Friday night, Al (my private investigator boss)called to see if I wanted to do some transcription for him. Forty or fifty pages, he said, due Monday morning.
"Sure," I said, thinking of two dollars a page. Forty pages? Easy as pie. I could do that in two nights, four hours tops. I could practically do that with one hand, in my sleep!
He called Saturday, hoarse, obviously sick, saying he'd bring the tape later and that he didn't need it until Tuesday morning. Excellent! Then, my dear husband who was extremely busy on Saturday (he had a funeral to prepare for, as well as the regular Sunday service), said from 1 to 3 p.m., he'd come home so I could get out of the house.
But then at 11:30 a.m., my friend, Paige, called, wondering if I could help her out by watching her 11 month old baby girl for a couple of hours. I said, "Sure, but I'm leaving the house at about 1 p.m. for a couple of hours." She said, okay.
But her husband didn't drop off baby Kyra until 12:30 p.m.! I called my husband and told him not to bother coming home. I'd just have some time off when the kids all went to bed! In addition to baby-care, I oversaw my son, TwinBoyB's, agonizingly slow progress working on a school book report. He spent four hours working on it!
Saturday night, then, found me rushing out of the house, gloriously alone, to see a movie. My timing was remarkably perfect and I enjoyed my bucket of popcorn and my movie.
Al's tapes were waiting for me when I returned home at 9:30 p.m. I said to myself, no big deal, I'll work on them on Sunday night and Monday night. Four hours, easy as pie.
Sunday was a long day, though. I stayed home from church because Saturday night from 1:30 a.m. until 4 a.m., Babygirl was AWAKE! I sat in my gliding rocker in the dark, nursing her while my feet got colder and colder, wondering if she'd ever sleep again. When I finally crawled back beneath the flannel sheets at 4 a.m., I had decided there was no way I was going to church! My throat was sore and my nose was runny from a lingering cold and now I was exhausted.
My husband was gone all day Sunday. All day. Which meant I was alone all day Sunday, alone, that is, with four children. Oh, it was a long, long day, especially since I'd had so little sleep the night before. And, somehow, he'd volunteered me to watch our friend's twin boys (9 years old) for the afternoon.
(Mid-way through Sunday, I found myself wondering if I was the only grown-up spending her life with kids twenty-four hours a day. I decided that somehow I'd been relegated to the "kid's table" for the rest of my life. I want to sit with the grown-ups! But that's another topic for another day.)
So, Sunday night I typed five pages and said, "I'm just too tired. I'll do it tomorrow." I'd spent 12 hours with my four kids, plus two additional kids for the afternoon, and during four hours of those hours, I worked with TwinBoyB as he attempted to write his report and I did this all without enough sleep and with a cold. And with a baby who wouldn't nap.
Monday came. My sweet husband came home for an hour to entertain Babygirl so I could type. I typed and typed and typed. My fingers are dry and two tips are so dry they have cracked. So, they bled. Still I typed as quickly as I could while my husband helped. But he went back to work and I resumed babycare.
Then, it was time to make dinner. The daycare baby's mama came to get him, and I toted Babygirl in one arm while I made dinner. But what's this? TwinBoyA hollers, "Mom! There's water everywhere!" I rush to the family room which is adjacent to the laundry room. There is water cascading over the floor and I immediately realize that the hose has come loose from its proper place behind the washing machine. All the water from the machine is now all over my floor! I leap into the laundry room and plug the hose back into the wall. "Get towels! Find all the towels in the house and bring them here!"
TwinBoyA runs upstairs, exhilerated to be participating in this adventure! He returns with an armload of towels. I scatter them into the puddles, trying to keep the water from creeping into the storage room.
The kids are all now trying to find towels. What fun! I'm barefoot, holding Babygirl, squishing across soggy towels when I smell burning. Burning? Ack! Dinner! I have spaghetti sauce on the stove. I hurry into the kitchen to examine the sauce. Apparently, the burning smell was just a stray crumb or something on a burner. Nothing has burned.
I call my husband to tell him I'm having a crisis and to ask him when he's coming home. He responds to my pleas and shows up about five minutes early and then he takes Babygirl from me and feeds her spaghetti and beans while I clean up water. Every towel in our house is now soaking wet and I have piles of laundry everywhere.
But, I get the baby to bed and I type! I type and type for three and a half hours . . . and somehow, I still have more to go! The forty page statement is now more than forty pages. It goes on and on and on! Al had greatly underestimated the length of the statements.
At 11:15 p.m., I went to bed, though I only had 47 pages finished. I figured I'd get up early and type. But I didn't.
Tuesday now. I expect Al to call bright and early. But he doesn't! My husband comes home again so I can type for an hour. He leaves and mostly, I take care of babies, but then DaycareKid takes a nap. Shockingly, Babygirl naps, too, but not until 2 p.m. Their naps overlap for one hour and I type! Al calls and I tell him how much I've done and that there is more to go. He says he'll call me at 9 p.m.
So I have a reprieve, but the moment Babygirl goes to sleep at 8 p.m., I'm frantically typing again, fingers bleeding, eyes scratchy, feeling crabby. I am almost finished when he calls to fix the "inaudibles."
I finally finish at 10 p.m. and I've typed 76 pages. That's over seven hours of typing. The good news? I've just earned myself $152. My laundry room floors are sparkling clean. And finally, today, there are freshly laundered towels in the bathroom again.
Tomorrow at 3:30 a.m., my husband leaves for four days. When did I turn into the Old Lady That Lives in a Shoe? Some day I'll miss this. Really.