I see my reflection in the window with the glow of the computer screen on my face. It’s still dark outside. The house is asleep. The kettle is humming. I go over to turn it off before it beeps and graze my little toe on the corner of the high chair, the plastic pinches and scrapes, “Damn!” Then just like clockwork as I’m buttering my toast I hear the babies on the monitor starting to babble. My coffee is nice and hot, my toast warm with peanut butter and banana. I’ll let them babble until I finish my breakfast. Today Jack and Fiona turn one year old. Super yard Baby fences section off the house like a spaceship. Toys scatter the floors, some of which feel more like torture devices than playthings, the sharp plastic corners dig into the bottom of my feet and make me cuss. The frustration of these things does sneak up on me. Then I start to get mad at things I normally could deal with, like lately I’m trying to teach the babies how to treat books. They put them in their mouths and have already destroyed “Quack Quack with Jemima Puddle Duck”. So I start to use the word “no” which has been put away until now. Fiona puts “Polar Bear Polar Bear” in her mouth, I say “no Fiona not in your mouth” and gently pull the book down. Her lip curls, her eyes squint and she starts to cry the saddest little cry I ever did see. We repeat this sequence about 5 times, now I think maybe it’s too early to teach this lesson! Today since it is their birthday I took both babies out of their cribs at the same time, took off their sleep sacks and pajamas, and was able to change their diapers on the floor of the nursery because it was just pee. I dressed them in their birthday outfits, Fiona is a Lady Bug, and Jack is a Bumble Bee. Then I scooped up both babies and carried 45 pounds of baby up the stairs to the kitchen. I see my black dog Billy, part Border collie but looks like a wolf, trotting down the street. I don’t know how she got out last night, I hope she didn’t kill anyone’s cat. It’s time to make the cake now. How will I take care of the babies, make the birthday cake and clean the kitchen? Take a deep breath, make another cup of coffee.