Not the charming stories they tell you or the quippy remarks they make about small incidents in their lives.
No, I mean their REAL lives.
Well, if you have ever wondered, let me give you a glimpse at the less than glimmering moments of my last two real days.
REAL LIFE FRIDAY:
Wake up and prepare to host a second toddler all day. 8-5.
Don't bother with a shower or even real clothes. Andy's sweats and the t-shirt I wore to bed are good enough.
Welcome baby #2 and reassure mom that I adore her child and am delighted to have him again.
Hear Andy open the door. Also hear rustling of plastic bag... did he bring me something? Yes he did! An iced chai and a cinnamon roll! Yay! I love this man!
Uneventful day. Well, in terms of grown up events. Baby #2 has the runs, there is the usual hitting, crying, saying "NO!" a million times. The major accomplishment of the day was Jack eating a real lunch (not just graham crackers or fishy crackers and a banana) including ALL of his vegetables. I was thrilled about that (there is no sarcasm in that statement, it I really was so excited that I squealed).
Both babies take a mid-afternoon nap and I decide to join them.
Wake up at 4:50, ten minutes before mum is supposed to arrive. Check my phone. Three new texts!
Mum says traffic is horrible and she missed the first bus. She will be at least 45 minutes late.
Bummer. That means I won't be able to go cheer Andy on at softball tonight.
Andy is home and both babes wake. Andy rummages around the fridge and asks if the steak in there is for dinner tonight.
I answer in the affirmative. A few moments later I realize that he is asking me if I will make dinner NOW instead of after his games. Ug. I hate telling him no and if he is hungry I feel like I'm not doing my job well, but I have two babies who just woke up and need attention and only 30 minutes before he has to leave.
I hand Andy a baby and scurry into the kitchen to see what I can make happen in 28 minutes and counting.
Hair flying everywhere. Getting sweaty. How does Rachel Ray do it?
Both babies in the kitchen and unhappy. What is Andy doing? He was supposed to entertain the kids while I cook.
Andy emerges from the bedroom in his softball uniform. I ask him to change baby #2's diaper. Don't hear a response and prepare to do it myself. I won't send my charge home with soiled pants!
Andy intercepts the diaper and sets to work. I hear him open it up and groan. Expecting a full one I peek around the corner. I see nothing. Andy calls me closer... "Honey! Look at this! It is gross!" I've seen a million gross diapers. I'm sure it is nothing. I walk over. And laugh. It is one little dot... really no bigger than my pinky nail... and he asks me to wipe it! Seriously?
I rush back into the kitchen and try and pull the meal together. I know Andy won't have time to eat it, but I offer to send it in a tupperware so he can eat it on the road (his friend was driving). As I'm pulling things off burners and mashing the potatoes and bouncing Jack on one hip Andy comes in to say he has to go. He's going to leave without his food?!
Andy leaves four minutes later with food in hand. Most of it. He refused the potatoes saying he didn't want to eat them in the car. I wish I had known that before I started making them. Both of us are still steaming.
Baby #2 gets picked up.
Send Andy text apology and explain why I got so worked up. Receive apology back. All is right with the world.
Put Jack to bed.
Collapse on the couch.
Andy comes home.
Take a shower.
Go to bed.
REAL LIFE SATURDAY:
Usual wake up routine.
Highlight of the morning is story time with Jack. We curl up on the couch. He brings me a book, I read it, and when we finish he crawls off my lap, finds the next book of interest, brings it to me and crawls back in my lap. Ah!
Receive text message from Andy asking if it is okay if he watches the fights at a friends house.
Start to cry.
I hate telling Andy no! He works so hard, I want him to have a chance to play. But I work so hard too. When do I get to play?
Consider sending back a text message that explains that I don't feel like I can handle another (three for the week) night of putting Jack to bed by myself and spending the evening in isolation. Instead stick with the simplest answer, "I would rather you didn't"
Text tumbleweeds roll.
Know that I have not sent the answer he was hoping for. The night is going to be lame at home anyway if he wishes he were at the fights. Try to come up with a plan that will give me some relief and still let him go.
Send a second text message offering to send him off the the fights with well wishes in exchange for and extra $X0 (dollar amounts have asked to remain unidentified) and a few hours of solo shopping time BEFORE the fights.
Andy replies: "DEAL!"
Shoot! I should have asked for more money!
Exchange several phone calls with Lizzie, trying to coordinate an outing for the morning.
Hurriedly throw on some make up and tame my hair, not with a shower, but with bobby pins. Dress Jack and set off with Lizzie and Jack for a few late-summer yard sales.
Acquire four brightly colored and uniquely shaped vases for a quarter each.
Return home from sales and hang out with Lizzie while Dane and Jack play and Jason grocery shops.
Take Jack upstairs and put him down for a nap.
Crawl into bed and pick up the Chronicles of Narnia. I wonder how many times I have read these stories.
Hear Andy come home. Pop out of bed, brush my teeth, grab my cash and all but run out the door.
Grocery shopping is last on my list before going back home, so I choose two stores that always have something and are near my desired grocery location.
Find a pair of earrings I love... but nothing else. Not even anything worth trying on. The line is ridiculous and not worth standing in for a pair of earrings.
Try second store. Nothing. How disappointing.
Consider crying but don't. Not worth it.
Less than an hour and I've exhausted my options for shopping (in this location). But I'm right next door to the grocery store so I give up my dream of a carefree afternoon and get back to mommy work.
Wander the aisles. Forget things. Wander back down the aisles.
Grab the juice we like and watch helplessly as two extra jugs come with the one I grabbed. One is safe and the other is spilling all over the floor and is splashed all over my leg.
Look around for an employee to notify, but don't see anyone. So I walk away. Well, it probably looked like I walked away, but I was really going to look for someone to alert at the end of this aisle.
Is everyone staring at me?
Am I leaving sticky, dirty footprints that will lead them straight to me, the juice spilling culprit?
I turn around and look back at the scene. An employee has arrived. I imagine him coming up to the mess and accosting the nearest shopper, "Did you see what happened?!" All the fingers point to me as I try to inconspicuously move on. But I feel his eyes staring. He knows it was me.
Also knock a box of pancake mix off the shelf and have a discussion about nectarines with a stranger.
Spot the juice-incident employee at the end of this aisle and try to avoid eye contact.
Pause at the magazine rack. Thumb through the hair cut magazines and see the next perfect style. But refuse to pay $10 for a magazine.
Pay for groceries and load them in the car.
Discover an empty house. Andy and Jack must be down with Dane and Jason.
Lug groceries up stairs.
Put away refrigerated items and leave the rest until tomorrow.
Go down to visit everyone.
Send Andy out for dinner.
Come back upstairs when dinner arrives.
Realize I didn't find ALL of the refrigerated items when I first brought the groceries in. Stick them in the fridge and hope they don't go bad or make us sick.
Bid farewell to Andy with an unintentionally snappy remark and apologize again. I've been having to do that a lot lately.
Jack helps me unload the dishwasher. Which is mommy speak for making the job take twice as long and creating a second mess that is twice as big.
Text a few friends in hopes that they randomly have a free evening. Receive all "no" answers, but well wishes. Feel very lame.
Play with Jack.
Bath time for baby.
Stories, brush teeth, sing, pray. Put him in his crib.
Survey all the chores that need to be done and decide they can all wait. Possibly forever.
The two pieces of chocolate in the freezer and HGTV are calling my name.