But the house is so quiet when everyone else is sleeping. There's no crying or whining. No fighting over firetrucks or sofa spots or chocolate milk. I can read or relax or watch television without any interruptions. There's no Transformers to transform or diapers to change. No noses to wipe and no legos to fish from a mischievous toddler's mouth.
So I attempt to fight off sleep... conk out on the sofa well before midnight... and collapse into bed in the wee hours of the morning. I am, therefore, cursing myself roughly four hours later when the kids are ready to rise and shine.
I snapped this photo the other night, in one of my drowsy stupors. I like how it captures some of the things going on in my present day life.
First, in the foreground, we have Bill's watch and keys along with the mail he was reading that evening. We actually have a place for all of these things, but why bother when it's just so easy to toss them on the counter. Ahem.
Next we have the big, red, frat party plastic cup. After years of listening to me nag about our carbon footprint, my husband still insists on buying and using these hideous things. Although they are technically disposable, he never actually throws them out.
In a sweet attempt at romance, there's the glass of wine that Bill had poured for me. Sadly, you can't drink wine when you're sound asleep. You also can't fulfill all your 'wifely duties' and you will be reminded of this repeatedly the next day.
There is a container of cookies, leftover from an earlier playdate. I will need to either hide these, toss these or bring these to another playdate in order to avoid eating them.
Nearby are the paper towel roll and baby wipes. Nothing soothes a cranky toddler like a paper towel roll. It's like magic. And with two messy kids, we have baby wipes in EVERY room of the house.
On to the sink full of dishes. When your kids are up by 6 am, there's plenty of time to do the dishes. Enough said.
Then we have the dreaded sippy cups. They have this 'no-spill' technology which translates as 'pain-in-the-ass-to-clean'. Generally, I put off cleaning them so often that I am frequently rinsing out rancid milk and regretting my careless ways.
In the background is my water bottle, which I carry around all day, telling myself, "You're not hungry, you're thirsty. You're not hungry, you're thirsty. You're not hungry, you're thirsty." Then, at some point, I am inevitably shoveling M&M's in my pie hole.
Note the fresh pineapple in the background. I love fresh pineapple. It's sweet and it's juicy and it's a real time-suck to cut up. I buy it, I stare at it, I promise that I'm going to make the time to prepare it and then I wish that I had just bought apples instead.
There's my Keurig and a full container of Cheerios which are must haves with a sink full of dishes and a 20-month old who is up at the crack of dawn.
Lastly, there's a garbage bag in the bottom corner of the photo. Due to kitchen-size constraints, we have a tiny garbage can under the sink that is forever overflowing. It seems as if we're always
taking out the garbage leaving it on the floor to be dealt with tomorrow.
Someday, when my house is quiet and my kitchen is clean, I think that I'll look back on this photo and smile. Life is exhausting and messy, but I wouldn't have it any other way.