Last night I said, “If anyone spills their milk, I am going to cry.”
I was absolutely serious. Only moments before, in the frenzied aftermath of unloading two children, two bikes, two backpacks, a pink reusable grocery sack full of fresh-from-the-Earth produce, my purse, my work notebook and a handful of smashed crackers from the car, and during the frenzied push to put all of this away plus create some healthy and sustaining meal for the chickens and possibly even myself in the space of ten minutes, I set a full, open beer down on top of a clothing hanger on the counter.
It upturned, dumping beer on the farm share produce, the work papers, Chicken Little, her tricycle and the floor.
(What’s that you ask? Oh, yes, hangers and other miscellany on the kitchen counter are not unusual. Yeah, Chicken Little rides her tricycle in the kitchen quite often. And, actually, I do think drinking beer while multitasking at a high level is a wise choice. Without beer, I’d finally succumb to that nervous breakdown I’ve been threatening for so long.)
So. I wetted a few towels, wiped down the small wailing person now smelling like college bar, mopped at my notebook, threw the drippy farm produce in the sink, grated cheese, made quesadillas, rinsed snap peas, poured two small cups of milk, plunked it all on the table, and declared it dinner.
I sat. Then I said, “If anyone spills their milk, I am going to cry.”
But when not two minutes later, Chicken Little did indeed spill her milk, I did not cry. I did not make a single noise. I rose, dampened more towels, blotted at the now-stripped-naked-as-a-coed wailing small person and the table and the floor, removing all evidence of the unfortunate incident.
(What’s that? Yeah, I guess I should have known Chicken Little would spill her milk. She may be blowing the two-year-old set out of the water with her 14-word sentences and bicycle-riding skills, but she is still two.)
I sat. Two minutes later, the phone rang. I said, “If that’s Daddy, I am going to scream.”
Because Captain Daddy has this funny way of calling right during the thick of high-speed parenting hour. And then saying ever-so-helpful things like, “It just seems like things are so chaotic with you and the girls when I am at work.”
But when it was indeed Captain Daddy on the phone, I did not scream. I informed him in my calm-competent-girl voice that we were quite busy eating a balanced and wholesome dinner, and that we loved him very very much, and how was his day going, and no, everything was going swimmingly here, just fantastic, really, a nonstop party, in fact, and I’d call him—darling, my love, my rock and guiding light—later.
And I threw the dishes in the sink next to the farm share and tossed everyone in the bath and read books and retrieved baba-sippys and Richard Parkers and closed bedroom doors and opened a fresh new beer and sank onto the floor and gave myself a big fat pat on the back for not crying or screaming.
(What’s that you say? Crying and screaming can actually be cathartic and restorative? Hmm, good to know. Sounds fun. I’ll try that next time).