough I see ants still wandering about all along there. I snatch up my ant killer and begin spraying again, after telling the boys to get out. I shove chairs aside and pull the desk away from the wall where they seem to be heading. Strangely, the ants stop just by the desk instead of heading towards the outside wall. Where the hell are they coming in?? Argg!!
My house now looks like a cyclone hit it. I decide to clean up the cat puke next. I get that all picked up and when I get back to the kitchen, the boys are standing (because I’ve moved the chair) and pulled the art cart up to the table and are trying to pull stuff out all over the yet-unwiped kitchen table. They are thisclose to standing in ant spray. I’m like,
“Hello!?? Get out of here please! Take that into the playroom and try the table in there while I get this cleaned up! Thank you!!”
They quickly retreat but the baby has started crying in the meantime.
My stomach rumbles again.
Only now, I am so grossed out by all the ants and the licorice smell of the ant spray that I cannot even imagine eating. Ugh.
What a way to start the morning!