Welcome to the CPC playhouse

Hey friends! Anyone wanna play with me?? It is SO. MUCH. FUN. I generally reject the view that staying at home with kids is harder than working a real job. At least for me. My children have emasculated me completely and reduced me to emotional rubble, but I still control everything–food, scheduling, activities, friends, privileges, rights, money, haircuts, clothing, medication, hygiene, entertainment, everything. I have absolute power. I choose to exercise it in a more democratic way than many parenting experts would advise, and Jesse has excellent anti-authoritarian protest tactics under her belt already, but still, I have it great.

Anyway, today was a classic day in the life of a spoiled housewife. I felt like the kids were needy so I abandoned housework. Again. Because I can! Who’s going to fire me? I kept notes through the day so that I could record it more accurately. Here are my minutes. Ready, set, go:

Wake up at 5:45 am. Because Nicholas. Keep him calm for a hour until he hears Anthony brushing his teeth.

While Anthony (my perfectly perfect husband) walks the dog, brews coffee for me, and makes breakfast, I engage the kids in our therapeutic bed wallow ritual. Jesse uses this time to get some important physical contact with me before she heads off to school for a day full of terror and anxiety. Wallowing sounds relaxing and lazy, but it’s not. Today Nick engages us aggressively in a game involving superbunny, his little pink bunny lovey wearing a pink felt cape. Also he tries to beat Jesse with a one-pound barbell. Super fun.

Breakfast. Pack Jesse’s lunch. Scurry around finding everything that’s supposed to go in her backpack.

Start hassling Jesse to brush her teeth and get ready for school. This used to be a sure bet for fighting words, but now we have a very high probability of timely success and happy humors. She gets down fast enough today for us to have a good 20 minutes before departure.

Dance off to some songs on iTunes’ alt-rock mix. Alt-rock doesn’t seem to mean what it used to mean. Imagine Dragons’ Radioactive plays, and this reminds Nick of the music video. So we do abridged re-enactments of the stuffed animal battles, 14 times. I counted. I have to be the bad toy. Nick’s bunny is the cute pink teddy with radioactive x-ray eyes. I go down every time.

Take Jesse to school. Very successful morning for her. She got out of the house with ease. I didn’t have to call the home phone to scare her out.

Back home. Nick plays with iPad while I do breakfast dishes and prep dinner in the crockpot (an anomaly caused by our ongoing range-free existence while we wait for delivery of new one). Then I keep my promise to sit next to him on the sofa and watch him play for a while. He spends most of sofa time begging me for new iPad games and fiddling around in “Settings” menus for all his favorite games. I don’t get it.

Play steal the dragons. In which the octopus and squid steal the two giant dragons repeatedly while eagle tries to retrieve them. I’m eagle.

Pony time! In which I get down on my hands and knees and Nick rides my back bronco-style around the living room, while our 6-pound little-shit dog (I mean that literally, her shits are the size of my pinky) gets in the way by yapping and trying to bite my ankles. We take this game to the big bed so I can buck Nick off without hurting him as badly. The blanket is green, so we eat grass and roll in the meadow. I’m the mommy horse and I have to marry a dinosaur. Nick thinks this is outrageously funny. I don’t get it.

Read books (Do Pirates Take Baths and The Little Engine that Could). Snuggle.

Nick pulls up my shirt and plays with my blubby tummy. He squashes it and makes it talk. He pretends he’s blowing air into it like a balloon while I distend it. Then he smushes it and I suck it in – the balloon is deflating! Gosh this is fun.

Suddenly Nick gets up; he’s obviously had some inspiration. Oh. He’s pulling down his pants and bending over. He’s making his butthole talk to me.


Pack 22 mythical creature figurines, mostly dragons, into a bag to share at preschool. Load the car and head out for lunch. It’s pancake house day! Nick and I relax at Maxfields for an hour, stuffing our faces.

Take Nick to school. It’s easy today because they’re staying inside, so I don’t have to suit him up in winter gear. Even a nature preschool stays inside when the windchill is below zero, and today it’s well below. Wimps.

Head home for 2 hours by myself. This is it, my free time when I can do whatever I want, like cleaning or laundry or the taxes. Today I call my friend Erin, whom I haven’t seen in ages, and we shoot the shit for almost an hour. I hang up because I’m running out of time.

Work out. Sit on the sofa recovering for 10 minutes. This is the end of my free time. I’ve accomplished nothing, without even the assistance of a water cooler or web browser.

The rest of the day is a string of child care activities. Pick up Jesse. Take deep breaths while she whines and yells at me and makes scenes in the school parking lot and the lobby-like area at Nick’s preschool. Pick up Nick. Head home and continue taking deep breaths as Jesse whines and screeches at me about her homework. Walk the dog. I breath in arctic vortex air as I walk across the ice field that’s supposed to be our driveway, and the sound of Jesse’s yodeling fades out.

I help Jesse with her homework when I get back, because now she’s calm. While she’s doing that, I hear Nick peeing in the bathroom. Then he yells out, “Mommy, there is poop in the bathroom.” This is not syntactically what I expect to hear, so I call back, “Did you poop?”

“I think so.”

What does that mean?? A lightbulb turns on in my head. “Did your poop go IN the potty?”

“I don’t think so.”

Jesse starts to snicker. I steel myself and walk to the bathroom. Nick’s standing, pants down around his ankles. The toilet seat is up. Urine is everywhere. There’s a giant turd on the floor next to the toilet. It’s a Wisconsin bratwurst. What’s with this shit? I want to say, but I tone it down for four-year-old ears and ask, “What happened?”

“I don’t know.” Now he’s playing dumb, but after a little Q-and-A he finally gets over his shame and tells me. “I was peeing, it was an emergency, and I felt something, and then I looked down and there was brown poop on the floor.” Jesse is in the doorway. “I want to see the poop!” Much cleaning ensues.

Dad’s home! Jesse finishes her homework and then reads us a library book about astronauts going to the moon, while Nick keeps trying to sit on me and pull up my shirt so he can put his ear on my tummy and hear it gurgle.

Eat the crockpot dinner, which is chicken and carrots and such. Anthony and I enjoy it. Nick thinks it’s foul and only eats seaweed. Jesse chokes down some carrots and then, while laughing at some goofy thing Anthony is doing, starts coughing and pukes a bit. She keeps it in her mouth and appears to swallow something big, and then she announces, “I just ate my puke.” I’m just completely disgusted. I get up for something, and she hurls again. I go straight upstairs without a word, leaving Anthony to clean up the vomit. I think the floor turd has asked enough of me.

The kids quickly follow me upstairs. Anthony cleans the kitchen while I give Nick a bath. Anthony doesn’t complain even once about the puke or the dishes. Then Jesse wants to “work out,” so we fire up some exercise video on the Roku fitness channel. We do 20 minutes of squats and things. I’m glad Jesse wants to do this, so I’m going with it.

We’re sweaty by the end, but time and hot water are short, so Jesse and I take a quick shower together. Bedtime! She’s earned an episode of Ben 10, and I don’t deny her. 25 minutes later, she heads off to bed with dad, and Nick and I snuggle up. 10 minutes later, kids are asleep.

It’s a wrap.

Just another ordinary day in the life of a housewife.

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