Monday, March 5, 2012

Conquering the To-Do List

Days like today make me wonder why I bother making lists of things to do each day. I have a blackboard in my kitchen where I write the things I want to remember to do. It gives me satisfaction to see things crossed off, although rarely do I get the pleasure of crossing everything off.

This morning I woke up and sat up in bed to read from the general conference Ensign - it's what I do when I need a break from the scriptures. (I'll probably be struck down for saying that, but it's true.) I heard Dean playing in his crib and suddenly remembered that I'd noticed he'd taken his pants off last night and was sleeping in just a shirt and a diaper. I instantly knew why he was so quiet and not crying to get out - he'd found something to entertain him. I ran in there to find him laying down, singing a song with poop covered hands and a leaking brown diaper. I cleaned up that mess and put him in the tub just in time to find Leighton awake with a pee-soaked bed. He forgot to put a Pull-up on last night before bed and I, obviously, forgot to make sure he remembered.

I pulled the sheets off the bed - good thing it's Monday and it's the day I wash the shets anyway - and started a load. Andrew had left steel-cut oats cooking in the crock pot, thank heavens, so I didn't have to cook breakfast. I dished up our daily mush, complete with agave, almond milk, and a dash of cinnamon. Dean, however, was not pleased with his serving. He screamed and flung it angrily all over his newly-bathed self and the kitchen table. Mush is possibly my least favorite thing to clean up, as it gets all slimy and, unlike rice and couscous, doesn't get any better with letting it dry out. I took away his bowl and began the 30-minute battle: Dean's attack on breakfast, on the kitchen table, against poor one-man-army me, defending all our bowls amidst screams and tears.

Finally everyone was fed and dressed, preschool was finished for the day, and my list was ready to go on the chalkboard. We are doing our annual spring cleaning this month, which includes a complete overhaul of every room in the house. Last week was living room and toy is the dreaded kitchen. I wrote it on the list with fear and trembling, but I was still determined to get it done. (With Andrew's help, of course.)

The first step, after breakfast dishes, was to start the oven on self-cleaner, which always gives me a horrendous headache but is a necessary evil. I left the kids to watch a movie while I ran upstairs to shower, thinking naively the house was secure for a few minutes of peace.

I came downstairs 20 minutes later to Dean jabbering on about something and "Uh oh" while pointing to the kitchen. Eva said, while still sitting serenely on the couch, "Mom, Dean broke a jar. You better go look." The jar of quinoa was shattered on the floor and the cursed little brown beads were scattered in every corner of the kitchen. I somehow managed to clean it all up, only having to physically remove Dean back to the living room three times. As I turned off the vacuum hose, Dean came up jabbering again and holding out his little chubby hand covered in blood. Apparently he had tried to clean the broken glass up himself. I washed him off and glanced at my to-do list with a sigh. 10am and no closer to checking anything off.

So I wrote "shower" at the bottom of the list and checked it off with a smile. Maybe I should also check off "clean up poop," "clean up pee," and "clean up broken glass and quinoa."


Ali said...

Oh how you have been missed!

Please don't go anywhere again.

Lacking Productivity said...

I've missed you.

Cam said...

I always do that! Makes me feel so much better about my days. Maybe it's cheating, but I don't care.

Also, keep blogging.

Ryan, Becca, Brinley Boo AND Casen too! said...

Hahaha, I know I shouldn't laugh... but it's the laugh of, I know just what you're going through and it's crazy to think we all have those days! Although this morning sounded especially hard :) I love you have a to-do list, I do the same thing... and you better believe that shower, get kids dressed, make bed, etc are all on there! Hey I have to have something to cross off! :) Loved the post, so glad you've rejoined the blogging world!

Heather said...

OH I feel your pain! Days like that you just want to sit down and cry. Don't you hate it when you realize you have to be grown up and actually be the one to clean it up. I am proud of you for still looking at your list and seeing the possibilities. That takes amazing strength. I always add things to my To Do list and then cross them off. I have to feel like I have done something!!! Your a great mom- its fun to see you blogging again.

Elise said...

:). Kids.

I want a chalkboard in my kitchen--great idea!

Kimberly said...

So glad you're blogging again. Wish I could've been a fly on the wall that morning. :) I'm telling myself if you can handle 3, I can handle 2.

Deidra said...

I love reading your stories. I'm so glad you've been blogging again!