The afternoon unfolds like this: finish up any freelance work I’ve been writing all morning in bed. Eat lunch (cold-cuts and a large salad), consider, then decline, taking a shower, change out of pajamas, make a list of things to do, half of which will never get done. Wait for bus on Housten while putting fingers in ears to block out the noise of workers tearing up the streets. Figure I have enough time to buy a coffee. Run back to bus stop just in time for the 2:29 bus. Fold stroller, struggle onto bus, spill coffee, get yelled at by bus driver. Fifteen minutes later, enter preschool where Sebastien is still asleep and Sydney is showing me the “house” they painted out of boxes.
Put kids in stroller and sing songs as we walk to Whole Foods to search for lavender and flax seed to make eye pillows for the school’s yoga classes. Don’t find lavender and only buy half the seed I need (too expensive), but kids convince me that we need two boxes of cereal, fruits bars and a couple of apples.
Walk home with groceries, lunchboxes, jackets and stroller for fifteen more blocks. Have a picnic with the boys on the living room carpet. Laugh and cuddle and try to get stories of their day from them. Give into endless begging for TV. Turn on Tivo’d episode of Scooby Doo and retreat to my bed to finish a pitch to O Magazine.
At 5:20, Steve comes home and we start our evening. I make Picadillo (a Cuban version of sloppy joes, without the bun) served with white rice and broccoli. Manage to feel guilt pangs that we are not eating brown rice. We sit down to dinner. Sebastien screams at us. We “excuse” him from the table. Time to make a collage about our family for school. We cut and paste words and photos and images from magazines. Steve and I make sure Sydney includes a bottle of wine on his portrait. Glue and tiny scraps of paper litter the floor. I leave it to put the kids in the bath while Steve does dishes. Sebastien and Sydney fight and scream over who gets to sit in the front.
I leave kids in bath to clean up the collage mess (I know, I should watch them, but who has time?) while Steve measures and cuts the fabric for the eye-pillows I signed us up to make. Both of us curse me for volunteering to do this.
Drink a half glass of wine, while reading to Sebastien in his bed. He starts yelling at me. I say, “Good night Seb. I love you but you may not scream at me.” Hand him a bottle of milk before running out the door. One down.
Sydney wants a bagel after he gets his pajamas on.
Set up sewing machine and sew eye pillows, leaving an opening for filling. Drink another half glass of wine. The thread doesn’t exactly match the bright orange poly-blend fabric donated by the school, but by now, I don’t care. Sydney and Steve fill eye pillows with flax seed infused with lavender oil. When we run out of flax seed, we use sushi rice. It smells nice but I hope it doesn’t sprout. The end product feels nice. But boy is it ugly.
Put Sydney to bed, after cajoling him to brush his teeth and take a pee.
Clean up flax and rice mess. Feel good about making something and contributing to preschool community. Go to bed. Start a New Yorker article, fall asleep after one paragraph.
Wake up and do it all again.