Friday, January 21, 2011

Hi Honey, Looks Like No One Peed On You Today

I was feeling optimistic when I woke this morning.  Our first day without Grandma and Tractor may have been rough, but all three kids were in bed by 6:30 last night and aside from Aiden climbing in to cuddle around 1, I didn't hear from any of them until Stella woke me up through the monitor with her adorable babble at 7.

Maybe life without Grandma and Tractor really could be ok.

As the day started I quickly saw my dreams of a peaceful day fizzle.  Aiden woke up with with goopy, tear filled eyes and began an incessant string of complaints about them and an aching head.  Stella's pink eye apparently jumped to her big brother.  Even my sweet night of cuddling with Aiden was now tainted with the thought of his pink eye goop oozing all over our shared pillow.  My eye hasn't stopped twitching all day....though I am pretty sure it is just in my mind, for now.

Cole was significantly better than yesterday, though still defiant and still congested enough for him to be wiping snot, everywhere.  Seriously, everywhere.  I saw him stop walking on his way to the kitchen, pick up my sweater that was on a dining room chair and wipe his nose with it. What have I done to teach this type of behavior?  He also was extremely accident prone, creating several very tearful moments for his baby sister due to "accidents" like spinning next to her in a circle with a pink Bumbo seat on his head, only to have the seat fly off and and land on Stella's face. Seriously, it was a rough moment.

Stella was actually fantastic this morning and then somehow picked up on the fact that she should be more difficult.  After her first nap she decided to cry unless she was held, scream for a bottle and then only drink a few ounces, personal favorite moment...poop explosively out of her diaper while I was holding her without my knowledge until I saw a dark smudge on the arm of her shirt that I tried to wipe off.  That was awesome.

So, it was a rough day of being trapped in the house with my crew.  Everything felt difficult and  I felt like a slave to three very small, whiny humans. It wasn't my first rough day though.  Of course it won't be my last.  This is just how it is some days.  Some days are wonderful, some are spent physically forcing antibiotics down your kids and getting pooped on while you try to snuggle your baby. 

I know these days will happen, but sometimes seeing Alex makes these days feel even worse.  Not because I don't want to see my husband or don't appreciate him coming home early to help with bedtime, but I am often struck by the contrast between the two of us.  I feel beaten and he is so joyful to be home.  I almost feel embarrassed for the state I am in physically and mentally on these rough days.  I feel I shouldn't be around any adults without a shower and a full glass of wine first. 

Tonight, the first thing I thought of when I saw him was that he was still wearing the same nice shirt he wore when he left this morning.  Apparently, no one pooped all across his forearm and then peed down the front of his shirt while he was at the office.  Bastard.  I had both those things happen to me, forcing me to change, twice .  Both times I changed I was also attempting to comfort a crying baby and mediate a fight over a Stars Wars light saber.  (Seriously, why have I not burned those things by now?) 

He kissed me, all smiley and sweet and ready to help.  Why did this irritate me? I wanted someone cranky and overwhelmed by my side so that I didn't feel so ridiculously smaller minded for letting three little people and their feces put me in such a funk.

The boys were so excited to see him, as always, and Stella practically leaped from my arms to giggle with him. I guess even the kids know when someone hasn't been covered in poop. It always feels wonderful to see them so excited about their father, but then on the really rough days like today, I feel a little jealous too.  I couldn't be the fun one all day because I was too busy wiping snot or telling someone to stop spinning with baby seats on their heads.  I tried to watch Looney Toons with them and all I could think about was the pile of dishes in the sink and the fact that I had no clue what I would be feeding anyone for dinner.  I am often not fun.

The thing about Alex being home for dinner, bath and bed is that it takes twice as long as it does when I am alone. This sounds counter intuitive, but it's true. Alex can sit and drink his beer and chat with the boys while they eat.  They giggle and he's funny....which is really irritating because I am usually so funny, that's my role.  (Ugh, I am small minded.)

He looks like he has been talking to adults all day, other than periodically talking over the sound of a child demanding you tell them who you are talking to at that exact moment.  Alex looks relieved to be here, and I want to run out the door.  He loves coming home to us, all of us, and all I can think about is how quickly we can get the kids in bed so it's just the two of us.

He's imaginative with them while he helps them take a bath. He can pretend to be driving a huge ship and be fighting off bad guys, but I can't.  By the time bath time comes around I just want everything to be done.  I have used all of my joy and imagination on the other parts of the days. Wait, I think I just said I'm not fun during the day either.  Crap, when am I fun? 

I think I am, but on days like this it is rare moments.  I have to quit comparing myself and my fecal splattered clothes to Alex and his nice clean shirts.  I have to remember that he didn't have my kind of day and I didn't have his, and most of the time I am grateful for that.

I may not be as fun as Alex, but I am still the one they want to have sing to them just before they go to sleep. I am the one that knows things like how you have to prepare Aiden's oatmeal before Cole's because he needs extra time for his food to cool down or he won't eat it.  I know that if Stella puts her head against her blanket she'll go right to sleep.  I know that Aiden wants red and vanilla and Cole wants blue and chocolate. I know Stella will cry if you leave the kitchen while she is in her bouncer, but giggle when you get back.  I know that if they wake up in the middle of the night, they will come to my side of the bed for help or love.  I am the Mom....pooped on and ready for Daddy to be here for the weekend.


Anonymous said...

Beautifully said...the emotions you felt were like the ones I feel and it's refreshing to see someone say it! There is always poop on me and Daddy is fresh, but last night Daddy got home and my innocent one pooped all over him...Is it bad to say that it made me laugh so hard inside?

Mary said...

Leslie, I just stumbled on your blog--thankfully!! I'm a college student and I nanny over the summers. And while that's nothing like being a full-time mom I'm sure, I can definitely relate to some of your exhaustion and frustration. THANK YOU for sharing these stories, sarcasm and all! Your frankness about sucky parts of the day is wonderfully countered by your perspective, and it's really inspiring.