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I get the toddler down at 11pm last night, she’s up by 1am asking to nurse, and when I refuse (I’m desperately trying to wean her and she is like a tiny drug addict) she loses her mind. Tired of the screaming, at some point I put her in her own bed. I put her in her bed over and over and over until 3:30am when I agree to let her watch Peppa Pig (anything to get through the night without nursing). After a couple hours of Peppa, we go back to her room and squeeze onto her tiny toddler bed together. She’s trying to sleep, feet on the floor, bent at the waist, head on the mattress, whimpering. It’s terrible really, she genuinely does not know how to fall asleep unless she is nursing, what kind of mess have I created here? We finally fall asleep at 6am. She wakes again at 7, I give in and nurse her. I've got a full day of work ahead and we won’t make it through the day if one of us doesn't get a little more sleep. When she gets up at 9, she’s a gem, nicer than usual, really fun and sweet all day. Aside from the fact that I’m running on 3 hours of sleep, and haven’t slept through the night in years, we make it until daddy gets home from work without incident.

This evening is Back to School Night for the teenager. In 2020 that means a Zoom conference every 10 minutes for 7 periods. 7 different zoom calls, 7 different logins, 7 different passwords located in 7 different emails from 7 different teachers. I get logged in, make it successfully through my first conference when my husband decides he needs to go to the store for milk for his coffee in the morning. “Please, while you’re there, just get anything from the store we can eat for dinner that I do not have to cook," I plead. I’ve asked the teenager to watch the toddler while he’s at the store, but instead she’s in the kitchen having a snack. “What is the toddler doing?” I’m assured she’s fine. “Please check on her!” Turns out she’s body painting with acrylics in the teenager’s room. She’s covered her dress, her skin, her hair and our brand new carpet in bright pink paint. By now my next zoom call has started (camera on) and I’m stuck in my seat yelling and gesturing wildly on mute at the teenager. “Why would you leave her in there alone with paint? You were supposed to be watching her!"

"For crying out loud stop letting her wander around the house covered in wet paint! Damn it, put her in the bath!!”

She’s trying to clean the carpet and the dress so I won’t totally lose it when I see the damage. I make it to the end of the 10 minute Zoom. I run to the garage to get carpet cleaner and a scrub brush, that’s not gonna do it. My next Zoom is starting- figure out what period it is, find email from the teacher, login, make it through the next 10 minutes. Run outside, grab the carpet cleaning machine, keep the carpet and the beloved dress wet enough to have some hope of saving them. My husband has made it home with some prepared meat for burritos he’s heating up. I make it through the last call and stop to entertain the toddler, fresh out of the bath with some Legos to distract her from her constant requests to nurse. My husband starts screaming, he’s cut his pinky finger open trying to slice an avocado. “REALLY, is it that bad?!?” (It’s pretty bad). I’m telling him it doesn’t need stitches, but I’m pretty sure it needs stitches. Get the bandages, ointment, peroxide, clean it out. Burners for dinner are going. Try to get him bandaged up. The toddler has opened several princess Band-Aids and those will have to do. Keep dinner on track. At this point, it’s meat and cheese in a tortilla (with a side of avocado). The toddler loves avocado. Somehow it is immediately in her hair, all over her body and her chair. Wipe her down, repeat. We make it through dinner, I sit down to catch up on a couple minutes of work, but my husband is calling that we’ve forgotten antibiotic ointment on his wound and we better rebandage it for fear of infection. “Please just give me two minutes.” It’s urgent though, he might lose his left pinky if we don’t get that ointment on there right away. Get up, re-bandage properly this time. Sit back down to work, a couple minutes go by, sudden hollering from the living room tells me my re-bandage job has failed and he is bleeding through them all over our new couch. Run in, rip off the cushion covers and run them under water, don’t let the stains set while the current load of laundry in the washer finishes. Meanwhile the toddler has pooped and will only allow mommy to change it. Grab a Pull-Up from the only open bag. Damn, it’s Jessie from Toy Story, she only wears the Minnie Mouse ones unless you trick her by changing her in the dark so she cannot see. Please don’t let her notice it’s not Minnie, why do they only sell them in a damn mixed pack anyway? She looks at me, looks at the diaper, then back, she takes pity on me and accepts it without a peep, that literally NEVER happens, she must sense danger. A small win. I go to the bathroom to wash up. Why is there blood all over the walls? Like sprays of blood! Like if one of us gets framed for murder and they bring in that little black light thingy, we’re definitely going down. Now I remember, the teenager casually mentioned earlier that she got a bloody nose while washing the paint off the baby, no mention of the Dexter style blood spatter all over the bathroom though...Is it 11pm yet?

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