5:42 a.m. I awake to a short, pudgy man in flannel pajama’s clawing at my shirt. It’s an alarming scenario, but after 19 months of nursing Jack it’s lost its shock value.
5:46 I make a mental note that weaning is in our near future.
6:37 The cream in my coffee is slightly curdled. I weigh going to the store before getting caffeinated against possible gastrointestinal disturbances. It tastes fine.
8:15 You know it’s going to be a long day when it’s not even close to 9 a.m. and your kids have already watched a two-hour video—Honey We Shrunk Ourselves, to be exact.
10:26 My head hurts so bad that I’m pretty sure I’m having an aneurism. I lie on the couch with an alligator hand puppet. Every time the kids get near me, I snap its jaws to keep them at a comfy distance. It works amazingly well.
10:28 My husband realizes what I’m doing. He takes the kids down to his workshop and manages to look like a hero to everyone.
10:29 Peace at last. I pop an Aleve (for the first time ever) and get really spacey. I find a comfy spot on the floor and marvel at the interesting grain of the carpet. It’s been a while, but I’m pretty sure I’m high.
11:45 I stumble down to the shop to check on the kids. My hypochondriac daughter Hannah is watching Danger Rangers on PBS Kids and Jack is wielding a real hammer. Peachy.
1:01 p.m. We’re at Maui Marketplace picking up my five-year old stepdaughter for her weekly visitation. She gets into our car wearing a miniskirt and platform slippers. The drugs haven’t worn off yet and I alternate between giggling and crying all the way to Wal-Mart.
1:56 We’re all still in Wal-Mart. My left eye won’t stop twitching. Hannah takes a digger on her Heelys and slams her shoulder into a display of liquid Tide.
2:07 I finally realize I’ve missed the “back to school” sale. Apparently, every other school besides my daughter’s has been back in session for a week. Dammit.
3:20 We’re at Giggle Hill in Haiku. There’s a baby shower at one of the pavilions that involves a lot of Bud Light and Kool filters. I secretly wish I was invited.
3:48 Hannah pees for the 13th time today.
4:05 My husband and I start having a UFC brawl next to the playground. The kids are laughing, but we’re going for blood. He slips out of my rear-naked-choke and gets me into a trachea crushing headlock. I tap, but only because I didn’t want to pass out in front of strangers. I loathe tapping.
4:07 Wondering if we’re the only married couple on the island that practices consensual domestic violence. We decide that we might want to cut back on the MMA videos or maybe that the hubby should find a bigger sparring partner.
4:45 Driving home from the park, I look back at my kids and watch them take turns swigging off a bottle of apple juice like it’s a 40 of Mickey’s. My heart swells with pride.
6:01 The stepdaughter and her shoes go home.
6:32 I head to the office to get some work done—sans children. I eye the couch longingly. Maybe just a little nap?
7:52 Adina Howard’s “Freak Like Me” comes on the radio just as I’m approaching my driveway. I pass it and take a detour so I can hear the whole thing. I used to rock this song 12 years ago.
8:17 I’m finally in the shower, minding my own business when Hannah walks in, sits on the toilet and wants to chat. She hasn’t stopped talking in approximately four and a half years.
8:26 Still chatting.
8:28 From the shower, I finally get the point across that if she doesn’t get into bed immediately my head is going to start spinning around in circles and I may start vomiting green slime. “Okay,” she says. “Well, have good dreams, Mommy.”
8:29 For the first time in her life, Hannah remembers to turn off the light behind her.
8:31 Showering in the dark’s not so bad, but now I’m thinking about The Exorcist.
Starr Begley can’t decide if cable is good or evil. MTW