A Crap Family Morning

 Posted by on January 20, 2012  Add comments  Tagged with: , , ,
Jan 202012

I once received an e-mail from a reader, thanking me for posting pictures of my house when it’s a mess. She said that she enjoys looking at those pictures because they make her feel normal (see My Real Life and Major Mess Recovery).

I remember thinking, “Oh boy…if she only knew.”

The danger of writing about topics like organization is that people may get the impression that you are always “together,” when that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Honestly, the main reason I write so often about organization is because I’m always desperately trying to achieve and/or maintain it in my own life.

Yesterday, I mentioned that I sometimes think the writers of The Middle are looking in our windows because, as I said to my husband this morning, we are The Hecks. There are some major differences, of course, but we have a lot in common with that family, right down to the Midwestern, 70s ranch house, the kid who spends all day in underwear (or pajamas – Cakes) and the brilliant, bookworm kid who whispers (from kindergarten through the first half of 2nd grade, Bee had a self conscious habit of repeating herself in a whisper). Despite our best efforts, we can never seem to keep up, and something is always going wrong. I don’t write The Crap Family Chronicles for nothing, you know.

Just as an illustration, let me walk you through my morning:

7:45 A.M. Overslept because I was up late, painting (remember when I posted that we’d finally started the kids’ bathroom remodel? Over a month ago? Well, zero progress has been made since then, which is why I stupidly decided to paint the vanity and trim yesterday. DJ stuck his fingers in the paint 4 times, one of my MP3 earbuds fell out of my ear, and landed in the paint pan, and now I have a repetitive use injury).

7:50 A.M. Right arm is so sore that I have to hobble out to the kitchen, holding it stiffly by my side like Igor from Frankenstein. Cakes is sitting on the couch, sobbing, with hair plastered to her face, and standing up around her head in a halo of static. She informs me that she’s quitting preschool. Outside it’s snowing heavily, but ours appears to be the only school in the area that doesn’t feel the need to close, or even start late. DJ has peed through his pajamas. Husband informs me that he “woke the kids for me,” and is now going downstairs to work.

7:55 A.M. Cakes has changed out of her clothes and back into her nightgown. DJ is begging for a “kink” (drink), and clinging to my leg. Change him and give him some juice, while yelling repeatedly at Cakes to get dressed, because she can’t just quit preschool every time she’s tired and doesn’t feel like going. She continues to protest. Pick her up under my arm like a sack of flour, haul her into her room, and maneuver her flailing arms and legs into some clothes (pants too short, sleeves of sweater too short, can’t find matching socks). It’s like trying to thread a needle with cooked spaghetti.

8:00 A.M. Rush around getting everybody breakfast. Pour two bowls of cereal, then discover that the milk is gone. Pour cereal back in the box and spread cream cheese on some bagels. Yell at the girls 47 times to hurry up and eat. Nobody has brushed their hair or teeth. Nobody can find any of their stuff. Run into bedroom to get dressed. Discover that at some point when no one was looking, DJ has scratched up the front of our dresser with a rock that one of the girls brought into the house. He has also thrown an entire roll of toilet paper into the toilet. Throw on jeans and husband’s sweatshirt with a big grease stain on the stomach. No time to do anything with hair. Put on a stocking cap.

8:10 A.M. Stomp out to the kitchen and announce that there are going to be some changes around here! No one pays any attention because they’ve heard this before.

8:15 A.M. Realize that Pumpkin has to go to the vet this morning, and we have to leave in 5 minutes. Husband brings in filthy, 25-year-old “Pet Taxi,” which is growing mildew spores on the inside, and is covered in paint splotches, dust, and years of grime. One side looks as though it may have been run over by a truck, and the door has been mangled by animal teeth. Everyone rushes through the house, yelling, “Pumpkin! Where are you?! PUNKY, GET OUT HERE! PUUUMMPPKIIIN!!” Husband finally locates cat, who is cowering in the basement, and wrestles him into the carrier, where he begins to yowl pitifully.

8:25 A.M. Drive Bee to school at a snail’s pace because the roads are covered in snow and sludge, with Pumpkin meowing loudly, and having what appears to be a cat seizure the entire time. Cakes has already managed to lose a mitten. When I open the van door to let Bee out at school, 30 pounds of assorted crap, including junk mail, a pacifier, a shoe, and a sippy cup, flies out and lands in the snow.

8:30 A.M. Drop Pumpkin at vet’s office and take Cakes to preschool. Stop at grocery store to get milk. Cashier keeps staring at me with a puzzled expression. Get in car and examine face in mirror. Realize that I forgot to wash off the thick, white layer of Proactiv Refining Mask, which I’d plastered on the side of my face the night before, in an attempt to get rid of a particularly bothersome pimple.

9:00 A.M. Rummage through fossilized french fries, mold-infested sippy cups, crayons, used tissues, and other revolting detritus on van floor, in search of baby wipes. Can’t find any. Resort to scrubbing face vigorously with fast food napkin dipped in snow.

9:05 A.M. Return to vet to get Pumpkin. There is a lovely young couple waiting at the counter, with a sweet, impeccably-groomed cat in a pristine, immaculate cat carrier. This good-natured cat does not make a peep, but Pumpkin is howling like a banshee in the back room. Pretend I don’t know him.

9:15 A.M. Receptionist shows me up by bringing out Pumpkin, in his disgusting, roadkill Pet Taxi, and plunking him right at my feet.  She then proceeds to help the well-dressed, clearly childless young couple with their perfect, well-behaved cat. Subtly attempt to zip coat to hide stomach grease stain, but zipper is stuck. Clear throat nervously, and try to calm Pumpkin who, at this point, is clearly hysterical. His tail is puffed up to three times its normal size, his eyes are like dinner plates, and he’s thrashing around like one of those crazy Weasel Ball toys you see on display in the mall. Hair is flying everywhere. Occasionally, he thrusts a paw out and meows at me, wild-eyed and manic, like a crazed lunatic in an asylum.

9:20 A.M. Apologize, shamefaced, for devil cat’s behavior. Decide to take him to the van so he isn’t so disruptive, and to spare myself further mortification. Park Pumpkin in the backseat, and inform him, with teeth clenched, that if he doesn’t quit freaking out, I’m going to take him back to the shelter.

9:30 A.M. Vet says Pumpkin is healthy, but too fat (16 pounds!) and he should only have 5/8 cup of food per day. With a Sharpie, the vet marks a measuring cup so we know how much to give him. Drive home with Pumpkin STILL meowing. Go downstairs to put measuring cup in cat food bin, and find identical, marked cup already there. Ask husband, who is in charge of feeding Pumpkin, if he’s been following the 5/8 cup rule. He sheepishly tells me that he “might” have forgotten about that, so instead he’s been giving Pumpkin 2 full cups of food to compensate for days when he “might” forget to feed him.

I can hardly criticize. When my husband was in Florida in November, I forgot that Pumpkin was even here.

Together? Organized?


But we keep trying. We really do.


  64 Responses to “A Crap Family Morning”

  1. Wow!  I’ve been reading your blog for about a month now.  I kept thinking, I still don’t know how she does it all.  I want to be like her: supermom, superwife, supercook, etc.  This helps sooo much to know that we all go through the crazy mornings sometimes.

  2. Laughed out loud several times while reading this! So sorry that your morning has been so rough! Praying it gets better for you! Thanks for sharing with us! 🙂

  3. Ohmygosh….this just made my day! I laughed the entire time I was reading, because it sounded sooooo familiar! The pet taxi part had me in tears. Thank you for bringing some sunshine to this chilly day!

  4. ha-ha, awesome.  Not going to lie; this is why I love your blog – motivating.  I’m sitting around feeling sorry for my morning and pop on hear, read about yours and giggle.  Am I benefiting from your distress?  absolutely.  Hang in there sweet-heart!  Maybe writing it all down helps you giggle at your day too. 

  5. Thank you for being so honest and open with us. It helps remind me that on my “Crap Family” days, there are others out there going through the same thing! Thank for your always genuine, funny and relatable blog!  It really helps me get through the harder days of being a stay at home. You have also changed my life with all of your organizing and how to be frugal tips. And it reminds me of home. We live all over since my husband is in the Navy, but I’m from the midwest 🙂  My dad works for Fareway and I think I saw a picture DJ with a Hawkeye shirt?? Woohoo!!

  6. Oh my goodness! I loved it! Please tell me it’s all true and you’re not embellishing, because this just made my day. Bless your heart!

  7. I enjoyed reading about your morning. I love youropen honesty that you are just like the rest of America!! Your writing brings a hint of a smile to my lips and a little “bless her heart” to my mind. 

  8. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t be howling hysterically at this, but hades, honey, we’re having frighteningly similar days. You truly are the modern Bombeck.

  9. I anxiously await your “Crap Family” entries, not because I hope for your suffering, but you are HILARIOUS! I have a LOT of Crap Family days, and it is nice to realize that I’m not the only one. It is good to find the humor in it all, and to be able to look back and see how silly it all is. THANK YOU!

  10. Loved this post!  Ditto the reasons of everyone else.  Thanks!

  11. Love this post! I’m impressed that you still find time to blog. I only have one newborn and can’t get a blog started.

  12. I was laughing the entire time! Thanks for sharing because I needed a good laugh. I hope things settle down for you even though it’s not as funny.

  13. Wow! This sounds like my life exactly! Thanks for sharing it’s nice to know I am not alone 🙂

  14. Love this post! I was cracking up laughing many times!!

  15. So sorry about your morning. I did keep a straight face…until the grocery store clerk and the refining mask! You just hang in there. It won’t get easier, but it will all be very very worth it. Our oldest is 30 – married and mom to three of the best grandbabies ever, our youngest is 19 and will leave in four and a half weeks to serve a two year church mission in South Korea. There are three brothers and a sister in between: six in all. I wouldn’t trade a single crazy moment for anything!

  16. Dear Heather, thank you so much for sharing this.  You have lifted up my spirits and have given me a much needed laugh.  I have been in a funk all week and you have helped me finally break through.  I was reading along and nodding my head in agreement up until 8:30 and the Proactiv mask.  Then I laughed out loud all the way to the end of the post and almost woke up the baby sleeping in the next room.  I am truly very sorry that you have had this kind of morning and that you are hurt.  I am also so thankful that you share your gift of honest, heartfelt, humorous writing with the world.  I hope you have a much better afternoon and a great weekend with that precious family of yours. 

  17. Oh, thank you! I was laughing my head off because I have too many of these type of mornings to count! So sorry you had a bad day, but so happy I’m not the only one. You know, misery loves company! 🙂

  18. Oh my it sounds like you had quite a morning Heather! But i appreciate your honesty it makes me feel better to know I am not alone in our family craziness!

  19. You are HILARIOUS. Thanks for writing! I love your blog (it’s one of only a handful that I actually follow religiously).

  20. Oh my, all this happened in less than two hours too. Hope the day has gotten better. Rub the meat of a walnut over the scratches on the dresser to help minimize them.

  21. Heather, your post had me laughing out loud with tears rolling down my face, and I almost wet my pants.  What a day!  I appreciate your candor, and like everyone else, I am thrilled to know that I am not the only one with days like this.  Thank you!

  22. This is so funny. The “threading a needle with cooked spaghetti” is CLASSIC. I deal with that a lot too with my 3 year old. You are incredible to have managed that morning without freaking out more. I think I would have lost it really early on.

  23. My goodness this is hilarious!  By 8:30, I was laughing so hard I was crying.  Of all the Crap Family posts, this has to be my favorite.  Aside from your wit, it’s a gift in itself to remember all those details.  I would probably block them out like a person with post-traumatic stress syndrome!  Anyway, hang in there…your family is adorable.  Thanks for making us all feel a little more normal by sharing the good days and the not-so-good ones.

  24. Oh my jellybeans you totally crack me up.  The Proactiv mask was classic…I’ve SO been there!!! 

  25. I think I need a drink just READING about your day, can’t imagine living it!! And I don’t even drink, ha! Makes you appreciate the good days even more, doesn’t it? Hope you have a great weekend 🙂

  26. Sorry you had such a rough day, but it sure did make for a funny story! By the way, I am glad I am not the only one who has stuff fall out of the car when I open the door.

  27. This is great laughs!!! I’m sooo glad…our family is not alone in the world!!! God Bless all of you!

  28. So funny and so familiar! I love the way you express yourself. Have a great weekend, hopefully not a Crap Family one!

  29. So funny Heather! I laughed out loud at the Proactiv mask. But I do have to tell you that Proactiv is way overpriced. Try http://www.acne.org instead. 

  30. Oh my goodness! I was laughing so hard the entire time I was reading this post. Thanks Heather. I really needed to laugh tonight. I am sorry that your morning was so hard. Believe me I have been there. 

  31. Oh my gosh- this is fantastic! I love the part about announcing that there will be changes around here. So relatable.

  32. Oh goodness. You poor Mama. I hope your day got infinitely better after that morning. I am afraid to admit that I, too, have been giggling while reading this. I have three kiddos as well and I am pretty sure I lost my sanity somewhere about two kids ago. lol. 

    I also tell my husband all the time that I think the writers from The Middle secretly record us to get their material. It’s just crazy how often I watch and they are talking about something we JUST discussed a week or two before. Love that show! lol. 

  33. Thank you, for this post. It is 1:18 am, my time, and I am sitting on my bathroom floor giggling hysterically, and FINAALLYYY (well, til tomorrow…???) done with the pity party I have been having for myself for how crazy my life has become, disorderly, and seeming as if Murphy (as in Law), has come to stay long term at my house.  After reading about your day, I just realized, “Hmm. I don’t have it so bad after all.”  Thank you for the laugh, and also, sorry for your CRAP day.

  34. Sounds like some of the days I have…I laughed so hard at this because I know exactly how you feel…Love reading your blog it makes my day!

  35. This is just the BEST post!! I am sorry about your awful morning but I just loved reading about it the way you wrote it. Now I’ll tell you how I came about reading this post:

    2:05PM: Have to use the bathroom. Sneak the laptop in with me for a little “me” time. What can I say? The bathroom is the best mom hideout ever. It even has a lock on the door!

    2:06pm: Figure I might as well catch up on my facebook while I am in there. First thing I see is that my favorite blog writer has a new post up! Dump facebook and head over to WWYH. 

    2:07pm: Start reading the funniest blog post ever about a mom like me having a crazy morning just like mine. Get one-third thru reading it and start laughing. Get half-way thru and am laughing loudly, uproariously!

    2:08pm: Start realizing that I must sound like a total lunatic to my family as they hear this hysterical laughing behind the locked bathroom door. I mean really, what is Mom DOING in there? (Remember, the laptop is a secret.) Worry about how I am going to keep the secret now :).

    2:09 pm: Sneak back out of the bathroom with my best poker face acting like nothing happened and thankful for the fabulous stress relieving laugh I just had, one of the funniest in a long time!
    Thanks, Heather! 🙂

  36. I love your blog and it’s the only one that I check regularly.  You had me crying, I was laughing so hard! Thank you so much for writing. 

  37. Thank you so much for the laugh! I needed it more than you’ll ever know. It’s good to hear that I’m not the only one who has days like that (or a week like that even) Have a blessed day!

  38. LOVE IT!!  Coincides with my day yesterday 🙂  We had 4″ of snow by 830 am and it was still snowing – fortunately it was a ‘Staff Development Day’ so there was no school. But it seemed to be a ‘nothing goes right’ type of day!  Hope your day goes better today! <3

  39. Thanks for the laugh! It’s so nice to read about a realistic day in the life of a mom. I’ve been there!

  40. Ha!  This one made me laugh (and commiserate)!

  41. “Stomp out to the kitchen and announce that there are going to be some changes around here! No one pays any attention because they’ve heard this before”

    LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!!!! My other favorite part is the stuff flying out of the vehicle when you open the door….this is totally our life. I was trying to blow my nose on a frozen baby wipe in the car the other day.

    Your post just made my whole day.

  42. This is too funny! I was seriously laughing out loud! This brings back memories of my mom getting us ready for school. My kids aren’t in school yet, but I can imagine what it will be like. Thanks for posting this! We’re all a work in progress 🙂

  43. Good morning to you too! LOL … wait, still laughing LOL

  44. Thank you!

  45. This is a great post. ! “just another day in the life”.

  46. Heather, I too have three kids (2 girls and a boy) and I’ve been following your blog for 3-4 years now (and absolutely love it!).  Your kids’ personalities are very similar to mine so I can very much relate to what you go through.  Your post today was HILARIOUS!  I laughed so hard, I cried – and almost snorted (*blush).  It sounds like my mornings – which I HOPE are becoming fewer and further between.

  47. Fun Post! Brightened my night!! :0)

  48. One of my favorite post ever. Thank you for making me laugh when I too was having a crap family morning, day, month, winter…. Being a mom is the best hardest job ever. I feel moms should unite in our struggles and triumphs rather then tear each other down. Too often I feel moms strive for perfection and don’t want anyone to know the truth. Thanks Heather!

  49. Hilarious!  Too funny, this helped me start my day with some perspective.  Glad to hear we aren’t the only one with “bad” days around here!  Especially the part about the mask on your face, there are so many days I leave the house and forget to even look in the mirror first!

  50. This was one of the best laughs I have had in a while, it could truly be my day!  Right down to the vet (though we have dogs).  Thanks for sharing it is so refreshing to feel comraderie in chaos rather than isolation…  It is always a strive for order for here too…  hope your day got better.

  51. My husband and I LOVE the Middle! We often say it is just like our house… we have Axel (Henry) in his underwear as soon as he gets home from school, and Brick (Sawyer) doing the repeat whisper and acts like Sue when he can’t play a sport.
    From your posting, 7:45 to 8:25 sounds like a typical day at our house, only we have to start at 6 and be out the door at 7:30.
    Yesterday I was very sick, so the hubby had to stay home to get the kids off to school. I was sitting in the tub (relieving my body aches) and he comes in to tell me school is canceled. I proceed to get out, after ONE hour, turn the TV on, and don’t see our school closing… Because the school was, infact, OPEN.  This was one hour after school should have started. (We stayed home.)
    I REFUSE to take our Golden Retriever to the vet any more. “She looks so friendly,” is what we are often told. Then someone brings their dog in, and she turns into Kujo. When we schedule her next appointments, they never have anything available before 7:45pm… huh, never thought about that before… Same thing when she goes to the groomers. 
    Thanks for the great post! Had me in stiches!

  52. Hey Heather, you’re a nut. Hope you have a better day today. My name’s Johanna. My sister is Maria Hanson, who I think you know? She told me that you like the GoFish Guys and did both of their VBS curriculums. Way cool. I’m a missionary with OneVerse, and we partner with the GoFish Guys and their VBS by providing the missions module. If you and your kids experienced one of those, I’d love to know. We also have OneVerse Bloggers … we love bloggers. 🙂 Blessings!

  53. LOve, LOve Love the crap family chronicles.  This could be my life sometimes.  Seriously!  The face cream on your face though made me laugh out loud and spit on my computer screen!!  Priceless.  I love you Heather, seriously.  You are my hero! LOL – Karen

  54. I’m so glad to know that someone else has the same kind of life I do.  You are a brilliant writer.  Thanks for sharing!

  55. is your bathroom done yet?

  56. I laughed until I cried the first time — then did the same thing just now when you reposted it. This is incredibly funny because it’s SO true — we’ve all been there. Thanks!

  57. I don’t know how I missed this one! This had me in stitches. It’s so nice to know we are not alone – I could relate to so much of this and have so been-there-done-that down to the ratty cat taxi and demon-spawn cat howling to wake the dead!! This year I insanely threw homeschooling into the mix. Aye-yi-yi! There’s a whole blog right there!

  58. Thank you thank you thank you for this post. It really put life into perspective. I laughed out loud so many times. 😀

  59. […] steps. (We’re actually completely refacing the stairs right now, due to an unfortunate Crap Family incident. I’ll write more about this when we’re finished). I will do something about […]

  60. […] He bled everywhere, and my husband and I had to corral him and shove him into the hideous Pet Taxi (which he despises), and rush him to our small town vet’s office, which thankfully was still […]

  61. […] Crap Family news, I had the opportunity to use the Dermabond (super glue for skin), sent by my friend, Amy, […]

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