It's 5:30 a.m. on Monday morning. My husbands alarm clock finally stopped going off at fifteen minute intervals , I am about to drift into a deep sleep, when MY alarm clock starts ringing. I drag myself out of bed, stumble down the stairs and pour a cup of coffee. Lukewarm coffee. Because my husband lovingly poured it from the coffee maker into the carafe in order to keep it hot for me. Only, he didn't screw the lid on correctly-so now it is closer to cold than warm. I glance out the window-and to my absolute horror, at least two feet of snow has fallen...and is still falling. For the love of god-it is going to be ANOTHER snow day-the kids WON'T have school. It is now 5:45 a.m. Monday morning and already the week has been too long.
I think about going back to bed...and just as I begin to make my way up the stairs, I hear the herd starting to wake up..Which is remarkable, for had this been a regular school day, I would need to prod, poke, pull and threaten them out of bed. It never fails...if it is the weekend, a holiday, or any other day in which there is no reason to wake up early-they are up at the crack of dawn. I wonder if there is some unwritten rule or code. A law that tells children "Thou shalt not let thy parents sleep late." If I do by chance, try and go back to sleep, they will tip toe (like a pack of elephants) into my room, stand next to my bed, and argue about whether or not I am awake...They think that they are whispering...but a whisper to them is one decibel below shouting. Sammy, will try and make everyone be quiet."Shh, mama is sleeping!!...Oscar, will get anxious saying"Oh no we are waking up mama!!"...Lily will tell Zoe that she is a baby and needs to go back to sleep...Zoe will scream(her face two inches from mine-she is checking whether or not my eyes are open)...I will pop up from the bed saying "Why are you all shouting?!!" to which they will reply.."Mama's awake!"Can we eat...I can't find my socks...Zoe pushed me...Sammy told me I had to go to bed...I did not!"...this will follow me to the bathroom..to my coffee..until I can actually quiet them with breakfast..
I get dressed and quickly walk the dogs. I am hoping to get a workout in. Working out with four kids at home is an adventure. If I ever meet Jillian Michael's, I will ask her how many extra calories this burns. In addition to following the workout routine, I chase my three year old who runs off with my weights, do push ups with a five year old (and various stuffed animals) on my back...have a ten year old who is all elbows and knees( with the coordination of a headless chicken) trying to mimic what I am doing and all the while I am asking my eight year old to "Please stop hopping up and down in front of the television". It takes roughly 2 hours to get through this 45 minute workout..by then it is lunch time..and my kids are hungry...they behave as though they hadn't been fed in months...I also notice that none of them have gotten dressed...with the exception of my three year old who is walking around in just one sock...this is her idea of a fashion statement.
I give them lunch and quickly walk the dogs(again). I make a pot of coffee and avidly watch the weather report-dear god let there be school tomorrow! As I try to drink a cup of hot coffee..my kids all clamor that they are bored and want to go outside and play in the snow. Four pairs of snow pants...boots, coats..hats, gloves and 30 minutes later they are outside..As I look longingly at my coffee pot my oldest comes to tell me that the snow plow guy has pushed all of the snow in front of the garage(I now look longingly at the wine bottle)...On go my own snow pants, hat, gloves and coat..I trudge towards the garage ready to do battle with the 5 feet of snow blocking the door...when my three year old has to go to the bathroom. Into the house we go..off come the hat,coat, mittens, snow pants and into the bathroom she goes...and out she comes...on go the snow pants, hat, coat and mittens...out the door we go when..."mama, I'm cold, I want to go in..." followed by a chorus of "me toos"..I plead- "Doesn't anyone want to help me shovel the snow?""Come on! It will be fun!"(I try to look enthusiastic) They look at me as if I have lost my mind. They do however agree to "help". Help consists of my ten year old shoveling the snow that I have moved- back to where it was, my eight year old rolling in the snow I am shoveling,my five year old lying in the snow complaining that her legs are tired, and my three year old repeatedly needing her mittens put back on. Three hours, two snack breaks, and one snowman later, it is done.
We go back into the house where I settle the herd in front of the t.v. with hot chocolate and even more snacks. I walk and feed the dogs. I clean up the kitchen and put a load of laundry in.
Finally, I pour myself a big cup of coffee and think about sitting down with a book. When my oldest comes in and hugs me saying "I love you mama"..I hug him back saying "I love you too buddy."He pulls away, looks at me and says "whats for dinner? I'm starving."
I have a few options...I can cry...I can drink coffee and cry..or I can turn on music...I put on The Black Eyed Peas "Pump It" crank up the volume and watch as my kids start to dance..I see no other choice but to join them. It has stopped snowing, there will be school tomorrow. I dance all the way to the kitchen.