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This Is What Happens When I Run Out of Coffee

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There's a good chance Thomas has a dirty diaper right now, but he's busy climbing up on the coffee table while his big brother lays on the floor and tries to kick him, so I would hate to disturb him. I'll take care of it in a minute. There are other more important factors at play here today.

I am completely out of coffee. We live our lives on a cash-based budget that we try to stick to as much as possible. If we don't have the cash for it, we don't buy it. Unfortunately, a little thing called "life" got in the way of our financial planning last week and we had to unexpectedly buy a car. The coffers cleaned out in the name of reliable transportation, I let our kitchen get down to bare shelves before I finally went out to the grocery store and spent every. single. dollar. in my grocery budget envelope. Unfortunately, buying things like fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen chicken nuggets and mega-packs of hot dogs did not leave any room for me to buy a bag of whole bean coffee. I'm now on my third day of functioning without my typical caffeine jolt in the morning and let me tell you, I'm hurtin'.

I took the kids to the zoo today. Without coffee. We spent four hours walking around the joint without any of my children getting lost or hurt, so I'm going to call this one a win. By the end of our outing, my oldest had almost mastered the art of pushing the handicap button to open the door for the stroller, Thomas had very nearly figured out how to escape from the bonds of his stroller by contorting himself into positions Houdini would have been proud of, and my middle boy hadn't peed his pants. Winner. Unfortunately, I also had to scold Micah for throwing rocks at the polar bear, carry Thomas screaming and crying from the Safari Train, and reprimand Isaiah for loudly taunting me in front of one of the snake enclosures. Look, I don't like snakes, ok? They're creepy, they have fangs, and I most certainly do NOT want to be standing in front of the glass when some unsuspecting kid walks by and accidentally discovers he's a wizard. Suddenly I will be tumbling into the clutches of a 40 foot boa constrictor and then we'll see who has the last word. It certainly won't be me, because I will be in the midst of being suffocated to death by a slithering Horcrux of evil, but you better believe I will be shouting "I told you so!!!" in my mind.

Anyway, all the spending money I had for today went toward tickets to ride the Safari Train, so my boys were pretty crushed when their pleas for ice cream, face painting, and Sponge Bob popsicles went completely unrequited. I had fed them cookies for lunch, so I really don't see what the problem was.

Because of my incredible cruelty, I had to listen to Isaiah howl the entire walk to the van with the repeated lament of, "I'm hoooottttt! I want something cold to driiiinnnnkkkkk!! I want to go baaaaaack by the annnnimmmmals!" I'd be lying if I didn't consider racing back through the welcome center so I could toss him in the penguin tank, quickly providing an answer to all his concerns. It's fine, people. He passed Level 1 at swimming lessons this summer, so he would just back float the heck out of those penguins.

The baby skipped his nap. You know that terrible moment when you are on your way home from a day of marching your babes around the zoo in the name of tiring them out so a substantial nap is all but guaranteed only to look in your rear view mirror and see the baby's eyelids drooping? Fifteen minutes away from home, I cranked up the volume on the Veggie Tales DVD and started driving one-handed so I could use the other hand to tickle him and keep those eyelids propped wide open. No dice. My tuckered out little dude surrendered to the grip of sleep and barely moved as I gently carried him from his carseat into the house. I gently tugged the shoes off his feet and ever so gracefully transferred his limp body from my arms to his crib. That's when he hit the mattress and started screaming as though I had just tossed him into a frozen pond. Ever the compassionate mother, I walked out of the room and closed the door in the hopes he would chill out and fall back asleep. Instead, my oldest son's neighborhood buddy knocked on the front door and sent my dog into a barking frenzy, promptly destroying any thread of hope for a nap that may have remained.


I gathered up Thomas from his crib and we snuggled on the couch with his disgusting blankee and his Curious George, determined to at least salvage some quiet time for him to recharge a bit. It was at that moment that four boys raced through my living room wielding lightsabers and my middle son emerged from the bathroom with his pants and underwear at his ankles.

Man, a cup of coffee would really be great right now.

Nude boys covered up and Jedi battles redirected to the backyard, I soothed my tired Thomas with the promise of a movie. He considered the options, carefully selected Kung Fu Panda, and we once again cuddled up to watch the voice talents of Jack Black and Dustin Hoffman.

Where is the DVD remote?

I lost the DVD remote. Kung Fu Panda on hold, I tore the couches apart, shook out every blanket and emptied every toy basket. The blasted thing finally turned up on Thomas's changing table. Why didn't I think to look there in the first place? Beats me. I started the movie and returned the DVD remote to its home, a darling wooden box designed specifically for holding remote controls. (Yet somehow the stupid things are never, EVER in there when I need them.) As my boy giggled at the kung fu stylings of Po the panda, I felt my eyelids sagging and my head falling backwards. With the Bigs still engaged in an epic battle against the Dark Side and the baby nestled safely on my lap, I allowed my eyes to close and I gave in to the desire to doze a bit.

Before I knew it, I was jolted awake when Micah punched me in the face.

After Micah's Time Out, I went to the kitchen to reheat a cup of coffee. Oh... right. Fighting the urge to curse, I went to the chest freezer in the garage and swiped a ball of cookie dough. You can't prove that I ate it. By this point, Kung Fu Panda was nearing the climatic "Skidoosh" and my older boys were fighting over who was going to be the zombie when they played "House."

If there was going to be any chance of me being able to make supper without stabbing myself in the eye with a fork, I was going to need a seamless transition to another movie. Po, you're out. Larry the Cucumber and Bob the Tomato were on deck and ready to step up to the plate.

Where is the ever. loving. REMOTE???!!!!!

I really need to buy coffee.