earning the stripes

This weekend I took three kids to a county farm 50 minutes away and rocked it. I mean, I really did. It was easy, even. All by myself I navigated and educated and culture-ated the kids. I strapped two babies onto me, and my six-year-old walked along with me and we took in the baby animals. No fits. No screaming. No stress.

During these moments I feel like “mom-ing” is easy and I’ve got it down to a science.

Then someone up there decides my pride is growing at a cancerous rate or something and I’m knocked back down.

I got a call from school yesterday – my boy had an accident. Like, a bathroom accident. We didn’t hear much info beyond “it was bad” and he needed a change of clothes.

So, I entered the nurse’s office and found my poor child sitting on one of those puppy-training pads with a garbage bag tied around his leg. The nurse informed me his shoe was full of feces and the feces was all over his legs – ok, this is rapidly becoming explicit and not in a fun way so let’s just finish the paragraph with this: I’ve never before seen anything like this, and years of cloth diapering paid off just in that I didn’t add to the bodily fluid messes by vomiting. Spraying the poop of my two-year-old’s down the toilet made cleaning up my boy’s mess not seem as tragic or gross.

We came home and I took a garden hose to every piece of clothing he had worn, he hopped into the shower, I was informed via phone from the school that due to the explosive nature of what he did he wasn’t permitted back at school for at least 24 hours. We spent the afternoon outside, (E is fine by the way. I’m not sure what happened, really. He’s not sick in the least and hasn’t had a repeat) and internally I whined about having an unexpected weekend day with him home the next day.

It’s terrible.

But when he’s at school I have a routine set with the babies; gym-shower-lunch-nap-time. E is a great kid but him being home a full day adds a level of “what are we going to do now?” to each moment. Especially on a school day.

Anyway, said powers above punished me for my unkind thoughts in more ways. First, I made the dumb choice of brewing iced tea in an antique glass pitcher – I swear I never before knew the elementary-level thermodynamic rule that boiling water and glass don’t mix, so I was shocked and appalled when the gorgeous heavy pitcher literally exploded, staining the kitchen with red passion tea. Beyond destroying precious family heirlooms, I also managed to stub my toes and knees on various doors and furniture several times – stone cold sober I must add.

Basically, it turned into one of those days where I feel I couldn’t win and while my kids ran circles around me fighting and screaming and the baby needed constant attention I just wanted to give up, but, as every other mother knows, you don’t get to give up. Ever. Especially when your spouse is a pilot and away for days at a time.

I will finish this by saying today has gone much better. I got in a great spin class at the gym, we had a healthy lunch as a family together, and my little boy hasn’t said “Mommy I’m bored” even once, so that has to count for something. Days like today make up for days like yesterday, those days when you are reminded just how hard this whole parenting thing really is.


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