Get up. Remind children not to touch anything. Encourage them to play on the computer, as that involves moving only a chair and a mouse.
Bake triple-berry muffins, because it makes the house smell good. (“Mmmmm, this house smells great. Let’s buy it!”) Feed muffins to children for breakfast. Argue with one boychild who would rather have a pop-tart than a freshly-baked muffin wherein the berries are—horrors!!—still identifiable. Try to reason with him. Try to cajole him. Dare him to taste the muffin. Lose temper and call him a freak. Tell him you told him so when he finally tries it and declares it good.
Shower. Get dressed. Have children get dressed. Make all the beds. Arrange all the towels just so. Go dry hair. Discover children messing up the towels. Yell. Catch yourself, stop yelling. Rearrange towels.
Send children off with their father for the day. Load dishwasher. Leave house.
Call several friends from the car. All are busy. Chide them for not planning their lives around you. Drive to consignment store. Wait in car for it to open. When it opens, drop off bag of clothing. Look for clothes for the girlchild. Pick a few things. Look for clothes for the boychild. Pick a few things. Look for clothes for self. Come across that shirt you saw last month and decided you didn’t need, decide its mysterious reappearance after being gone the last time you were here means that fate wants you to have this shirt. Try on some pants. Pick up some pajamas. Chat with other patrons about the hoochie-mama clothing rampant in your daughters’ sizes.
Head to checkout. Pay for purchases with store credit, congratulating self on not spending any money.
Return to your car. Check watch; realize you’ve killed less than an hour.
Decide to go to the Dunkin Donuts beyond your next stop for a bagel, because this will take more time. Get stuck in traffic. Be pleased. Finally get bagel. Drive to next errand location. Sit in the parking lot and eat half the bagel, noticing that not eating for four days has a way of reducing one’s appetite. Save second half of bagel for later.
Go inside store, inquire if they will process an internet order return. They will, but they will have a new associate do so for you. The good news is that this process takes at least an hour. The bad news is that said new associate’s brain explodes when she asks you for the reason for your return and you tell her that you thought you were ordering a bedspread and actually you are a moron, because this here is a bedskirt. There is no corresponding number code for this particular snafu. Finally you take pity on her and suggest she use the “item did not coordinate with my decor” code. (And it’s true. This item did not coordinate with the decor that requires a bedspread.)
Leave store with refund and a facial tic.
Sit in car, check email on your cell phone. Check watch; wish you could go home and take a nap.
Drive to another store. Look at shoes. Try on shoes. Wander around for a while. Leave without buying anything.
Drive to one more store. Look at shoes. Try on some pants. Look at sexy lingerie and realize that you are not at all in the mood to buy sexy lingerie. Buy the boychild some socks. Return to car. Check email again.
Realize you’re parked near another store that might be entertaining. Go inside. Small children are racing up and down the aisles and shrieking. Feel temple throb. Try to generate some interest in the clothing around you. Head for the clearance section. Find yourself constantly dodging a well-dressed man who appears to be waiting for his wife. While reading the bible. In the middle of the aisle.
Check watch. Return to car. Eat remaining half of bagel. Take a circuitous route home, rounding corner to discover… YES! The driveway is empty and the coast is clear. Pull into garage. Bound into the house with visions of napping dancing in your head.
Behold the mud of a thousand water buffaloes, or maybe just three house showings, upon your mudroom floor. And your kitchen floor. And all your other floors.
Call realtor. Leave him a detailed message about the sign you are making which directs all visitors to REMOVE THEIR SHOES, DAMMIT. Ask him to please call.
Clean up the mud. Curse while doing so, just to keep things entertaining.
Sit down and put feet up. Realize there is not enough time left to nap.
Make pizza dough.
Greet returning children. Allow them to play outside while dough rises.
Talk to realtor on phone. Gain his apologies and blessing for the sign. Add a few more exclamation points before taping it up.
Call children inside. Have them wash up and then surprise them with do-it-themselves mini-pizzas, batting nary an eyelash as shredded cheese falls to the floor. It’s nothing compared to the mud you just cleaned up.
Bake and eat pizzas. Be happy.
Until you remember that there are two more showings tomorrow.