There is a lot to do today, I thought as I silenced my alarm yesterday morning.
By 9:30am it was clear the gym wasn't going to happen. Finn has allergies, and was cranky, tired and needy. He refused to go to the gym's daycare, and threw himself on the floor screaming as I was trying to get out the door.
I worked out at home, with Finn draped across my chest as I lay on the floor doing sit-ups. My half hour exercise routine took over an hour, what with stopping to get him a snack, fetch toys or change the television channel in a desperate attempt to distract him.
At 11am Finn and I had a picnic lunch outside, played on the swings, and kicked the soccer ball around while I tried not to glance the clock. At 12pm we went upstairs for a snuggle; I was hoping he would take a nap. No such luck. I gave up at 1pm, went back downstairs and plugged him into a movie, wincing at the thought that he was watching television on a gorgeous day.
Greta and I chatted about her day, I got her a snack and sent the two of them outside to the swing set. My friend came by with two of her kids, and I finished up her order while our kids played.
She left at 3:15pm, and I drew a deep breath. I have just enough time to finish these bracelets, I thought.
Greta and Finn started fighting, something about Finn touching her favorite stuffed animal. I separated them - Greta played at the computer and Finn watched his movie. The first two bracelets took 30 minutes to finish. As I started on the third order, Finn streaked by naked and screaming, Greta burst into tears because her computer game crashed, and the phone started ringing - a local customer calling about the status of her order.
"MOM! The phone is ringing!" Finn shouted as he streaked by again. The dog started barking and chasing Finn, and Greta was tugging on my sleeve, sobbing about her computer game.
A low roar began in my head; if I didn't get the last order in the mail, someone wasn't going to get their Mother's Day gift on time. One kid was crying, one screaming, and the phone rang again. I felt tears well up, and as calmly as I could I asked the kids to go play outside.
"But, Finn's NAKED!" Greta wailed.
"Please help him get some clothes on, and then go outside so I can finish what I need to do," I said in my low, dangerous voice.
"I have to do EVERYTHING around here!" Greta screamed, and stomped out of the room, dragging a squirming, naked Finn behind her.
Hot tears began flowing down my face. It's too much, I thought. I can't even organize one simple day. I looked at the clock - 4:15pm. Greta and Finn were fighting in the next room, and the dog was still barking. I slumped down to the floor with my head in my hands. Why is it so hard for me? What am I doing wrong? I should just close down the jewelry shop. I can't do anything right.
I tried to put things in perspective. Who would have thought, three years ago, that one day my biggest problem would involve balancing life and my own small business? That I would have one whole day of playing with my children, creating jewelry, exercising - and not have one thought of a drink?
I picked myself up off the floor, and sat back down at my beading table. Just do what you can.
I finished the last bracelet at 4:45pm. We piled into the car - Finn was wearing one of Greta's dresses and both kids were barefoot, but we made it to the post office in time. On the way home, Lady Gaga's "Telephone" came on the radio, and we all sang our hearts out.
It's just a day, I thought. A regular, crazy, horrible, wonderful day.