Wake sharply to a gunshot sneeze over the monitor and a hopeful little voice “Mommy, I have a cold!” Hold my breath while feeling forehead – cool, listen to breathing – clear. No more sneezes.

Pray he is well enough for school, but know I will go to swine-flu hell if I send a sick child in. Immediately feel guilty for desperately wanting the day to myself while I send my children to learn from others. Try to comfort self with the rationale that I’m no good to my family if I don’t get my own time – self doesn’t really buy it. Feel compulsion to make time while children are at school remarkably productive, immediately feel overwhelmed and dispirited. Make breakfast of waffles and syrup. Thought there were strawberries, but they appear to have gone fuzzy. Hope nutritionally deprived children get a vegetable with school lunch. Stuff children into rain jackets and boots – four-year old’s rain jacket too small. Feel guilty that I haven’t bought a new one before now. Two-year old refuses boots, insists on crocs. Capitulate. Feel guilty over that. Remember that I need to purchase a workbook to help four-year old with small-motor skills on teacher’s advice. Just what is she trying to tell me? What’s wrong with his small motor-skills?? Realize I forgot to put children’s sheets for naptime in dryer. Husband melodramatically tapping foot. Race downstairs, pop them in, yell at dryer. Send children out into rain with too-small jacket and inappropriate shoes, damp sheets and questionable small-motor skills. In the plus column (and this is not always a given around here), everyone has their pants on. Seize the day kids, Mama loves you!