Monday is stay at home, get caught up on laundry and housework day which should really be more appropriately called “Stay at home, pick up after kids, try not to yell, get nothing done all day day.”
I empty a bag of 200 plastic balls into Kiki’s tent thinking this will occupy the two rascals for a few minutes. Laughing, screaming, balls flying everywhere for a good four and a half minutes. In that time, I manage to sort through the Christmas gifts hidden in the spare bedroom and pull out the ones not from Santa with the intention of wrapping them.
Of course, as soon as they see wrapping paper, ribbon, tape, and scissors, they come running. The scissors attracts them. What’s so appealing about a shiny, sharp object?
While I disengage Kiki from the tape dispenser, I hear something rip behind me. I turn to see the box containing my niece’s Christmas toy ripped in two with the contents spilled on the floor. “He’s so remarkably quick and destructive,” I think of Bunder.
I attempt to patch up the box with shipping tape while Bunder and Kiki fight over an empty wrapping paper roll. I make a second wrapping paper roll empty by stripping off the contents and go back to wrapping the present. Kiki crawls over and sits in the middle of the paper I’m attempting to fold around the ripped-in-two box. Bunder screeches to have the bag of streamers opened. (Can you imagine? I’m not that stupid! Actually, I think I’ve let him play with streamers once or twice before. Not today).
I raise the white flag, usher (threaten- scream just a little) the kids out of the room, literally kick the wrapping materials back into the room, and close the door.
Sitting down amongst the toys, I sword fight with Bunder using the wrapping paper rolls. When the game starts to escalate toward violent, I pull out the firefighter Lego set. Bunder and Kiki promptly yank books out of Bunder’s drawers. I meander to the kitchen for a sip of tea and a review of the day’s “to do list”. Ah ha! I read, “Vacuum pine needles.”
I open the office door where the Christmas tree dwells, turn on the lights, pull out the vacuum and start cleaning the entryway, when Bunder requests his vacuum. “I need my vacuum! MOMMY! I need my vacuum!”
“How do you ask nicely?” I prompt him.
“Puh-leeeeease,” Bunder replies.
I hand him the hand vacuum from the laundry room and begin my task once again as I see Kiki sitting under the Christmas tree sucking on an ornament.
“Yucky!” I scream thinking of lead paint and “Made in China.”
Kiki holds out the ornament, “Ball! Ball!”
I wash out her mouth as best I can over the kitchen sink, give her a teether from the fridge, and hold her on my hip while I vacuum the remainder of the den and entryway. “How can these pine needles be stuck into the carpet already?” I marvel as I accept a far-less than perfect job – something I’ve become accustom to after having children.
I lock up the Christmas tree once again. Bunder helps me put the vacuums away. I turn on Christmas music in the front room, and the three of us dance. Kiki bounces up and down on her knees while Bunder kicks and spins in the air. I start to sing along but stop when Bunder yells, “I can’t like that song.”
He means, “don’t sing along Mommy!” It’s a wonder I have a degree in music but can’t sing in my own home.
I walk past a glass vase of Christmas ornaments covered with a Christmas jacquard tablecloth on the kitchen counter. Our holiday centerpiece resides hidden on the counter, because every time Kiki sees the vase she screams, “BALL! BALL! EEEEE! EEEEEE!” until I hide the vase or give her an ornament to hold with her sticky, food covered fingers. The latter never works for long, because she’s still in the “must put everything in mouth” stage as previously exhibited.
Just then, I hear Bunder playing the piano and singing in the dining room. I turn off the Christmas music and make my way into the same room. I sort through a few receipts on the dining room table before joining Bunder on the piano bench. “Bunder has a turn and then Mommy has a turn?” I ask him.
I turn to Deck the Halls, start playing, AND singing when Kiki and Bunder scream at my feet.
“Kiki had that first. We don’t take things away from Kiki,” I correct Bunder as I hand Kiki the unopened bottle of wine she pulled from the wine buffet and carried under the dining room table toward the piano. I realize a more responsible parent like Mister would be saying, “We don’t play with wine bottles.” Instead, I’m saying, “We don’t take wine bottles from the baby.”
Oh well. I continue the song only stopping twice to ask Bunder to wait his turn.
I finish the song, slide off the bench, remind Bunder of his turn, and return the forgotten wine bottle to its proper spot in the buffet.
My stomach growls and I glance at the clock. It reads 9:47.