Sarah climbed the stairs, overwhelmed with fatigue although her day had barely begun. She ran the shower in her bathroom and hopped in, not daring to check on Sophie and Jack for fear of another crisis to deal with before she got ready for the day. Again.
Should have waxed, thought Sarah as she stepped out of the shower, barf and wheetabix-less, remembering her impending date with the gynaecologist.
Sarah slipped into a pair of jeans and a button up shirt. Slightly wrinkled, but not bad, she encouraged herself. She ran a brush through her limp brown hair and applied deodorant. A swipe of mascara later she was ready to face the next catastrophe.
Sarah quietly closed her bedroom door behind her, vowing that she would maintain her cool, as she walked down the hall past Ben's office and the main bathroom to Sophie's room. Empty.
She tried the next door to Jack's room, also empty.
What in the blue hell are they up to now.
She realized her least favourite rendition of "You're Beautiful" was coming from the bathroom. She opened the door and Sophie and Jack were actually brushing their teeth. Well, sort of. Sophie was waving the toothbrush around, using it as a microphone. Little specks of toothpaste flew onto the mirror and the walls. Jack was seated on the edge of the tub brushing his teeth and trying to get his bubbly little mouth to form words.
At a dentist appointment last week the dental hygienist had shown Jack how to count the number of brushes he did on each tooth. While Sarah was touched by the effort Jack had been making to follow this advice, it meant Jack had probably been brushing for over ten minutes now as he wasn't a very quick counter, especially with a mouth full of foam.
If only he listened to me that well, thought Sarah. She had a feeling his obedience was due to the free stickers and toothbrushes thrown at them as they went out the door, but nonetheless.
"Okay guys, brushing is done," said Sarah as she whipped the cold water on. "Out, time to get dressed. I have an appointment to keep."
Sophie and Jack spat and swished, taking their time gurgling. At their ages everything became a contest. Races up the stairs, who could make a fart sound the loudest, who could gargle water the longest, et cetera, et cetera.
"Spit!" Sarah ordered.
They spat, kind of into the sink, but more onto the mirror. Sophie took a sweeping look around the bathroom, calculating the number of hours she would later spend cleaning up this morning's wreckage and hosing off Mops.
Sophie ran to her room. "Mooom what should I weeear?"
Sarah had been letting Sophie pick her own outfits lately which usually resulted in mismatched and seasonally inappropriate get-ups. She had read in a parenting magazine that it boosted self confidence. Like her singing wonder child needed anymore of that, but alas.
"It's pretty windy out, maybe a t-shirt and jeans. Bring a sweater." Sarah left Sophie to get dressed.
Jack emerged from his room in the suit he had worn to Sarah's sister's wedding last summer. He had been growing consistently since then and it was a bit short and snug all around.
"What? You let Sophie pick her own clothes!"
"Jack, this is an outfit for fancy things. We aren't going anywhere fancy today, believe me. Let's get changed," said Sarah, exasperated.
After much protesting and pouting, Jack was squeezed into a more casual outfit. Sarah mentally added “Buy Jack bigger clothes” to her to-do list.
Time to round up the troops and get to the car, she thought.
Sarah went to get Sophie from her room, but it was empty. She checked the bathroom, also empty. She had a horrible feeling that she heard singing coming from her bedroom when Sophie swung Sarah's bedroom door open triumphantly.
She was wearing her pull up, elastic waist jeans backwards. Two pockets with sequined butterflies were now on her front side, not her back side. She had on two different socks, one pink with ruffled tops and the other a fluorescent orange colour. She was also wearing daisy print summer dress over her jeans, a button up sweater, and a purple feather boa. She had on three head bands, and was holding rubber boots in her pudgy little hands.
But it wasn't her outfit that horrified Sarah. It was Sophie's face.
It was covered in a white cream, which Sarah presumed was her Crème de la Mer ($300 bucks a pot) that she had splurged on recently after a particularly bad argument with Ben. On top of the cream was two pink stripes. Obviously Sophie had found mommy’s makeup. She had smeared a large oval various lipstick colours over her lips, and had coloured in her eyelids with Sarah's sticky black mascara. Her eyelashes were stuck together at odd angles which made her look slightly crazy.
If she didn’t look so funny Sarah may have gotten the handcuffs and braved the grandparents, Ben, and child services. She might have got in the car and drove away, screaming, and left the dog to eat grass outside and the kids to muck up everything that was hers in the house. Bring it on animal control, bring it on. Thought Sarah, as she steamed.
Jack started sniffling behind her. She whirled around. Why the hell was he crying now? But no, the tears welling up in his eyes were not sad tears. He was trying not to laugh. He was visibly shaking with the effort. He could tell Sarah was fuming, but he couldn’t hold it in any longer.
“You…ha..HAH..look…like a CLOWN! Hahaha!” squealed Jack with delight.
Sarah couldn’t take it anymore. She let herself dissolve into laughter too.