Dirty dishes overflow the sink and clean laundry is piled up in a basket in the kitchen, waiting to be folded. The dog is whining at the door, hoping to go for a romp in the melting snow. And there are two sticky kids at the table, both wanting Mommy’s help.
Making Valentine’s was supposed to be a fun activity…but it is quickly turning into something a little uglier. I give the youngest a glue stick to rub on his card so we can stick a heart onto it. “Mommy, I need some glue, please.” I hand her a glue stick and hear grunting. I turn my attention back to my little Monkey, who at 21 months thinks the glue stick might be a good thing to chew on. When I turn back to my three year old I see that she has screwed the glue stick up way too far and now has half of it clumped in pieces on the card she is hastily putting paper hearts on. “Stop, stop, stop! What are you doing??? Why did you screw the glue up that far? Look at the mess… (big sigh)” I take the glue stick back and try to wipe the excess glue up with a scrap of paper, hoping to salvage it for use on a few more cards.
Then I turn back to Monkey. “No, no, glue isn’t for eating…What’s that in your mouth?” I brave his biting to retrieve the orange glue stick cap from his teeth.
“Mommy, can I have stickers?” asks my three year old.
“Just a minute…” To the youngest I say, “That’s it, no more glue for you little guy.” As I start to unbuckle him from the high chair he grunts pointing to the stickers. When I don’t comply by giving him the whole sheet he throws himself at my feet.
I hand his sister a sheet of stickers, taking one off to give him. “Patience, remember there’s just one mommy…”
“Okay, you can make one more card, Peanut; use the glue on this paper. Don’t get any more from the glue stick.”
“Mommy, can you make more hearts?”
“Yes, just a minute,” I say as I turn and find Monkey has gotten a hold of the cut out magazine pictures that were in a bag and are now flung across the entire kitchen floor. The dog comes over to investigate, bringing her ball, just in case I might want to play fetch, dropping it onto the pictures and sniffing them to see if they might taste good.
I start to pick them up when I hear the oldest crying, “I need more hearts!”
“Okay, I’ll be right there.” A few hearts later I notice my clean laundry is now mixed with the pictures. A quick glance shows me that Monkey is now emptying the Tupperware drawer.
“Mommy!” cries Peanut at the table.
“Just a minute, Hon, Mommy has to get your brother before the kitchen is destroyed.”
I pick him up and find more glue stick crumbled on the table, my daughter looking like she just made a Michelangelo worthy sculpture smiling at me. “Okay, looks like we’re done with Valentine’s for now…”
Is it nap time yet?