Somehow, I can never prepare myself for the onslaught of a Tuesday.
Mondays are easy. You go to sleep Sunday night, thanking God for the gift of the weekend and praying for the resolve to see your family through another week unscathed and perhaps even marginally clean and well-fed. You grit your teeth on Monday morning as your husband (mine is called The Ogre, and never does he resemble one so much as at 8 am on a Monday morning) stumbles into the shower and out the door amidst a flurry of goodbyes and cries of “you forgot your lunch! (your bag, your wallet, your keys, your pants…etc)” Then you turn around, prepared to face the return of the weekly grind of housecleaning and child-rearing.
I actually give myself a bonus on Mondays: I use the girls’ naptime to plan the menu for the week and write the grocery list. I know it seems slightly deranged that I consider that a fun activity, but I totally do. Particularly when I’m aided and abetted by the Pioneer Woman, as I’ve very often been lately.
But then comes Tuesday. Nothing prepares me for a Tuesday. It seems like every week I exert so much mental and emotional prowess on maintaining stability and happiness in the face of Monday that there’s none left for Tuesday. Or perhaps the prospect of Monday looms so large in my mind that the rest of the week shrinks to nothing in comparison, and I awaken on Tuesday morning, surprised to find it Tuesday and not Saturday.
In any case, this morning was no exception. I got up, gave the girls half-hearted bowls of cereal and put on 101 Dalmations, then waddled back to bed where I proceeded to sleep through the Ogre’s fifteen alarms, shower, and frantic search for clean shirts (Monday is not laundry day). Then I stumbled out of bed, made myself some breakfast, started the dishwasher, and promptly collapsed on the couch where I fell asleep (sitting up) for another forty-five minutes, during which time my eldest found the half-eaten box of Junior Mints that Daddy left in the study and graciously shared them with her little sister and the carpet. When I finally managed to fully wake up for the first time today, at 11 am, I asked her why she ate the candy without asking and she said, “But Mommy, I did ask. You said I could have the candy as long as I shared with Charlotte.” And something tells me that conversation probably really did happen.
Last March I bought the Ogre a chess set for his birthday. He took this as a sign that the time was ripe to teach our four-year-old to play chess. So while most other children her age were learning to play Candy Land and Go Fish, Sienna was diligently being drilled on the names of the chess pieces and the various ways they move across the board, night after endless night. Luckily she thought this was great fun, and finally after about a week the Ogre decided that they were ready for a practice match.
After about twenty somewhat painful minutes of Sienna moving every single pawn exactly one space forward while her father, who does not support the theory that you should let a child win, mapped out the quickest strategy to put her in check, he finally had her king cornered.
Of course, she had no idea what was going on. She was really focused on getting all her pawns to the other side of the board because she was convinced that if she could just get them all across, she could take all of Daddy’s pieces along the way, thereby winning the game. Also, she was reeling from the early loss of her “pretty horsey.” So when the Ogre said, “Sienna, look at your king. Is your king in danger?”, I guess she really can’t be blamed for taking a minute to realize the magnitude of the situation, screaming, and promptly grabbing her king and running away with him. We found them both a few minutes later, hiding in her closet, where presumably he was out of danger.
Needless to say, after that chess lessons were put on hold in favor of Go Fish, at which she’s becoming quite proficient.