Scene: Bedtime. (Of course: the worst time of day.)
Situation: Lucia's hair is a solid nest of dried syrup from lunchtime. She has no idea how the syrup got in her hair; when she got off the bus, her hair looked sculptural.
Challenge: I have pneumonia. Andrew's in California.
Action: Since I'm in no shape to give both kids a bath, I turn on the shower for Lucia. Greta doesn't have school tomorrow; her hair is a nest too, but no one will have to witness it.
Chaos ensues: In the split second that I reach down (hacking out a lung) to grab a washcloth for Lucia, she steps into the shower and slips, falling and somehow getting a nasty cut on her thigh. She's hysterical, Greta's naked and causing trouble somewhere else, I can barely stand upright, and there's no way of remedying Lucia's hair problem without forcing her to stand up at the sink, exacerbating the pain of her bleeding cut.
Result: The syrup-hair remains. I gave Lucia some Tylenol and a band-aid. Greta still has blue nailpolish on her eyelid, but she'll survive. I curse everything about this day. Tomorrow morning, I'll have to deal with Lucia's hair. This won't be easy, since mornings as a solo parent are already stressful, made worse by my near inability to function with my hideous, hideous cough. I'm already dreading it.