Made MJ breakfast. She didn’t touch it. Lectured her about waste. Wondered if I was breaking some progressive-parenting rule by doing this. Didn’t wonder if I had become a total cliche. Knew it.
Made Mike’s lunch.
Unloaded dishwasher from two days ago.
Put in load of laundry. Fought off dejection when I saw the pile of dirty clothes still left. Wondered if it would be a five or a six load day. Wagered on six.
Paid Amex bill online. Tried to figure out how the hell it got so high. Heard MJ say “I’m cleaning the living room!” several times. Said “that’s nice, honey.” Stared at Amex bill harder.
Finished paying the bill. Decided that this week I will sell my old engagement ring. No more delays. If we want to eat.
Went into the living room. MJ was using a pink rubber duck to squirt water on the mid-century wooden window sill. It was essentially flooded.
Sopped up mess. Chastised MJ.
Woke Mike — not that he needed it after the duck-sill-donnybrook.
Made eggs and bacon for all. MJ asked if she could feed hers to the dog. Responded “Mina’s not good enough for bacon.” I am a monster.
Washed all breakfast dishes.
With MJ, watered front and back gardens. Refilled her can repeatedly. She mostly “watered the house.” Prayed she wasn’t damaging the foundation.
Switched wash. Hung clothes on line.
Said goodbye to Mike. Reminded him to take his lunch. Asked him — “oh! before you leave!” — to put a borrowed card table in the back of my car, as I needed to return it to a friend.
Cleaned both bathrooms.
Stripped bed, threw sheets on floor.
Played “sleeping” with MJ on the stripped bed.
Picked up sheets, brought them to wash. Switched load, took dry stuff off line, hung wet clothes.
Got MJ dressed. Dressed myself. Put on a new white tee shirt. It is sheer. Could not figure out what to wear under it. Stormed around the house grumbling “I had a white tank top.” How many times can you say that with no one listening? You’d be amazed.
Gave up on finding tank top. Put on pink strapless bra under white shirt.
Hung sheets on line. Put in another load of wash.
Got in car to go to music class. Discovered crackers and crumbs everywhere — in the driver’s seat, on the floors, in the windshield, the door wells. Could not understand how this had happened. There had been a cracker box, but in the trunk. Speculated to MJ that “an animal must have gotten in.” Realized, as I said it, which “animal” it was.
Called Mike. He said “oh yeah, I forgot to tell you. The cracker box, like, exploded.” This happened, apparently, when he put the table in the trunk.
Chastised him. Demanded to know how a cracker box can detonate in IED fashion. Received inadequate explanation. But also apology.
Went to music class. Sang, swayed, and saw my outfit in a full-length mirror. Yikes! Felt like a hussy. Tried to keep MJ on my lap as much as possible to block view of pink-bra-through-shirt. Prayed for it to end.
Drove home in pool of cracker crumbs. Contemplated appropriateness of offering some to MJ as a snack. Decided against.
Got home. Took sheets off line.
Put them on bed.
Put MJ down for nap.
Read seven pages of Beatrix Potter book. She could afford help. She also didn’t have kids.
Fell into a coma.
Woke up when MJ did. Felt I could win Guinness Record for most enervated.
Gave MJ frozen mango for snack.
Switched laundry. Put in new load.
Walked Mina. Felt certain you could fry an egg on her rump. Considered trying.
Drove to car wash. Pulled daughter screaming from the car, crooning “we’re not driving through. We’re not driving through.” Regretted, again, driving through a carwash with her when she was ten months old. Scarred her for life.
Went to Target while car got washed. Tried to return a lipstick, claiming it tasted rancid. It did. But I also don’t like the color. They told me it was fine. That it smelled like “baby.” Assholes. And whose baby?
Crossed the street back to carwash. Car was clean, but the back seat was soaking wet. This made sense, as the back window was open. The guy blamed me. “Your window lock was on.” Seriously?
Put MJ — on a Target bag — in her clammy carseat. Told her this was “fun!”
Went to Fresh and Easy for a little shop. Eighty dollars.
Put away groceries.
Made dinner for MJ. Tried to appear neutral when she used the butter on her broccoli as “lip gloss.”
Put her in bath. Read second half of New Yorker article about Roberts’ Court and Citizens United. Felt impotent rage.
Put MJ’s pajamas on. Read her “The Tale of Jemima Puddle-duck.” Looked at the illustrations knowingly.
Came into kitchen. A shambles. Slumped.
Heard MJ call. She had pooped. A half-poop, really. Changed it. Said good night again.
Cleaned grains of quinoa off of floor.
Heard MJ call. She had pooped again. The other half. Changed it. Muttered something about the price of diapers as I left her room.
Picked up sixty-five toys, a dozen books, eight stuffed animals, and six cloth napkins. Decided I will be glad when MJ gets past using the latter as playthings. Realized I will also not be glad. Grew nostalgic.
Made a huge plate of pasta.
Carbo loaded. Watched “Justified.”
Got in bed with Beatrix. And the clean sheets. Realized it had only been five loads.