Last night I went to bed after reading the “Childfree Life,” Time Magazine’s recent article about the choice not to have children. I’m all for free choice within the natural order of things, but I couldn’t help but fall asleep saddened by the possibility of so many people refusing to have children because, as many say in the article, “they aren’t sure if they want to give it all,” and beyond the social “pressures” and “conventions” that equate motherhood with womanhood, maybe the case for kids isn’t so great after all? Facebook has already developed a baby picture blocking app to prevent viewing people like me from posting pictures of their babies drenched in spaghetti sauce, peeing in the grass, or playing dress up in hats. And if there were ever a day where I would dream about basking in the sunlight, kid-less, but definitely without the matching bathing suits worn by these models, it probably would be today.
The fiasco of the morning routine began before the 6 made it to the big hand of the clock with nursing and a fully dressed James saying, “um, Josie is doing something with these things that look like rice krispies and all of my clothes.”
As responsible adults we reluctantly dragged ourselves out of bed to be greeted by static and Styrofoam in each an every corner of the children’s room, and most certainly in crazy baby’s hair. Master mess maker Josephine, maybe plotting and ploying since 3am?, found an unopened light fixture to be saved for a time I decide to decorate, and dissected the entire contents of the wrapping material along with James’ closet, quietly and undetected by all for unknown, but clearly long period of time. Both of us called “not it,” and having already nursed, my excuse to be preoccupied with those younger and unable to latch to anyone else was of no avail. And the first many minutes of the morning were spent as a family playing “who has the most static electricity? Looks like it’s Daddy.”
Minutes later, as I scrambled eggs and spoon fed yogurt, coffee yet to touch my lips, we heard water running only to catch her on top of the sink “making a waterfall” on the mirror.
Moments after that, Rita, decided to play in the fireplace in the exact moment that Josie wanted to play with knives, and James couldn’t get his dinosaur to roar. I made up for the roaring just fine as I picked up fire hazard baby only to find a leaking diaper of the brown color. Into the laundry room I sought refuge and wipes only to find approximately two inches of water and a spewing, soapy, washing machine making sounds also similar to a dinosaur.
Step one of poorly handling it: I closed the door and ran upstairs screaming.
Step two: I changed the dripping feces diaper and put Rita in her crib, banking on the situation being better handled without a baby in arms.
Step three: I called three people and asked for help in between breaths of hysterical laughing and each said “turn the washer off and get some towels.” My sister, with sympathy said, “I’d come over to help but 5/6 boys just peed in my garage because they noticed the drain.”
It may have been easy advice, but the thought of unfolding all those towels freshly put away and washed was a difficult one, and turning the washer off meant going back in that room with the flood.
I offered Tweedle Josie and Tweedle James some bubbles and said please be good, and they were and they even patted me on the back and said, “im sorry that wondry thingy is breaking and puking.”
Towels may have been a great thought but my linen closet was approximately 400 too short. The smell was of barf and poop mixed together. The feeling of the water on my feet was of soggy grossness. The 7 calls to my husband went mostly unanswered because he told me not to wash the bedspread that James spilled green smoothie all over in our dying washing machine purchased in 1985, maybe 87, and flood insurance does not cover “idiocy.” (he totally was on his way home from work early to help me clean all of it and told me to go to Marshalls to replace the ruined area rugs and forget about it, so he’s still the best. Since there weren’t area rugs, I bought a sweet pair of open toed black booties with a gold buckle, which was clearly the most reasonable trade off.)
3 hours later I think I cleaned it, and water damage is minimal, and my washer might get me through a few more loads of laundry. Only one time did I find the three kids doing something horrible during the cleaning time and I’m pretty sure she won’t ever brush her teeth with shaving cream ever again.
So while all the kid-less people enjoy their sunbathing and handholding at the beach, I hope those sunglasses block the sand being thrown because even though they didn’t bring chaos, I did, and I’m really happy about it through floods, and fireplace cinders, Styrofoam and shaving cream, and I’d say poop, but… that part is the worst.