It's 4:30. You've had a pretty good day. You had to wake up too early again. A few loads of laundry were done & actually got put away. You had a few moments of silence during quiet & nap time. You paid some bills - never fun but it has to be done, luckily your kids woke up just in the nick of time, bill depression was about to take hold. You forget all about the bills while watching your kids play outside & while talking & laughing with one of the best neighbors ever. You cut the tops off a few otter pops & wonder why the kid in the red t-shirt always shows up when the treats come out. You're happy. Content. This is what being a mom is all about. Then the otter pops are done & the kids start telling you they're hungry. You know what's coming next. You don't want to hear it but it's inevitable. Your oldest is first, interrupting your conversation about the cute thing your baby did today, "mom? WHAT'S FOR DINNER?" as the words are uttered everything goes into slow mo- the dark clouds roll in, you can't cover your ears fast enough. "NOOOOOOOOO!!" you hear in your head (also in slow mo). You pray the other kids didn't hear the question. But they have. It's like a plague. It starts spreading from one child to the other. One runs home to ask his mom. The kid in the red shirt wants to know too. Now it's all you can hear. You apologize to your neighbor. She just laughs (she has the secret weapon- she's planned ahead. She probably goes to the grocery store with a list too) The little zombies keep asking. "Food" is not a good enough answer for them. You resist the temptation to start singing the song from Oliver. Finally after racking your brains for what seems like an eternity, with little people's big eyes staring into your soul, you say "Pancakes?". "With bacon and strawberries?" your little one asks, hands clapped together in a pleading grasp. "Sure" you answer. "YEAH!!!!" the munchkins cheer in unison. The clouds disperse, the sun is shining again. You don't remember the grass looking so green. You take a deep breath & your heart starts beating regularly again- the same beat as that song you learned in preschool that one you can never remember all of the words to. The mini's are dancing around. This also catches, spreading like the peal of church bells over some distant European village. You can smile again & kind of want to start dancing too. You decide you better go call the husband to let him know you need him to stop by the store on the way home for some bacon. Suddenly you stop, your stomach drops - how are you going to explain pancakes to your husband? You look around why is the house so messy? You start to panic again. You whip your head around to look at the clock. It's 4:35. You breath a sigh of relief. The frantic 10 minute clean up can wait & the husband will just have to realize he can't have steak every night of the week. As you walk back outside to watch the munchkins ride up and down the side walk & you and your neighbor start to discuss the best way to knock down part of the fence that separates your backyards, you hear the kid in the red shirt say "I love pancakes!"