As I type this there are exactly 14 frazzled, over-processed strands of I’m-going-to-fall-out-any-minute, postpartum hair, which is free of any of the $12 anti-frizz serum I bought and has been neither blow-dried nor brushed yet today, that I am futilely attempting to blow out of my eyes.

I get a kick out of the use of “yet,” as if there is some hope that despite it already being 4:45 6:15 in the afternoon evening, that I might actually get to “doing ” my hair today.

Briar is upstairs hollering at me, at first I thought it was the standard, “Mom! Mom, I pooped!” delivered in her trademark sing-sing screech, but I was wrong. Upon more careful listening I heard, “Mah-um! Mah-um, there is no toilet paper up here and I pooped.”

I rolled my eyes and silently chided myself for not having given the much needed, “Check for toilet paper before you start” sermon.

“Ok, I’m coming,” I popped Fin in the Boppy and started for the stairs, but a sound stopped me.

“Avery, please leave the cat food alone,” I called as I bounded up the stairs.

“I’z just playin’ wit’ it,” she called back nonchalantly in her oddly hip-hop sounding toddler-speak. Briar was waiting for me at the top of the stairs with her clothes on.

“Did you wipe?” I asked.

“Yes, a lot,” she answered seriously.

“But the toilet paper, you said there wasn’t any,” I marveled.

She led me into the bathroom to see a very empty roll on the wall and a very large, Adirondack mountain peak like mound of toilet paper sitting in the toilet.

“See, there is NO toilet paper on there and here there is a lot,” she was moving to lift the tp out of the bowl, but I managed to communicate in a series of squawks and sputters that it wouldn’t be necessary.

I replaced the roll, supervised Briar washing her hands and then headed downstairs.

Click. Clickety click click click. Splash.

“Ave! Please, no more cat food in the water,” I barked.

“S’ok, I’z just playin’ wit’ it a little bitty much,” she said as she continued pawing pale kibble over a ledge and (mostly) into a dish of murky water brimming with bloated kibble, a sight that never ceases to rise the tiniest amount of bile in the back of my throat.

Briar shook me from my reverie by running up to me and breathlessly declaring that she’d be pooping again as she hopped on the downstairs toilet.

“My comin’in wit’ you?” Avery asked hopefully.

“Ok, but you have to let me concentrate for the poop,” Briar said seriously.

“Ho’k, concentrate for poop,” Avery said nodding.

I turned, a juicy morsel of waterlogged kibble exploding beneath my foot, and laughed. I hate cats and I don’t particularly enjoy wiping poopy bottoms, but somehow the absurdity of it all struck me as an utterly hilarious blessing.