Our first morning back from spring break quickly reminded me of why I went away in the first place. In case anyone is debating having children... read this first (just so you can make an educated decision).
6:15 am... Sephira is crying. This is not abnormal... hopefully she'll fall back asleep for a few more minutes. Except, here she is, at the side of my bed. I quickly remember (and regret) that I turned her crib into a "big girl" bed last night. She can now come and go as she pleases... what was I thinking! I pull her into bed with me for a quick snuggle before she worms her way back onto the floor and begins bringing me misc items from my nightstand. Phone... glasses... candles. Then she begins dumping out the baskets that hold my belts and jewelry. What was a clean and organized room 2 minutes ago now looks like a war zone. Time to get up.
... a few minutes later. I am brushing my teeth (with the same toothbrush that Sephira chewed on for most of the ride home yesterday) when Sephira insists that she too "teeth teeth". I ask her where her toothbrush is and she heads to the living room, the last place of sighting. She returns, carefully carrying a half empty mug of tea. "HHHHOT" she says very seriously as she hands me the cup. I wonder what this situation might have looked like if the tea were fresh and not a day old. She heads back into the hallway as I continue to get ready. She is very quiet... too quiet. I call her... no response. I duck my head around the door. She has a tissue in her hand. I immediately know what this means and it is bad. She has recently developed a fascination with sticking things up her nose and in her ears... something that produces an endless amount of horror on my end. "Sephira?"... I use my sternest voice. She looks up and me and grins her biggest grin, confirming my suspicions. I get down on her level. "Blow" I command. She obediently obliges and a small piece of tissue shoots out of her left nostril and lands on the floor. "Again" I say. She repeats, this time launching a snotty wad of tissue down the sleeve of my shirt. "No, no" I say. She looks up at me... "no no" she repeats, waving her finger back and forth at me. I head to the shower.
Any mother who has had to shower with a toddler in the house is very familiar with the rinse and run. This is the quick version of showering that probably doesn't do much as far as getting one clean but certainly makes the mother feel like she has given her personal hygiene a moment of attention before heading into public. I close the curtain and say a prayer. One minute and forty seconds later I step out onto the bath mat... the bath mat that is normally purple but has suddenly turned white.... a very powdery white. My eyes follow the trail of white a few steps further to where Sephira sits, also white... from head to toe. In her hands is a box of baking soda. "kean kean mama" (clean clean mama) she says very proudly. She must have grown another inch in the last week which means that everything on the counter will need to be pushed back another inch... away from her little fingers. I make my best effort to de-powder her before throwing on my clothes. We head to breakfast.
... it really starts to fall apart at this point. "Baby!" she commands. Baby is what Sephira calls the infant rice cereal that she has been eating about 5 times a day lately. We ran across a box at nonna's house last week and she has been insisting on it ever since. I stir her "baby" and set it on her tray. I pack her bag for the morning with the sitter and then move to put on her shoes. Her socks are no longer on her feet. "Sephira... where are your socks?" They were the last clean pair, as I have yet to unpack or do laundry from our trip. "No know" she says, wide eyed, with her palms held up in the air. I retrace our steps. I locate the missing socks and head back to the high chair, only to find the contents of Sephira's bowl have now been relocated to the top of her head. I proceed with the socks, unable to think about the cereal. The socks are wet. "Sephira.. why are the socks wet?", I ask. "No know mama" she replies again, palms out. I put them on anyway. They will dry... I hope. I pull her out of the high chair and dunk her head under the sink and then quickly change her clothes (that are still white). It's time to go... we are late. Coats and hats are donned and I open the door. There is a sudden horrible screeching behind me. "Aaaahhh! Maaaaammmmmaaa! Baaaaaaaaag! Mama! Bag! Aaaaaahhhh!" Sephira's beloved pink backpack on wheels is stuck under the coffee table. If you understood her love affair with this bag, you would understand the agony of this moment. The screaming and yanking continues, and tears are about to flow. She cannot go to the sitters without this bag, which she wheels down the walk to the car and from the car to the sitter's house everyday. "MAAAAMMMAAAAA! BAAAAAAAAG!!!!! AAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!" I rescue the bag with a sigh and move the child towards the door. It is 8:00.... only 12 more hours to go.