Big Sarah and I painted my powder room yesterday. I think the colour should be renamed "Holy Crap Blue!". That names seems to accurately reflect the sentiments of all those who enter the room. I've grown used to the colour. In fact, I now think it's quite lovely, especially when paired with my new towels and liquid soap dispenser (plastic, of course, as I figured that my kids would smash a ceramic one within minutes).
As it turns out, my plastic soap dispenser lasted about 12 hours. The 12 hours that the children were sleeping, to be exact. This morning, Katie was using the washroom. Everything was fine until she beckoned me to come. Sarah figured she too would respond to Katie's call, and I followed Sarah into the washroom to discover Bethie standing in a pool of liquid soap. She didn't stay stationary for very long as she was desperate to find a "dry" bit of floor that had not been contaminated. The "pool" of soap was rapidly turning into an ocean as it spread across the floor. Sarah, having had arrived first on the scene, had slipped (and I suspect, rolled) in the soap. Katie was sitting on the toilet directing the traffic.
"Nobody move!" was my first reaction. Only Katie, who was safely installed above the fray, obeyed. The soapy kids bolted towards me. I picked up the baby, did a quick clean, and tossed her out of the bathroom. I sat Bethie down on the stool and told her to keep her feet up. It wasn't until I was trying to slow down the rushing tide of the liquid soap, wipe soap off of Bethie's legs and feet, and keep the baby out of the bathroom that I transformed into my mother. The breaking point was when Katie bounced up from the toilet and announced triumphantly "I'm all done my poop". My lips were moving, but Mum's words were flying out of my mouth like a machine gun peppering the landscape in search of approaching enemy targets. I yelled "Sit down, Katie! The last thing I need is one more child tracking soap all over the floor! Bethie, what is wrong with you? What possessed you to come into my nice bathroom and dump soap all over the floor? Look at that soap dispenser! I haven't had it for 12 hours yet! Your father was right! We can't have nice things until you move out! Sarah! Stay there! Stop wiggling, Bethie, or you can stand outside and I will spray your legs with the hose! That will make you wiggle! Katie, I said wait...a...minute!".
One by one, I cleaned the children and sent them out of the bathroom. It was then that I took (I swear to God) 30 seconds in a feeble attempt to contain the soap with paper towel. Coincidentally, that was the same amount of time it took the twins to lure Sarah into the front hall closet and to lock her in it (it is still unclear if they decided to spare her baby fingers from being caught in the doors or not). I rush to the aid of my screaming baby all the while yelling at the twins. My tirade ended with a very clear order to put on their shoes and to put their stuffed animals in the bag for daycare.
I hurtled up the stairs to retrieve the twins' glasses. I didn't time how long that took. I would guess about 15 seconds. Maybe 20, considering all the toys and kiddie crap that I had to dodge getting there and back. Regardless, I think it took Sarah less than 5 seconds to find the Penaten, remove the lid, and smear it on her face. Penaten! Penaten's selling feature is that you can't get it off. It's resistant to liquid! Using up the last bit of patience I had, I cleaned the baby.
By now both twins had shoes on, but on the wrong feet. I didn't correct them. I simply ensure that there was one left shoe and one right shoe for each girl. That's good enough. I did a quick check and realised that Bethie still hadn't put her bears in the bag. I told her to do so or she wouldn't have bears at all.
My child looked at me and said "It's not fair that you make me do all the work!".
That was the tipping point. It was the exact moment in time that things shifted. I no longer was the exasperated but loving mother. I was crazed. I was possessed by self-righteous indignation. I may lose the battle, but I wasn't going down without a fight!
"NOT FAIR?! IT'S NOT FAIR THAT YOU HAVE TO PUT YOUR BEAR IN THE BAG FOR YOUR FUTURE USE? LOOK AROUND! (Bethie looks up at the ceiling) DO YOU WANT TO KNOW WHAT'S "NOT FAIR"? IT'S NOT FAIR THAT THE THREE OF YOU THREW EVERY TOY YOU HAVE ALL OVER THE HOUSE AND I HAVE TO PICK IT UP! IT'S NOT FAIR THAT I SCRUB THE FLOORS AND YOU RUB JAM ONTO THEM! IT'S NOT FAIR THAT THERE IS AN OCEAN OF SOAP ON THE BATHROOM FLOOR! IT'S NOT FAIR THAT SOMEBODY (Katie) COLOURED WITH CRAYON ON MY WALLS AND I HAVE TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO GET THAT OFF! WHAT IS FAIR IS THAT YOU PUT YOUR ANIMALS IN THE BAG SO YOU CAN HAVE THEM LATER!"
With that, we were off to Emilie's. I said to her "I almost killed the kids. I hope your day goes better than mine has gone." And I left. As I walked away, Emilie asked "What happened? Why is your Mummy so angry". What was the response, you ask? With a tone of bewilderment, Bethie said "I don't know".