keeping them at bay

One of the habits I am not so good at is getting up in the morning. I get up when the kids do, or rather when my husband is almost out the door to work. For those of you who don’t have wee tykes yet, I can offer a bit of advice. It really is best to have your act together before they awake – at least get a shower in, get dressed, and have that first slurp of coffee to steel yourself. Kind of get a head start on the tousle-haired, ravenously-hungry little things. For my friends whose children wake early (we’re talking 5:30 AM here) this habit is real hard to adopt. But even for those of us whose children “sleep in” (7:00 AM in our case) it hurts to think of giving up an extra half-hour of shuteye, especially if you are either A. hungover; B. trying to escape the reality of family life; or C. both.

This morning was one where I didn’t even get my shower in before Ralph left. And I am someone who takes a shower every day – no skipping out. So after I got them fed and (reasonably) occupied I did what I do about half the days of the week – put up a baby gate to block the kitchen and downstairs, made sure all other doors were latched, and ducked into the bathroom and closed the door (else Nels, like a dog, would assuredly play in / drink out of the toilet) leaving my children out and about in the house, free to roam.

The toddler sabotaged my 6.5 minutes of alone-time (never truly peaceful as it is often accompanied by sounds of screaming from the other room) by having to pee. A legitimate request. After her little pee visit I got to listen it on (which she sat and babbled on the toilet nonsensically culminating in the, “Mommy? I really like you!” announcement that she has made a lot lately – perhaps in hopes I will continue to feed and house her) she popped off the toilet, wiped, pulled up her panties, put her overalls back on, and washed her hands (holy shit! parents of recently potty-trained toddlers will know how great that succession is). I shut off the water, wrapped the towel around me, and herded her out to the hall where her brother was waiting, his little claws scrabbling at the door. As gently as I could I slapped their hands away and closed the door on them so I could at least dry my hair by myself (estimated time I had been out of their sight, four minutes) and I swear to God as they vanished from my sight the sounds they were making, the glassy-eyed eager stares, and the clawing hands looked exactly like the zombies trying to storm the boarded-up house in Night Of The Living Dead.

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