Why Yes, I Do Eat Bonbons All Day

by Elizabeth Broadbent
prudkov / iStock

Why yes, I do eat bonbons all day. I keep them hidden on top of the refrigerator. This is important because if I left the bonbons down any lower, the children would find them, snarf them, and become chocolate-crazed maniacs with brown smears on their faces. Then I’d have to wet a washcloth, chase them down, pin them while they scream, and wipe the brown smears off their faces. That’s just more shit to do.

So I sneak a bonbon while the kids wait for me to put breakfast on the table. They always want three different things, so I have to make oatmeal, toast, and cereal — all while pouring a specific combination of milk and juice. By the time they’re finished eating, I’ve put in a load of dishes and wiped down the counters. And my coffee’s cold. Cold coffee means I get a bonbon.

Then I have to dress them. The older one can select his clothes and dress himself, though something will be inside out and backward. The middle one needs me to select his clothes, but he can dress himself. The baby just runs away naked and cackling. I have to run him down, pry him off the furniture he’s clinging to, and shove his limbs into clothes, which is like trying to dress a recalcitrant octopus. After that, there’s toothbrushing and the nagging that comes with it, then hair. Do not get me started on the hair. I deserve a bonbon.

Today, I set them up with watercolors while I sort the seven baskets of clean laundry. When I say “seven,” it doesn’t sound like much, so close your eyes. Picture an overflowing clothes basket. Now imagine seven of them. They fill my couch. I’m sorting the laundry — which hurts my lower back — folding towels and washcloths and blankets and letting the rest hit the right pile, when the kids start fighting over the water cup. I pour them each separate water cups. The baby dumps his immediately. Watercolors are officially over, but I’ve still got the laundry. Bonbon time.

I let the kids outside with the dog, because we have a privacy fence and no one will call social services. Plus two out of the three can come get me if something happens. While they play, I finish laundry and start lunch. I have to cook something nutritious, with a vegetable and a meat and a grain. I try to make it look cute, like octopuses or bear heads or some shit like that. Then the children come inside and refuse to eat it. Instead, they opt for plain pieces of bread, so I eat their lunches instead. Then I eat a bonbon.

The kids watch TV because they need some downtime after lunch. I take a break to sit on my computer while they do it. I cruise Facebook and load my Modcloth cart with clothes I can’t afford. I sneak some bonbons while I do it.

After lunch, we read books. Every time we finish one, they fight over whose book gets read next. I recite Hop on Pop and Dr. Seuss’s ABC instead of reading the text. At least they let me read Dragons Love Tacos and Don’t Let the Pigeon Ride the Bus. Inexplicably, their favorite book remains a guide to Fraggles that we picked up at a thrift store sometime. I shouldn’t have to read about Fraggles. Bonbon me up, bitch.

Speaking of bathrooms, ours needs to be cleaned. The kids swarm because this is interesting, what with its spray bottles and strange brushes and toilets. They love anything involving the toilet. I have to provide them with their own mini spray bottles of water so they’ll stop taking the Clorox. I spend five minutes scrubbing pee from the base of the toilet because little boys can’t aim, and 10 minutes scrubbing various other parts of the toilet because little boys can’t aim. They make tiny muddy footprints on the wet floor. I have to clean it again. My bonbon might taste like bleach, but it’s still a fucking bonbon.

Then it’s room cleaning time, a magical time when we attempt to get the children to pick up the filth they’ve generated using imaginative play. Whining, tantrums, and possible seizures ensue. I try dividing up tasks. This works for two minutes. Then I try helping. This works until I realize I’m the only person in the room cleaning. I try singing that twee song about clean up time. I sing it 20 times. That bonbon’s rough going down.

Finally, it’s time to start dinner. While I’m cooking, the kids trash their rooms.

Fuck it.

I eat a bonbon.