Toasted ciabatta bun, melted cheese, roasted pepper, onion, avocado, lettuce and happiness. This is the sandwich I had carefully prepared, and was just about ready to eat.
I envisioned a warm sandwich, being calmly eaten at the table, while my children obediently enjoyed their lunches.
The kids’ lunches were ready but not yet on the table, and I could almost taste the sandwich when the baby started screaming bloody murder. So I put my 3 year old’s lunch and drink at the table, then carried my baby into the kitchen to keep him quiet and happy while I grabbed his food & my own. I am seconds away from getting to enjoy this warm and toasty ciabatta, when, as I was grabbing the baby’s bowl from one side of my U-shaped kitchen, he was grabbing at my very tall glass filled with smoothie on the other side. I watched in slow motion as it fell and smashed all over the floor – glass and smoothie everywhere.
Ok, we’ll delay that sandwich eating for a few minutes.
The baby goes in the highchair with his lunch, and I spend the next five minutes cleaning up thick, glassy sludge from my kitchen floor. Of course, as soon as this is finished and I’m about to sit down with the sandwich of my dreams, the baby has decided he is finished eating and is trying to clamber out of his chair. I wipe him down, pop him on the ground, and sit down to enjoy my still-warm sandwich. He starts to cry. I eye him up, and tell him, “Sorry kid, you’re gonna have to cry for a minute, Mommy is eating this sandwich.” But even before that thought is out he’s bawling and my mommy heart can’t take it. I realize he needs milk, so I abandon the sandwich on the table and move to the couch to breast feed. My 3 year old is now finished his lunch and wandering around the living room. Another minute of feeding and I should be able to eat that sandwich.
So of course a minute later, said 3 year old is standing outside the bathroom with THE LOOK on his face. Seasoned parents know this look. This look is a look that indicates impending potty doom. The “I haven’t quite made it to the bathroom and things are happening now” look. “M!” I squeal, “Do you have to poop?” He nods. “Take your pants off! Sit on the potty! Quick!” He begins to take his pants off and I realize the problem – diarrhea. I’m still feeding the baby and it’s too late to stop the pants removal, so now there is poop smear all over his bum and legs because a three year old (at least MY three year old) is not capable of carefully removing soiled underwear. He steps out of his pants and sits on the potty. I put the baby down on the living room floor and begin washing out the poopy underwear and pants.
Pants and underwear rinsed out, I think, “I bet I could at least get a few bites of this sandwich before he’s done.” But as I turn from the sink, I realize the baby has made it into the bathroom and is trying to eat the toilet seat. I plop him back in the living room, and put the seat down. Of course, the 3 year old has now finished on the potty. I start to wipe him and realize that this particular job is beyond the capacity of toilet paper and a few baby wipes, so I tell him to STAND RIGHT THERE because we’re going upstairs to have a shower. I’m just rinsing out the potty when the dogs start to go nuts, which they often do, but this particular kind of nuts indicates someone at the door. As I start towards the door I hear my mother’s voice, which is odd, considering she lives a forty minute drive and a ferry ride away, but there she is, and I see her walking in while I’m halfway to the door, holding a semi-poopy potty in the one hand with my other fecal-streaked hand in the air.
I greet her the way I’m sure everyone wants to be greeted: “Oh I’m glad you’re here. There is poop everywhere”. Of course, the surprise visit was not to help me disinfect a toddler, but just to drop something off, as my dad and aunt are waiting in the car. She just came to drop off some mail, and use our bathroom. “Is it… safe?” she inquires.
“Oh yeah, yeah, the toilet’s fine.” I reassure her, but head to the bathroom first to check… which is when I remember that I have 2 children and one of them is obediently still standing where I told him to, but the other one has OPENED THE LID OF THE TOILET AND IS STICKING HIS HANDS IN IT.
I whip them both out, and my mom heads in. When she emerges a few seconds later, she says she has to leave. Her look tells me she is genuinely apologetic, but also slightly relieved because my home is the definition of chaos at that particular moment.
As she’s about to leave, I ask her to pass me the rinsed out clothes from the bathroom so I can take them upstairs to the laundry. She complies and heads for the door, when I suddenly remember something incredibly important – I ask her to first please move my precious now-cold sandwich from the table to the kitchen, lest the dogs think it has been abandoned while I’m showering my poopy child. As soon as instructions are followed, she hightails it out of crazy town.
We all head upstairs. My husband is up there, so I plop the baby in the hallway so he can crawl to daddy while I decontaminate the toddler.
I’m using the removable shower head and have soaped and scrubbed him when my husband wanders in to pee. The baby follows. I’m rinsing the toddler and suddenly the baby has managed to get high enough on the tub that he’s now sailing head-first into it. My cat-like reflexes kick in and I grab his leg with a single hand and prevent permanent injury. And for a moment time freezes – there I am, disheveled and hungry, probably covered in fecal matter, shower hose in one hand aimed at a poo-smeared toddler, baby hanging upside down from his leg in my other hand, husband taking a pee directly behind me – and I’m genuinely unsure if I am doing this mom thing wrong, or if I’m actually a super mom, but I decide it doesn’t really matter, because right now, all I want is a sandwich. So I head downstairs, shutting the gate behind me and leaving my husband to figure it out.
Next time, maybe I’ll just have soup.
This post is part of a LinkUp with a bunch of other great blog posts so if you’re into mommy blogs, check them out: