Please let the quiet slumber of Jack and Fionas’ nap last a little longer. Give me a bit more time to relish in the peaceful sounds: the humming of the overhead fan, the creaking of the house, the fridge, chimes; sounds different and sacred, meshed together calmness I desperately need after the day I’ve had. Morning comes, as I wake to Fiona coughing incessantly, then calling out “momma, mommy, mommmy, momma”. I decide to get her, bring her upstairs with me, but as I go to the door I hear Jack crying what sounded like, “I want my pizza, I want my pizza, I want my pizza” I stood next to the door. Should I, shouldn’t I. It’s only 7:00AM. I decide to go upstairs and have my peanut butter toast and coffee first, maybe they will fall back to sleep I say to myself. Jack and Fiona quiet down and I enjoy my little morning coffee break. I make them breakfast as usual and go down to get them. They great me with smiles and stories about things they remember from the days before. Things seem normal, I’m not worried. I think about taking Fiona to the doctor for her cough, but that doesn’t stress me out. “I wanna watch Mickie Mouse” Jack starts saying. He has barely touched his breakfast, same with Fiona. I reduce my expectations, turn on Mickey Mouse and lay on the floor with the babies. We enjoy this time together, who cares if we’re learning to tune out, we’re together and we’re resting. I have a nagging, I know I can’t just stay home all day, we need groceries, I’ve been putting it off. I ask the babies if they want to go to the park. “No, no park” Jack says. I’m can’t believe it. “Do you want to go to the store?” I ask. “Yes” they do. I tell Billy “Stay here, we’re just going to the store”. We get our groceries and some new toys from T.J. Max and go home; I let both babies loose while I unload the car. I start to take things in. I start with the new toys, putting them in the babies’ bedroom, thinking it might keep them occupied while I put away the groceries and make the lunch. Right off the bat fighting occurs, “I want that!” then crying, hitting, pulling, annoying behaviors start to unfold. “Oh my god!” I say. I am looking at shredded blinds, splinters, pieces hanging off, pieces on the floor, all these thoughts running through my head: should I cut the whole thing off? How can I clean this? Who did this? Did the babies do it last night and I was too tired to notice this morning? What will Alan say? How mad will he be? Oh my God, Billy did it! She was so pissed I left her behind today. I start picking up the mess, Fiona helps me, picking up pieces of wood and putting them in the bag. I break off the broken slats of wood and roll the blind up far enough so the carnage isn’t visible. I vacuum and put the nursery back together. I hear Jack upstairs, “Oh my God!” he says. “What?” I yell. Silence. I grab Fiona, “We gotta go see what Jacks doing” I say. As I’m walking up the stairs I call out, “Jack, what are you doing?” He tells me he’s getting water. I see he’s sitting on the edge of the sink with his feet in. I put Fiona down and rush over, he has his feet right next to broken glass, I scan for red, pick up each soft, little, precious foot, no cuts. I look down and I see why he said “Oh my God”, Billy has gotten into the trash, there’s wet, stinky, coffee ground covered, banana peel, garbage strewn across the floor. I barely managed to get it swept up, lunch made and unsuccessfully served, and Jack and Fiona down for a nap before I snapped. I got them down just in time for my workout and hot shower to take the morning edge off, just in time to keep my sanity and not fall into some type of permanent fog of stress and disbelief. Just in time to realize that, that’s life, yesterday my dog was amazing, today she’s a damn bitch. Just in time to accept my children as being needy and needing my whole self, not just a portion, not just a side glance while my face plants on a screen. In time to have the break I need to appreciate life for it’s bad days, hard days, art days, and beach days. Just in time to say to myself, “I might not have time to paint today, that’s o.k., I can wait until I have time.” I hear Fiona waking now, Jack will be right behind her. I am here ready to slip into the evening routine, whether they are sick and needy or fun and healthy! I will be grateful for either and adapt to whichever it is, fully available as Mom.