The things that would normally happen without thought or effort did not all happen yesterday. So when three children were finally sleeping last night and I went upstairs to bed I grabbed the bathmat where it was still hanging from air drying on the railing that separates the kitchen from the family room and I tossed it on the floor of our bathroom in a crumply heap.
Minutes later a girl joined me in our bed, moaning about her belly. She usually settles with a snuggle, but she continued to moan and flip and flop. An hour later another girl appeared in our bed. She had awoken from a nightmare but fell asleep quickly in our bed and proceeded to horizontalize against the human grain of the three occupants already in place.
An hour after that the boy woke up in his bassinet by the bed. He's excused, because he still gets a free pass. Knowing a pumped bottle of mamamilk was waiting for him, I played the 'hope the husband gets the baby' game, and the lovely husband played the 'hope the mama gets the baby' game, but I won because the vertical girl on me was still awake and moaning and the horizontal girl on him was sound asleep and snoring, so he could scoot out with less disruption than I could.
A small triumph, that. Because while he hid behind his baby-feeding-and-holding-and-burping shield, the moaner said she needed to use the potty and ran into our bathroom. She called for company and in a moment of what I believed to be mere efficiency but I now believe to have been prescience I used the opportunity beneath her dangling feet to lay the bathmat properly across the cold tile floor.
And then she stood up and puked all over it.
So now it's 4:something AM and the bathroom is covered in puke but the lovely husband, who would normally be dispatched to such cleanup duties, is hiding behind the baby shield I outplayed him into holding, and the moaner is downstairs with me on the couch, timidly drinking seltzer and watching some documentary on the food network about making chocolate truffles, and the upstairs smells so puke-bad that I'm afraid to return.
But I won't be home alone with the baby tomorrow.