Hot Mess

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A photo by Matthew Wiebe.

I was the hot mess mama this morning. If medals were to ever be given, my overachieving, but underdressed self would be receiving gold. (also, the above picture is an exact representation of what I looked like this morning…)

“It’s 7:30 on a school day!” Trav said, too close to my ear. His statement was my wake call this morning. I only had twenty-five minutes to get three children ready for school. (The school bell rings at 8:00 a.m. sharp.)

We overslept, thanks to our “close to the Lord” child’s iPad. (She’s currently grounded from the iMisery and it’s taken residence on my night stand…and here’s where I tell you that my daughter has set 7 alarms on it, starting at 6:00 a.m. And those alarms severely messed with my mind this morning. So thus, I’m blaming the iPad (for ignoring my alarm) and its alarms, because it was definitely not my good book last night mixed with my ill respect for mornings. I am innocent.)

“WHAT?!” I screeched in the face of my wake up call (sorry, husband), jumped out of bed and sprinted to the kitchen. Still feeling hazed, I started throwing three lunches together (apples…a candy bar…and a juice box–I may get a call from the teachers). That’s a lie, there was also jelly sandwiches–that I didn’t spread–and gogurt. Then I shoved three pieces of toast in the toaster, and set a cold clump of microwaveable bacon–no, I didn’t separate the six pieces that formed said clump–in the microwave and hit 30 seconds. The overcooked toast popped and I put one streak of butter on each one, before I took a deep breath and then patted myself on the back. (Notice how I never said I made a cup of coffee. And yet, there I was slaying lunches and breakfast. Go me! #momwin)

Trav was busy getting the girls up, because I tend to overreact when under such short time constraints. (“GET UP NOOOOOOWWWW, WE ARE LATE!!!!! *while pulling my hair out and throwing clothes at them)

I raced to get Amelia dressed, Trav signed planners, and I was back in the kitchen, making threats–“if you think you don’t have to brush your teeth because we’re late, you are wrong! Go brush your teeth!”–then I’m throwing lunches in backpacks, telling them to shovel their burned toast and bacon down faster without choking, and nearly picking the beauties up and tossing them in the car.

And we’re late. (I will not speak of my irresponsible speed, but my long-bus-like Yukon can take curves on a dime, so if you are in the market for a mini-bus that can haul booty (the always running tired and late kind) go buy one!)

We are that one minute late, the one that follows the school doors locking. That one minute, the one we learned on orientation night that makes me, as a parent, have to physically walk in and sign them in. Admittedly, I almost told the beauties to just sneak in, but I can’t. I am a rule follower to a default. My anxiety about rules says I have to get out of my car and go do the walk of shame with them.

I park, and swallow my pride before I open my car door. I am a sight–this I know. I’m also horrified as well, because I never looked in the mirror this morning. This leads me to question all that could be wrong with my face… (Think smeared-not-completely-washed-off-eye-make-up, boogers, and no eyebrows…)

You know you are late when you don’t even attempt to draw on your “brows.”

I take a long, disapproving glance down at myself and instantly abhor my appearance–I have on pajama pants, gold dressy sandals, a cross between a sweater and a trench coat, with a brown and white polka dot tank top underneath, sans a bra and worse, I can feel the heaviness of my hair that is sticking out as big as Texas because I slept on it wet.

I feel naked, but I am dressed…praise the Lord.

And I’m walking with my arms crossed over my chest, pressing against my sweater/trench coat wrapped tightly around me because in the flurry of lateness I didn’t go for basic necessity, the cardinal rule after breastfeeding four babies: a (push-up) bra.

Inside the office, nobody is making direct eye contact with me, mostly because I probably look like a threat of some sort–a fashion confused extremist.

Finally, when the silence is too long, and everyone is quietly shaking their head at me, I basically have an outburst of hands and weird body gestures while asking, so loudly, “Where do I get tardy slips?!”

I sign the tardy slips, kiss the beauties bye, walk the shame road feeling like Cersie from GOT and drive much slower on the way home, trying to bring my embarrassment and my heart rate back down.

Parked in my garage, I get out and make a beeline to my kuerig. I smell it, before I see it. My face, that could possible have a giant booger hanging out my nose, is one of shock. There on my counter in my bedroom, freshly brewed, lies a piping cup of liquid gold.

Trav turns the corner and grins at me. I take my coffee as a strange sight in my peripheral alarms me. Something is not right.

“Did you make the bed?” (Even the 19 decorative pillows are arranged. I almost gasped.)

Trav nods, looking coy. (I half wonder what the H is happening? Because this is the twilight zone!)

I ponder the made bed and my whacko thoughts a moment. In twelve years of marriage, he has maybe made the bed twice, and that’s a generous benefit.

“Why?” I ask, almost scolding. (It’s not enough that he has to make all the money, but now he has to make the bed, too?!)

He shrugs, a mild twinge of guilt coats his face.

And suddenly, after a sip or two of coffee, I feel enlightened.

“You made the bed so I wouldn’t get back in it, didn’t you?” I accused, like he was on trial and I was a young lawyer asking the most important (make my case) question of my entire interrogation.

He laughs at my dramatics, holding his hands up in surrender. “Babe, listen, if you don’t get laundry done today…” He sighs. “I’m going to have to start turning my underwear inside out. You left me no options.” He smiles, the same one that makes me remember that I do love this man.

Today, okay honestly…most days, I am a hot mess mama of four beauties, and sometimes, like the first week of school, I’m an overachieving procrastinator of the homemaking kind. It just is. Thank goodness, I have a family and friends, who love (and hug) me through it, even my husband with his gentle nudges, too.

Cut some slack for all the Mamas, we are trying, amidst running late and mountains of laundry…