At 8:34 am, I dragged Dorothy and Cooper-- one caught under each arm-- into the house, deposited a screaming Cooper on the floor of the laundry room, shut the garage door, and called Ben to tell him he needed to find a new caretaker for the children because I QUIT.
At 7:53 am, I was blissfully sitting at the kitchen table feeding Dorothy a bowl of apples with oatmeal and cinnamon and a bowl of peas, marveling at how much she loves peas, and taking a million pictures of her with a pea face. I glanced at the clock on my phone and thought Oh shit, man. The babysitter comes over in one hour and seven minutes, and I need to get the kids to school in like 37 minutes, and I am not dressed, and neither are they. I called downstairs where the three boys were happily (thank god) playing and told them I was going to jump in the shower and they should put on socks (they NEVER remember socks) and brush their teeth. Then I wiped off Dorothy and stashed her in her pack n play in the bathroom doorway so I could call out reassuringly to her if she missed me while I bathed (damn that sense of object permanence).
At 8:15 am, the time the buses get to school, I was showered, dressed, made up, and had my hair in a pretty terrible but pretty serviceable top knot. I even remembered to put on my wedding rings. I might make it, I thought to myself. I went to the stairs and called for the boys, who appeared without socks to tell me they still needed to brush their teeth. I turned my attention to finding clothes for Dorothy and Coper to wear and changing Dorothy's diaper.
At 8:18 am, Cooper came up the stairs reeking of dirty diaper, and I gave Harry and Jack my phone with the stopwatch running telling them they had 5 minutes to clean up as much of the basement as possible. I got Dorothy dressed and put her shoes on 6 or 7 times before I figured screw it. I changed Cooper's diaper and struggled him into jeans (he HATES long pants) and his favorite Super Grover shirt.
At 8:23 am, I hollered for Harry and Jack who clearly need to work on the concept of a timer. They finally straggled upstairs, and Harry started yelling at me that his library books were due. I did not understand how this was my problem. Also not my problem? That their special snowflake bentos were still in the fridge. Under a huge container of leftover chili. While they sorted out that mess, I put a jacket on Cooper because it was only 40 degrees (and in retrospect, I shouldn't have bothered because the baby was wearing a tunic and leggings and was BAREFOOT, but I was too caught up in the giant FAIL in progress to notice anything amiss). Cooper HATES coats, and he started screaming and screaming and screaming.
At 8:26, I realized that the bigs were going to be late if they didn't leave RIGHT NOW. Since Cooper was not ready to leave RIGHT NOW, I left him screaming in the laundry room and walked outside with Harry, Jack, and Dorothy, telling them loudly over the toddler banshee that we needed ot go. Jack stopped in his tracks and started flapping and screaming that I couldn't leave Cooper alone, and he didn't want to leave Cooper home alone. 2 neighbors walking back from dropping off their kids stared at me in abject horror.
At 8:28 am, I went inside and scooped up a sock-footed screaming, snot-covered Cooper and set off down the street with a baby under each arm, one of them docile and interested and the other a wet, writhing, phlegm spewing snake. The 5 of us made our way awkwardly across the street. I stopped in front of the final cross walk that separates us from school property and waved at Harry and Jack. "Have a great day" I said loudly with false cheer. Those little fools took two steps into the crosswalk and then turned to look at me and started screaming and crying. What the actual fuck? I thought to myself, and another neighbor walking back from school asked if she could help. "No thanks," I said. "Boys, keep walking!" But I was thinking HOW? HOW could you help? Do you want this screaming baby? Can you herd these boys across the street? "What's wrong?" I shouted to Harry and Jack, who were standing in the middle of the damn street much to the consternation of the lady in the giant white SUV. Harry was full on crying "We want a kiss!" he screamed.
At 8:30 am, I dragged Cooper and Dorothy across the street and plopped Cooper down not so gently on the grass next to the school where I gave Harry and Jack a hug and kiss even though I was biting my lip so hard it was bleeding.
At 8:31 am, they started walking toward the school doors, mere minutes away from being so late they'd need a hall pass. "I can't go in with you to get a pass!" I called to them. "So hurry up and go inside."
At 8:32 am, Harry turned to me and screamed at the top of his lungs "Are you mad at us? Are you going to be home when school is over? Are you still going to be with us?" What the actual fuck? I thought again. Where does he get this shit? They ask to walk to school like their friend from down the street ALL THE TIME. They ask to go play on the playground by themselves ALL THE TIME. Every morning, they walk into school (from a distance of about 20 feet closer than we are right now) ALL BY THEMSELVES. Why have they turned on me in my hour of need?
At 8:33 am, I shouted that daddy and I would both be home after school, picked up a still shrieking Cooper and walked back to house where I tendered my resignation.
At 8:35 am, Ben refused to let me quit even though I offered to stick around long enough to train my replacement. Damn it.