Somedays, I feel like the ringmaster standing center stage and directing all the monkeys and tigers with a scarlet baton. I wave the directions towards hoops and stages, then bow when the show is over without a hitch as the crowd cheers for an encore. Then there are days like Friday, when I am not the star of the show nor am I the ringmaster but merely the worn out custodian sweeping up crushed popcorn and elephant droppings.
The high school was in utter chaos as I rolled in with dark half-moons under each eye. While still exhausted from the previous night’s shenanigans of my friend/colleague’s flight being continually canceled by United, I was told his substitute called 40 minutes after the bell to say she wasn’t coming. I pulled all the seniors from the first-period class, who were harassing another kind teacher, and squished them into my English 11 class. After teaching two classes at once, I got a call to cover the next period which should’ve been my break and planning. There were two fights in the building – one upstairs and the other downstairs later in the day. I almost skipped lunch, and my coffee ran cold before I could finish it.
As I climbed into my car, I was shaking from exhaustion and wished I could teleport home. When I got there, I curled into my cold sheets and waited for both Shiloh to be dropped off and Kevin to get home after letting Luna out to pee. An hour later, I woke up to Shiloh screaming “엄마! 엄마!” momma! momma! Downstairs, Shiloh was sitting clad in only a diaper in Kevin’s arms, his high chair was stripped of its cushion and the rest was covered in fresh vomit. Kevin took Shiloh away as I knew he is sensitive to vomit stench. I cleaned up the puke with paper towels and Lysol disinfectant spray, put the dirty dishes in the sink, grabbed a dry towel from the basement, gave our little monster a bath, brushed his teeth, Kevin read him a book, then we put him to bed. Then I grabbed the soiled clothes and cushion and threw them into the washer.
Our house looked like a war zone which only barely survived the work week of two working parents, a toddler, two cats, and a dog on Prozac. After lighting an overpriced candle, I sunk into the couch after ordering food via my Yelp app and just took a breath. I found it ironic that this weekend was Mother’s Day as I felt like I was barely making it. Some days are a breeze and everything goes right. I have energy enough to give Wonder Woman a run for her money, but then others, I look forward to 7:30 when the house quiets and I can sit with my eyes clothes and no one needs me. After rough days, sometimes the best moments are when we are all asleep – like the next day when we were still exhausted and Shiloh and I fell asleep on my mom’s couch.
We really do run a circus in our home, but these are my monkeys and our circus – and tomorrow we will put on another show.