Like many other mothers of toddlers, I am currently unable to shower in the morning. I have a six year old who is marginally capable of playing with her 15 month old sister in the child-proofed, baby-gated upstairs bedroom area while I rush through a shower, but if I blow my “independent children time” wad on a shower, there is no hope of getting anything else accomplished. (Also, when I experimented with asking my oldest to “supervise” during a shower, when I came out she told me that Sophie had put a maraca in the dirty diaper pail. Some things just aren’t worth it.)

So I generally shower right before bed, a practice that used to bug me, but now it is kind of nice. By “nice” I mean that it is perhaps the best part of my day. Relaxing in the hot water, nobody banging on the door, hollering for me, crying…I can take my time. I look forward to this part of the day with great anticipation. In fact, just yesterday I tweeted this:

I just had an actual surge of euphoria when I realized how close it is to bedtime.

Even though I don’t shower in the mornings, I still seem to have trouble getting ready for my day while my children are around. Which is always, given that they live with me. Monday through Friday, I teach music classes in the morning, Izzy goes to school, and three of those days I also have to drop Sophie off at childcare, so it is prudent for me to be presentable when we leave the house.

I need to go from this:

Christmas morning is the rare morning when I will allow myself to be photographed

to this:

OK, that’s my wedding day. I don’t really look like that in real life.

…and that takes some time.

I usually start my “beauty routine” by brushing my teeth hurriedly and slapping my contacts in while Sophie toddles around me, contemplating whether she should try to touch the toilet or crawl into the shower.

The next step is to trick Sophie into following her big sister into the hallway and get her engaged in playing in one of their rooms. Sometimes Izzy is unwilling to assist me, and then I bribe her with candy left over from Christmas, Valentine’s Day, Easter, or Halloween.

Once the two of them are busily playing, I rush to my vanity area and frantically begin styling my hair and applying makeup. Which is when we encounter the phenomenon known as “Mascara’s Law.” The second I reach for my eyelash curler, I hear Sophie approaching my bedroom door. What. The. Hell.¬†

This happens without fail. The instant I attempt to finish up my routine with a 10 second eyelash curl and a half-ass coat of mascara, my time is up. Sophie waddles over to me happily, arms in the air. “Up?” she requests hopefully. Then one of two scenarios plays out:

1. I ignore her, and listen to her screaming and crying next to me, big, fat, sad, toddler tears rolling down her angelic face. Being biologically wired to do whatever it takes to avoid that sound, I rush through my mascara application. This results in a sub-par outcome.

2. I pick her up, and she gleefully rifles through my makeup drawers while I lean as far over as possible to see my eyes in the mirror, while painstakingly avoiding touching her with the mascara wand. This is not easy. It is also the more likely scenario. (Sidenote: It is pretty damn cute, however, when she picks up the makeup brushes, puts them to her face and “blows” on them like Mommy always does to remove excess powder. Not the point.)

Who me? Cause trouble?

In the past few months, there have been literally two days when I have finished my makeup and hair routine without being interrupted by my toddler. (Not counting weekends when the husband is around in the morning to assist, and hardly anyone ever sees me then, so what the hell do I care?)

Both times this strange and blessed occurrence has transpired, a friend has commented on how great my eyes look. So, in conclusion, it seems that having a toddler present during one’s eye makeup application does have a direct impact on the final outcome. In case you were wondering.

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