Yellow Farmhouse; White Rocking Chair

By Kayleigh Rahn
There’s a wooden cutting board on my bathroom counter.

As I was quickly brushing my teeth this morning before running out the door for a daycare drop off, coffee stop, and finally to the office, Nora handed the hefty board to me as if it were a typical moment in our daily routine.

“There you go,” she said, a phrase she says as one word, and off she ran to the play room.

Without thinking twice about where she came across the kitchen item, I placed the board on the stone counter and headed for coats and the door.

Along the route to the door I came across the colorful, bath time, Styrofoam letters on the living room windowsill and nearly a dozen tiny pastel socks lining the keys of our piano, not one match to be found.

I let Nora remove every pot and pan from the cabinet Monday night so I could empty the sink of dinner dishes. I told her thank you and used the opportunity to wipe down the shelves in the cabinet before refilling the sink with the now dirty pots and pans. As I was up to my shoulders inside the cabinet wiping down the far corner, she began to hand me the roles of Reynolds wrap, Saran wrap, and wax paper. Those ended up on the kitchen counter and, again, I took the opportunity to wipe out the drawer.

Mondays and Tuesdays are tough in the Rahn household. Press day is Tuesday in our office. So Sunday is a day to catch up on email, and Monday night is typically a writing night for this Mom. Tuesday we lounge. Wednesday we reorganize, re-straighten, and attempt to put the house back in decent fashion.

However in the meantime, our house becomes scattered with displaced shoes, disheveled dishtowels, and discarded babydoll pants. Baby combs, wooden block, and my ear buds (Nora’s favorite item to pull from my computer bag) can be found in the oddest places.

If you come to my door at any point during the first two days of the week, it’s likely we will do everything in our power to keep you in the entryway to avoid the awkward explanation of why a play kitchen teapot is haphazardly stuck under the couch cushion.

I commend parents of multiples and those with more than one of a certain age. That certain age that propels your toddlers into a premature state of independence. Everything from eating to putting on socks must be an autonomous process or else the highest level of disrespect will be assumed.

We’re there. Oh boy, are we there.

While refolding the same three bath towels for the fourth time, I found myself attempting to remember what we did with our time before Miss Nora.

I know we’ve always thought we were busy. There was never a time I felt as though we had an abundance of free time, but I don’t know how we spent those busy days. Those days as renters in a condo on Newkirk Street. Before there were home projects and a little girl to chase.

I remember Doctor Who dates on the couch and recognizing the Oscar nominated films.

That’s right! It’s coming back to me now. We had a gym membership, and we were familiar with the menu at the newest restaurant in downtown Champaign.

We watched every inning of the Cardinals’ battle for a World Series title and visited friends in neighboring cities for the St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

I loved those beautifully busy days when the dishes were always done and laundry could be sorted, washed, dried, and folded in about two hours on a Sunday morning.

It was guaranteed we would see 11 p.m. on a Saturday night without the same chance of seeing 9 a.m. Sunday morning.

Today we never miss PBS morning cartoons and have become familiar with how to find deals on wipes and fruit pouches. Without a doubt, in the last two weeks we’ve spent more time at Ervin Park’s toddler playground than we have lounged on the couch.

Before having kids no one warns you about the scientific process needed to match baby socks and you will take a combined 2.34 million steps out of your way to walk around the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe that will never not be in the way.

Laundry is a never-ending process and, yes, my first chore after work will be to wash and then replace the cutting board in its proper place.

I know one day this will become easier, and in other ways it will all becomes more difficult. For now, I’ll appreciate the simplistic cycle of running after a toddler and picking up the pieces as we go.

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