Ben and I are trying to do our taxes. Why this is always a prolonged effort rather than a succinct action, I don't know. Yesterday involved faxing a 15 page form from my parents' fax machine. Ordinarily this would seem a reasonable task, but I couldn't get the machine off a setting that involved placing each page, one by one, on the platen glass to scan s l o w l y, and it seemed an inordinately long time for the fuzzy screachy fax sounds to begin and even longer for the confirmation to be spit out (mine never came out at all). But, nonetheless, a doable task, especially with the kids out back at the park and Maeve in her stroller in a post-sleep stupor; I just needed to be patient and shake off my hurry.
Slowly I scanned each page, feeling the relief of the task nearly finished and feeling proud of myself for sticking to it. Right when I was standing up to leave, the fax noise started and was met with a "if you'd like to make a call--" I'd misdialed.
The only thing to do was to start over. So I took a deep breath and began again. About halfway through, the machine, like a possessed robot, began dialing the wrong number again. I pushed every button (literally) and could not make it stop until I finally unplugged it.
Maeve started to shake her rattle but seemed happy. I carefully entered the number and lay page one down for the third time. Then Maeve started fussing. The scanner bar slowly moved across the document. A quarter of the way. Half way. Maeve started crying. Three quarters of the way. I walked, picked her up, and laid her on the floor, then moved the first page out and lay down the second. She wasn't happy on the floor. She needed to be changed. I went back to the stroller for a clean diaper and wipes, moved the second page, laid the third, and started unsnapping her suit. Not just a dirty diaper, but a blow out. I checked the scanner -- only mid-page -- and went back to the stroller for the extra outfit I'd shoved in the pocket last minute. I moved page three, put down four, unfolded the clean diaper, put it under her, and realized the blowout was so big that the new diaper was now dirty too. So I went to the stroller for another clean diaper, moved page four to five, discovered poop was up her back and all over the inside of her onesie and that in trying to pull it off, I'd also gotten it on her arm. I lay her back down and pulled out a gob of wipes, switched pages on the scanner, wiped and wiped and wiped. Changed pages again. Smooshed her chubbiness into a clean outfit. Changed pages again -- on it went: me on my knees, swapping pages on the glass with one hand, shoving dirty diapers and wipes into a bag with the other, debating throwing the dirty clothes straight into the trashcan (I didn't), and the kids walking in from the park right in the middle of it because I'd taken so long -- ahh, a picture of life!