Today I had one of those mornings where at the end of it, all I could do was laugh…because while I was sweaty, flustered & fairly stressed (not to mention slightly embarassed), I knew that IF I were me reading about someone else going through what I just did, I would’ve laughed out loud and thought “SO glad I am not the only one!!”…so I DID laugh, at my own expense, because I know we all have these mornings (or FULL days if you are really lucky!) and I’ve decided to share it….so you can laugh at my expense and feel encouraged when your own “one of those times” hit. Enjoy….
I guess looking back, I should’ve known I was in for it, before I even left the house. I was frantically running around making lunches, which was taking longer than usual because I had no clean bottles, no filtered cold water (I know, the inhumanity!) and had to cut pieces of Fritz (the ONLY meat my picky 6 year old has approved to have in her lunch, NOT even on a sandwich mind you) from a new roll (yuck!) picking off the plastic….yep, the life of luxury I/we lead is amazing some times huh??
So I’m in the midst of this, listening to my 2 year old whine “Mooooommmmyyyyy!!!” repeatedly on the monitor letting me know he is up & ready to go (I take a moment to praise Jesus for those door knob covers that keep him from being able to open his door and bust wildly into my day, before I am ready!)…WHEN, Maddie yells from her room that she can’t find her other school sandal and of course she has looked “EVERYWHERE!” I haven’t even done her hair yet!! I check the clock…it’s 7:40, we should be leaving in 10 min., my inner voice laughs at my wishful thoughts…..
I get to Rocco’s room (that’s the 2 year old, by the way), let him out because I just can’t handle the whining and he is obviously more than ready to get up. I quickly change him, while yelling at Maddie to find her dang sandal or she can wear her other school shoes, then usher Rocco into the kitchen, throw him a squeezie yogurt, rush back to Maddie’s room, help her look for that DANG sandal, can’t find it so order her to put the other shoes on because if she wants mommy to attend her assembly (where this morning’s REAL fun happened, read on!!) then we need to leave PRONTO!!
I hear more whining about how her other school shoes don’t feel good on her ankle…I tell her that’s too bad because it’s her responsibility to keep track of her shoes so if SHE can’t find HER sandal, then she is stuck wearing the other shoes….Maddie puts on the other shoes…I do one last check in her room for that cursed sandal and what do you know?? I find it….under a pile of books!! I don’t waste too much time telling her my opinion on THAT, I just rush her the shoe, get her to change and quickly do her hair….
As we are rushing out the door she is busy reading me her very own “book” that she made and trying to show me her illustrations…because apparently all my rushing, badgering and using my “cross voice” had NOT gotten the point across to her that WE. ARE. IN. A. HURRY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Once we are in the car, everything is good and off we go….
We make it to school pretty much right on time. I drop her at the kiss & ride, so I can park, get the pram out and walk myself & Rocco over to her class to go with them to the school hall. I don’t normally attend all school assemblies, but it was her Year’s turn to present something and her class was singing a cute song about a worm falling into a soda can (I know, gross right?? But it was actually pretty funny!)….so I was going to watch her. And really, I was excited as her mom that she seemed excited to be doing it after the struggle we have had helping her adjust to this “new” school, so I was looking forward to being there for her.
As I was getting Rocco out of the car, I quickly decided to bring his little daycare bag in that had his milk bottle on the side, because I didn’t want the milk to go gross in the car. Now I should mention, that Rocco is 2 1/2, he really doen’t need a bottle anymore, but we give him one before nap & bed usually….and because he barely drinks from a bottle we only have like 2 or 3 nipples for the bottles left and they are ALL completely chewed through, so there is a gaping hole on the nipple and he drinks his milk like it’s coming from a grown-up water bottle. Don’t judge me…all us mommy’s cut corners somewhere (right?? RIGHT??!!)…I choose to let my boy drink from his “ghetto nipples” allowing him to knock back his bottle like a thirsty man drinking a beer…it works for him. Saying this, in about 30 min, I would regret not having proper nipples on his bottles OR not having gotten rid of his bottles altogether….
We get to the assembly hall. Maddie is with her class, I am sitting with another mom of a boy in her class who is also new this year and Rocco is nicely strapped into his pram, happily eating a bag of veggie chips. I’m sitting there thinkin’ “Ok, I got this, we are good…”, WHEN Maddie leaves her class and comes to me crying about how she is scared to get up in front of the assembly with her class. And in what I’m not so sure was my greatest parenting moment, in desperation (because I knew her tears and attitude could get dramatic fast!) I tell her that I have come to see her class do their song and if she isn’t going to go up there with her class, then there is no point in mommy staying, so she better go back to her class. Yep, I know, I know, such empathy I showed, huh??? Like I said, I was trying to get her to pull it together and not create a scene….only time (say 10+ years) and a possible therapy session or two, will tell if what I did was anywhere near “good parenting”.
Whatever it was, I get her to go back to sit with her class, with the promise that I will move closer to watch, once she gets up to do her song. Her class was 1st to “do their thing”, so minutes later, they were headed up. I took Rocco out of the pram to hold him and move closer….as I did, I apparently knocked his diaper bag, which tipped over the bottle, emptying it almost entirely of ALL the milk in it, onto the CARPETED gym/hall floor!!!! (Now remember, a bottle tipping with a PROPER nipple would not have ordinarily caused such a mess, a trickle maybe would’ve come out, but oh no, we have our patented “man-hole” nipples to thank for this little catastrophe!!)
I was unaware about the milk spill, until the mom I was sitting next to, came over to me and told me. I turned around and saw the massive puddle in front of my chair and I’m sure my eyes were wide with horror. That same kind mom had also let a staff member know (who happened to be the principal, awesome), who came back in with paper towels. She started cleaning it up because I was still holding Rocco and Maddie kept waving her hand at me (mid-performance mind you) to come closer. I eventually got Rocco back in the pram and helped the kind lady pick up MY mess (whoever created “wet-ones” should win a Nobel prize for SOMETHING!). Once we were done, I sat back to watch the very tail end of Maddie’s class song, WHEN my phone, that is almost ALWAYS on silent, started to ring on full volume!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I literally looked at the mom (that was now practically my BFF) next to me and I can’t even be sure I didn’t swear (I really hope I didn’t!), but I do know I said out loud “Are you kidding me???!!!” I grabbed my phone and quickly answered then hung up, figured it was my husband, who again NEVER calls me that early in the morning, but apparently he was calling me to let me know he wouldn’t be contactable most of the day, so he’d call that night (uh, thanks babe).
I then decide (because I must have been temporarily insane!!) to let Rocco go sit with Maddie, who had already come back to me AGAIN, after her performance, in tears. I explained to her about the milk and how she did a good job just by sticking it out and standing up with her class (see, I AM a good mommy dang it!!). So I let Rocco go to her and he sits in Maddie’s lap quite nicely and for about 30 blissful seconds I am lulled into thinking my children have settled and I will be able to sit through the assembly and possibly restore some of my motherly dignity…..
But Rocco had other plans. He quickly got restless, started talking to Maddie and one of her friends, then he started inching his way closer to the stage…I knew I couldn’t wait, I jumped up and grabbed him just as he was moving past the principal, who was seated right in front of Maddie. I grabbed him and mumbled an apology to the principal, who genuinely looked annoyed. In fact, if in the next newsletter that goes home there is a note that says “When attending school assemblies if all families could please keep any wild, unruly toddlers firmly in their prams or locked in a portable cage and not provide them any food or water during the presentation, we would greatly appreciate it!” I will try really hard not to take it personally!
On the way back to our seat, Rocco struggled a bit and ended up kicking this elderly man who was seated in the row of chairs in front of us, in the head! By this point, all I could do was profusely apologize and luckily he gave a little smirk and didn’t seem to be losing consciousness, so I quickly resumed getting Rocco seated.
In the end, Rocco would just not cooperate and he was getting a bit loud, so I had to strap him back in the pram and get out of there! Luckily, the kind mom next to me (who I found out had a name too….it’s Tanya) who had been helping me the whole time, helped me AGAIN by gently prying Maddie away from me as I hugged her one last time and left.
I got outside and again thought to myself “Are you kidding me???!!!” But hey, while I know without a doubt I appeared to be the most unprepared and totally frazzled mom during those 30 glorious minutes, I think I might have made another “mommy ally” in the process….because through it all, I didn’t feel judged by her or the other mom’s around me, one of whom said “Wow, you’re having a good morning huh?”…but rather I could feel them looking at me and thinking “WOW, what a stressful start to the day….so glad it’s not me!” as they flashed me knowing, yet not judging or accusing, eyes and smiles. Today…in the mess….I was proud to be a woman who could take a crazy, not so fun morning and laugh at myself….while other women looked on in humored empathy….and I think a lot of times, that is all it’s about…showing empathy and acknowledging the funny side, midst the frenzy!
SO…Make sure to smile at yourself and others, in love and understanding, when the crap hits the fan in “mommy land!” xoxoxo