Setting: The afternoon of Thursday, November 18
Place: Clifford family home
Stage Directions: Enter mom, stage right. She is actually showered and dressed and has accomplished many things this past morning, mainly surviving a dentist appointment for all 4 children. She looks calm, refreshed, anything but what you'd expect a mom with four kids under 3 to be. The following time line ensues:
All 4 kids are in bed for their naps and quiet. Mom pops a batch of scratch-made (ok, ok, they're from a box) brownies in the oven and settles in for some peace and solitude.
Brownies are done and the house smells wonderful. Mom enjoys a warm brownie ... perfection (way to go Duncan Hines). Mom hears baby start to cry. She rushes into room and pops pacifier back into his mouth. He drifts back to sleep without waking up older brother. Crisis averted. Mom rewards herself with another brownie.
Mom hears baby fussing again. She waits to go in to see if he will put himself back to sleep. He doesn't. She enters room and older brother is also awake. She goes to comfort baby and is horrified at what she sees. Baby and bed are covered in vomit. Lovely. Somehow baby is still sucking on pacifier, making mom wonder how all the vomit got out of his mouth. Baby is still crying and older brother is now running around house.
Mom removes baby from crib and places him in tub. She manages to remove all his clothing and tosses it in the sink. Baby is still crying. She starts a bath for baby. Older brother is still running around. Mom tells older brother to go wake up his sisters from their nap as well. Mom finds vomit in baby's ears.
All 4 children are now crowded into bathroom with mom. One older sister starts crying because it's not bath time yet. Meltdown ensues. Mom tries to get all 3 older siblings to go to the potty while still bathing baby.
Older brother informs mom that he has had an accident. Luckily it is contained to the pants, so mom tells him to go change his underwear. He runs off. Mom realizes that baby's vomit-covered clothes are no longer in sink. She finds dog licking them in the kitchen. Mom almost vomits herself.
Baby is clean and stops crying. Mom dries him off and puts new clothes on him. She sees older boy run past in the new pair of underwear he has put on. They are inside-out. And they are Dora the Explorer underwear. Mom doesn't care.
Snack time. Kids fight over what they want for snack until mom decides. Baby doesn't want snack, but drinks an entire cup of juice.
Kids entertaining themselves with books and toys. Baby seems better and in good spirits. Mom thinks maybe he just ate something bad. Baby comes over to mom to be picked up and vomits all over her shoes. Mom takes deep breath and counts to ten.
Mom removes baby's clothes and puts on new clothes. Luckily most of the vomit got on the floor and he doesn't require another bath. When mom goes to clean up vomit on floor, she finds older sister "skating" through it while dog is simultaneously licking up the vomit. Older sister runs, creating vomit footprints throughout the house. Baby refuses to let mom put him down.
Mom finally finishes cleaning up vomit-prints and notices a foul smell. Figures it's just the baby (who still refuses to be put down) with a lingering smell of vomit on his skin.
It still smells. Mom looks around to investigate. Mom realizes she never took the vomit covered sheets off of baby's bed. Mom now removes sheets and goes outside to try and shake encrusted vomit off of sheets. Doesn't really work. Mom just leaves sheet outside.
Time to start dinner. Mom corrals kids into playroom and tries to think of something easy for dinner. Baby seems happy for now, but mom is wary. Mom pops some biscuits in the oven to cook and lets dog outside.
Mom goes to let dog inside and finds him eating encrusted vomit off of the sheets she left out there (seriously, dog). She yells at dog to stop and ushers him inside. Kids have escaped the playroom and have unraveled entire roll of toilet paper. There is poop in the potty, but Mom doesn't know who put it there. She inspects three bottoms to find out who the perpetrator is. Skid marks give away the offender.
Dinner is almost done and kids are getting restless. Timer goes off for biscuits and mom gets potholder to remove baking sheet. While pulling biscuits from oven, baking sheet slips from mom's hand and she goes to save it with her other non-potholder-protected hand. Cursing follows.
Dad walks in from work to find mom standing with her hand under cold running water at the sink. Children are screaming in the background. Dad turns around and walks out (just kidding). Dad finishes dinner while mom nurses her hand. The wild banshees are released from their prison.
Dinnertime. Kids are happy. Baby gleefully eats entire meal without protest. Mom second-guesses her choice of serving broccoli when she realizes that it may come back up in 10 minutes. Blisters are starting to form on Mom's burned hand.
Kids are fed, bathed, and teeth brushed. Baby has kept meal down (so far). Mom and Dad put children to bed and kiss them goodnight. Mom collapses onto couch with pitcher of ice water to soak her hand in. She eats another brownie and hopes that tomorrow afternoon will work out a bit better than today did.
Lights fade out to spotlight on Mom, sitting on the couch with her maimed hand and a glass of wine. As the lights finally dim to black, we hear crying and retching from the baby's room in the distant background ...