Tuesday, May 8, 2012


I’m not sure why, but for some bizarre reason it seems to take roughly the same amount of work to prepare for a two-night trip as it takes to go for a two-week trip with this group.  We went to Pittsburgh this weekend to celebrate new niece Meghan’s baby blessing (and had a wonderful time…pictures to come in next post!!), and while I thought the flurry of activity involved in getting ready for a trip was obvious, apparently I underperformed in Robyn’s book.

Thursday morning, t-minus one day until road trip, Robyn asked what we needed to do that day.  I told her a couple of the high-level goals: pack all the clothes, pack all the food, clean the house.  Within minutes she reappeared with a notebook, a pencil, and an illustrated check-list showing those three objectives. 

Now, by evening, here’s what I felt like I’d accomplished:

- Monitor feeding, dressing, and hair brushing of three girls.  Pick clean pajamas for Katie to wear since she was up from 2 to 5 am having tummy troubles.  Reluctantly decide Amber can’t actually wear her shirt inside-out and her pants backwards to joy school; monitor re-dressing of Amber.

- Make bed.  Empty dishwasher.  Wonder where all the sippy cup lids have gone.

- Deliver Robyn and Amber to Joy School.

- Wash sheets and towels from Katie’s night time woes.  Give Katie popsicle since breakfast didn’t stay down either.  Scrub regurgitated rice krispies off the dining room floor.

- Wash more laundry: make sure everyone has clean clothes, undies, socks, and dresses, for the weekend.  Attack bizarre stain on Amber's Easter dress with trifecta of Shout, Fels-Naptha, and undiluted Tide. 

- Generously shmear Katie with hand sanitizer.  Go to grocery store for road trip produce.  Grab apple juice for Katie.  Try to smile amicably when random person stops and says, “Whoa!  You really need that maternity parking space up front, dontcha!  You’re HUGE!”

- Put groceries away.  Unclog finicky first floor toilet.  Take down “out of order” sign so girls know they can use it again.  More shmearing of hand sanitizer.

- Add money to EZ Pass; read Conference talk online.  Commit to being a better mother.

- Pick-up Robyn and Amber from Joy School; eat lunch.  Decide that since Katie kept down a sandwich she is officially healed and can go play outside with her sisters rather than keep resting on the couch.

- Ooh and ahh over dandelion bouquets.

- Finish sewing new swimsuits.  Cut off bottom of Amber’s; reattach facing the other direction for a better fit on top.  Add funny-looking ruffle around middle to hide seam. Wonder why Robyn’s turned out so well and Amber’s turned out so…special.

- Sweep up contents of entire sugar shaker which has been dumped out on the kitchen floor and drawn in by little fingers.

- Make chicken drumsticks to picnic on during car ride.

- Clean out minivan.

- Realize why girls were so quiet earlier.  Remove drawings stuck to window with Elmer’s glue.  Make girls clean window.

- Clean out diaper bag.  Find missing pearl earring stuck to the bottom of the bag with melted fruit snacks.  Throw entire bag in washing machine.

- Collect medical records, immunization records, dental records, birth certificate, utility bill, and  photo ID for kindergarten registration.  Look up what month Robyn learned to sit up, crawl, walk, talk, self-feed, etc.  Resist urge to write  “none of your business” in several places on the forms.

- Straighten kitchen, dining room, front room; ignore piles forming on computer desk and piano.  Drag suitcase and duffle bags into bedroom.

- Make dinner.  Decide orange juice counts as a "vegetable."

- Listen to voice message from library.  Hunt down missing disc from Magic Treehouse audiobook returned yesterday.

- Attend kindergarten registration; add three kindergarten transition workshops, one kindergarten screening, and one kindergarten orientation to calendar. Try to be discreet when scribbling down names of moms and kids I've just met who seem nice but who I know I won't remember if I don't make a note. 

- Help girls get into pajamas and send them off with Daddy for story time with a hug and kiss.  Use looking up travel weather, preparing for a joy school mother’s meeting in the morning, and brainstorming for Amber’s birthday next week as an excuse to collapse onto the couch with tablet for a few minutes.

- Take turns with Bryan bouncing little girls back into bed.  Start fantasizing about curling up in my own bed, rationalizing the rest will just have to get done tomorrow.

Admittedly, by bedtime there was still plenty to do for the trip, but I figured everything was at a point where it could reasonably be polished off first thing in the morning.  Unfortunately, Robyn summarized things a little differently. Despite frequently following up with me through out the day, she realized I ultimately hadn’t managed to fully accomplish a single item on her checklist.  Around bedtime she finally despaired, crying out in exasperation:

“But Mom, didn’t you do ANYTHING today?”

Some days I wonder the exact same thing.  I guess it all depends on what the *real* to-dos actually were.  Robyn's checklist aside, I suppose things like cleaning house and packing bags were never truly the critical action items du jour... :)

2012-05-02 17.58.32
Girls having almost as much fun cleaning the window as they did messing it up.


  1. > But Mom, didn’t you do ANYTHING today?

    Made Angela LOL :D

  2. That little stinker! It totally made me laugh though. (:

  3. You're doing better than me on the monitoring of dressing. Carter frequently goes anywhere and everywhere with his clothes on backwards and I have decided that its just not worth the argurment. :) My children also frequently decide that 2 pm is time for pjs, so afternoon errands are run with my kids in pjs. And if you need to be a better mother, I don't want to know how much room I have to improve. :)

  4. Oh- I know that feeling all too well. You are awesome! I'll send you an email about our visit soon!

  5. I have been meaning to comment on this post for a while, but suffice it to say, I read the whole thing and by the end thought, it's so true--that is exactly what the real life day of a mom is like! And sometimes it is the little voice in my very own head that asks myself, what did you get done today, anything?? Sometimes it's easier to see the messy rooms instead of the full hearts (that should be in a hallmark card, but in its sappiness is truth).

  6. I can't believe how big your kids are getting! We miss you!!!