Every day, after the alarm clock abuse ritual is over, I say the Mother's Morning Prayer:
"Good morning to you, if you are awake at this ungodly hour of the day. I bet you are past the kid phase now. Either that, or you have teenagers who don't get up until midday.
First of all, I implore you to give me the patience to deal with my exasperating children. (If my darling husband were around, I would ask for composure to put up with him too.) Fill my cup with a proportional amount of patience to the red wine I imbibed last night. Help me to have a tantrum-free day. By that, I mean, please don't force me to bang my head against the wall in frustration.
Please give me strength to carry all the sports gear and other junk associated with children. In fact, let me have turned into an octopus in the night so that I have eight arms. Actually, make that a whale and then I won't have to force my blubber into a swimsuit or feel cold in the pool. I will also be guilt-free at meal times.
I pray that Henry will not put his shorts on first, followed by his underwear, and hop around laughing hysterically, expecting me to find it amusing. As you know, I never find anything funny before 12 noon. I ask you to return my stolen sense of humour along with the missing portion of brain, both of which went AWOL when I gave birth to my two lovely monsters.
Please don't let me have to do "a bite for me, a bite for you" with Emily at breakfast today. It makes me want to vomit, sharing mashed up kids' cereal.
I pray that it did not really rain all last night and that I did not actually leave the sunroof and windows open in the van. On the other hand, if it did, I ask that it continues to rain for long enough to cancel soccer practice. I pray that Henry and Emily don't ask to go to the park to play in the blocked drain water, and make me feel like a bad mother when I refuse to take them. And I beg you not to let Henry fill his rain boots up with water from a dirty puddle and then empty them out onto the driver's seat of the van again.
Please don't let last night's hole that got bashed in the wall still be there when Jimmy returns from his business trip. And please let the most recent cat sick stain remain hidden under the rug.
I beg you to ensure that we do not need any band-aids today since the children used them all up on their not-so-private-parts and their stuffed animals. Please don't let Henry return from school with used toilet paper in his ears today.
Let there be peace in the world, or if that is too much to ask for, let the fighting be confined to fists and plastic weapons, but not involve the removal of teeth or eye balls. I don't want any of that eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth stuff going on in my house today thanks. And on the subject of pearly whites, please let Henry's baby teeth come out by themselves before he is seven, so that he does not feel the urge to tie fishing line and dental floss around them every day and ask Emily to pull. I feel that he does not quite understand the purpose of dental floss. I am a bad mother. But, by the time the kids have cleaned their own teeth and those of six or seven bears, dogs, cats, and other toys, I really feel that my instruction on flossing might be a little on the aggressive side. Oh, and forgive me for swearing at the animal nurse again when she suggested that I clean the cat's teeth at least once a day. She clearly does not have children.
I ask that the preschool teacher does not notice the steady stream of green snot dribbling down Emily's face. I have given Emily strict instructions to say she has allergies if the teacher does remark upon it.
I repent for ramming that miserable woman with a trolley (cart) when I had PMS-induced supermarket rage. (I guess I do not have to translate into American English for you, since you know everything). I hope and pray she does not turn out to be the mother of one of Emily's preschool friends or, worse still, a first grade substitute teacher at Henry's school. He is in enough trouble without having his mother identified as a foul-mouthed lunatic.
Please accept my travel prayer to make sure that the Safeway delivery man is safe on his way here this afternoon and arrives early with my supply of red wine, so that I don't need to resort to using my emergency bottle of Two Buck Chuck.
And finally, I know I have asked for an awful lot, but I beseech you, to please help me to lift my weary body out of this bed and give me protection from the kids jumping all over me. Amen."