I was late coming home from work. I had been early getting there.
My new contact lenses had suction cupped onto my eyeballs.
The house that I had left tidy that morning had been reduced to a reenactment of the apocalypse – the Toys r Us version.
One kid had eaten and the other had not. The one that had not was demanding chocolate, pear, candy, macaroni and cheese. Everything and anything that we did not have or would not give to him. To prove his point he flung a piece of steak at me.
When reprimanded he suddenly turned into a 15 year-old-girl, started stamping his foot, throwing his clothes around and barricaded himself in the bedroom.
Any excuse for an apology that he muttered out between tantrums was immediately followed by demands for chocolate. He took toys hostage.
He was a walking time bomb and his little brother didn’t have enough sense to leave him alone and so kept getting shoved, pinched or pushed out the way.
My very own Max left a trail of destruction in his miserable wake and eventually had to be confined to his bedroom.
The diaper box and several drawers of clothes paid the price of his wrath
During one of my attempts to soothe the Wild Thing that had taken over my usually easy going preschooler, his freshly bathed brother clambered back into the empty tub and proceeded to lather his entire body with ponds extra rich face cream.
He could have been a walking billboard for the old adage, “Soft as a baby’s bottom.” The discovery was not a happy one on my part.
When I attempted to turn on the shower to rinse him off he got hysterical and grabbed hold of me with both of his goop-besmeared hands. Then he buried his sticky cheeks in my shirt front.
While I was trying to rinse him off the other member of this two ring circus appeared in the doorway of the bathroom demanding watermelon. Surprised by the utter irrationality of the request since we don’t have any watermelon at the moment I looked up and saw him opening a new package of cut, uncooked squash.
I should have let him eat it.
But I didn’t have the energy to clean up all the partially chewed squash that would surely have been spit out all over the world once he realized it was not, in fact, watermelon.
I stepped on toy taxi cabs and rescue heroes en route to an intervention. Only to find as I tried to return the squash to its rightful place that a strong and vinegary aroma was hanging in the air.
The fridge door was open. And the kitchen floor was sporting a large puddle of oily goo.
It was the two-year-old, in the kitchen, with the salad dressing.
I found banana peels in the tampax cupboard and last week’s dirty crock pot dishes in the oven. My cell phone was “washed” yesterday and there’s not a single clean towel in the house. We are out of “Cars” toothpaste since the last of it was used to “wash my doggie, mama” and there are ants climbing out of my computer.
As I type this the two culprits are still not asleep and have both snuck out of their beds and are playing “quietly, Micah, quietly, shhh mama says we gotta sleep” under the assumption that I must be deaf not to hear them.
I am not trying to stop them. I am not trying to clean up. I have made myself a cup of tea and a snack. And I’m sitting here on the sofa surveying the scene. Thinking about how my mama said there’d be days like this.