I’ll never forget reading the book If You Give a Mouse a Cookie for the first time as a kid. I loved it. I think it was idea that I might ever find myself in a situation where an adorable, overall-wearing mouse would come to my house asking for a cookie but then end up hanging out to write a story and colour and have a nap that made the book appealing, but I really can’t say for sure . Either way, I know I wasn’t the only one who adored this little tail (sorry, couldn’t resist), because the author soon realized what a gem she had in her
wallet back pocket and went on to write about 14 other books with the similar premise of voracious little animals whose insatiable desires for more could simply not be tamed. And we gobbled them up.
I hadn’t thought about this book in years until today. This morning, I woke up to discover a poop explosion of epic proportions (my son’s, not mine). Actually, that’s a bit of an embellishment. It was grandma, who was visiting for the weekend, who was the lucky one to be first on the scene (sorry, mom!). Anyway. After stripping B’s crib and removing every stuffed animal, toy, book, and blanket from the vicinity, I took the offending items to the basement to be washed. On the way down, I nearly stepped in 3 separate puddles of cat vomit, which I stopped to clean before getting to the laundry room, where I noticed a giant puddle on the floor. It would appear that we are currently in need of a new water heater, because ours is currently leaking all over the basement. While I was cleaning up the mess, my house burned down and all I had left was my laptop to write a blog about the experience. Juuuust kidding. But why not, right?
Thankfully, my mom helped me to clean the floor, the laundry room, and my poopy kid (Stu was away all day today so I would have otherwise been on my own). While she went off in seek of a mop and some bleach water, I was on crib disinfectant patrol. I wiped everything down and, when I was finished, I started to take the washcloth to the laundry, but on the way there, I noticed that our railings were dirty. So I washed them. Once they were clean, though, I remembered that the walls were covered in handprints. So I washed those, too. And then this beautiful little story began to form in my head, because I just know that this domino effect of household duties is not unique to me. And so, fellow mamas/humans, I present to you, my much less adorable, but far more relatable version of the If You Give a Mouse a Cookie story. I call it, If You Give a Mom a Minute.
If you give a mom a minute, she’s going to want to know what she should do with it.
If you tell her she should go have a rest, she will probably notice that the sheets on the bed need to be changed.
When she’s getting the new sheets, she’ll notice that the linen closet needs to be reorganized.
So, she’ll probably take everything out and re-fold it.
While she’s refolding some of the towels, she might notice that some of them are old and need to be made into rags.
While she’s looking for the scissors, she will remember that her kids need haircuts.
When she’s looking up the phone number for the hairdresser, she’ll probably remember that she forgot to make an appointment at the vet, too.
While she’s on the phone with the vet, she will notice that there’s no more cat food, so she’ll have to go out and get some today.
When she’s getting her kids ready to load into the minivan, she will change one of their diapers, but when she goes to throw it away, she will smell the Diaper Genie and admit to herself that it can’t be left for another day, so she will hold her breath and change the bag.
On her way outside to drop off the trash, she will pass through the messy garage and remember that one of the overdue library books is somewhere inside, and stop to try to find it.
When she finally realizes that the book is gone forever, she will drive to the library to pay the fine.
Of course, the kids will want to go inside to get new ones.
After new books have been borrowed for all, and the fine has been paid, she will try to remember what she left the house for in the first place.
A cat running across the road will remind her that she needs to get cat food, and her crying child in the back seat will remind her that she is also out of milk.
So, she will go to the grocery store to pick them both up.
When she walks down the milk aisle, she will remember that she also needs to pick up eggs, cereal, and sunscreen for her kids.
The bill that should have been $8.15 will come to $103.95, because she will get way more than she needed. But she will forget the cat food.
When she turns the van around to go back to the store, the gas light will come on, so she’ll have to stop to fill up.
While holding the hose, she will notice that the car could use a wash, so she will add that on her mental list of things to do.
At the car wash, she will notice all of the stray Cheerios and garbage in the back seat, and decide that she should vacuum out the van, too.
While she’s vacuuming, the kids will start crying about how hungry they are, so the gang will head home.
When they arrive at home, they will carry in the groceries together, except for the baby who will also need to be carried.
After putting away the groceries, the empty bags will remind her that the litter box needs to be changed.
She will turn on Paw Patrol in hopes that it will distract her kids long enough to run downstairs, but Netflix will be down, so she will have to rush the job.
As she’s scooping litter into the bag, she will spill because she was in a hurry, so she’ll have to sweep the floor.
When she’s getting the broom, she will see her hangry children and remember that she needs to make dinner, and fast.
So, she will abandon her sweeping job and get dinner on the go. When it’s finally finished, her husband will arrive home from work.
While the family sits down for dinner, she will look around her at all of the dishes that need to be done.
Her husband will offer to bath the kids, so, while they are busy, she will get to work on the washing, drying, and putting away.
As she takes a soaking dish towel to the laundry room, she will pass by the cat litter that she spilled on the floor and remember that she still needs to sweep it up.
Once she has swept and taken the garbage out, she will notice that her kids are done in the tub, so she will go upstairs to read them a story.
While she is reading the story, she will realize that she is tired, so once the kids are all tucked in, she will head to her own bed.
That’s when she’ll remember that she still hasn’t put new sheets on from her rest earlier in the day, so she’ll have to go get some out of the newly organized linen closet.
After putting the new sheets on the bed, she will remember how tired she was when she went for a rest in the first place and she will fall fast asleep.
While she is sleeping, she will probably dream about things like her children growing up and going off to college, the birthday party she needs to organize, and the cat food she still didn’t buy.
But at least she’ll be asleep.
What do you think? Sound like any mamas you know? Did I forget anything on the neverending list?! Let me know in the comments!