Life has a way of derailing best laid plans

  • Thursday, April 11, 2013

I need to clone myself. I sat down at my computer four and a half hours ago to write this column. It was going to be a masterpiece. Pulitizer material. Witty and heartwarming. Inspiring and touching.

But first, I needed a cup of coffee and on my way to the kitchen I stopped seven times to pick up Easter basket grass and candy wrappers. I poured a cup of coffee and the clatter of the cabinets called my daughters from all over the house.

By the time I got back to my computer all three of them were following me. Aubrey my 8-year-old, started freestyling on the piano. Emma, my 6-year-old, was singing and dancing to a totally different song and Sadie, my 4-year-old was wearing a travel size neck pillow in lieu of clothing - with a Beanie Baby tucked into her waist.

Before I could set down my coffee and jot down whatever thoughts I’d previously had about my column, my phone rang.

When my phone rang I saw the calendar app on my iPhone and realized that I had double-booked myself two days in a row this week. I finished my phone call, rescheduled my appointments and turned back to my computer but my battery was dead.

I carried my computer to the kitchen to plug it in, which was convenient as it had been approximately 12 minutes and 17 seconds since my kids had eaten a snack and they were all starving.

I doled out snacks, charged my computer then realized I’d lost my coffee. I opened the dishwasher to get another cup and seeing that it was full, unloaded the entire thing. Being mocked by the pile of dirty dishes leftover from the night before felt wrong, so I loaded the dishwasher as well.

I sat down with my new cup of coffee to write. Emma, my 6-year-old, saw our neighbor Jennefer, across the street washing her car and asked if she could go say hi.

“Yes, but look both ways before you cross the street,” I admonished.

“I will. Twice,” she promised.

Sadie, not wanting to be left out of the fun that was surely to be had at Jennefer’s house, yelled, “I want to go too.”

“Well. You’re wearing a travel pillow and a Beanie Baby” I said.

“I’ll put on clothes.” Sadie screamed. She scrambled into clothes and headed for the door. I jumped up from my desk in my socked feet and ran after her.

“You can’t go by yourself, baby. Momma has to go with you. You can’t ever go across the street unless a grownup is with you.” I tried to hold her hand but she folded her arms together.

“I can do it by myself. I’m bwave,” she protested.

“That is exactly the problem,” I said under my breath.

We walked to Jennefer’s house as the meter reader walked into our yard and our dog, Moses, lost his mind. He is a young black lab with more enthusiasm than sense. If he sees anyone that isn’t a regular at our house he goes nuts.

He was barking and jumping and generally acting a fool, which is exactly what he did right before he ran across the electric fence and started running in crazy dog circles in the street and around Jennefer’s yard.

After he wrestled and barked at Jennefer’s two dogs, I had to borrow a leash to drag him back home. Sadie was upset because she really wanted me to carry her so she could pretend to be asleep. But Moses wasn’t going willingly.

We finally made it back into our yard and Emma asked me to move my car so she could ride her bike. After making sure all the girls were out of the way, I moved the car and came inside to finally, finally, write my column.

As I sat to write, my three daughters ran by the windows with bowls of water to the backyard. I have no idea what they were doing but they had black mud up to their knees and elbows. I would have gone to see what they were doing but if I got up from this chair I was afraid it would be next Thursday before I finish this column, which is sure to be an award-winner.


Robin O’Bryant is an author, fumorist and speaker. Her latest book is entitled “Ketchup is a Vegetable and Other Lies Moms Tell Themselves.” Connect with her on Facebook and Twitter and visit her blog at www.robinschicks.com.

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