You try to clean up peanut butter from the walls while you vacuum kitty litter off the stairs while a teething toddler kicks and fusses in the carrier on your chest and a two year old hugs your leg tight screaming for more cookies. Yup, that was just one of many zany zoo moments my day had in store for me! It’s amazing to me that a few short years ago I was instructing contractors on where to place surgical beds in order to reach accreditation compliance goals for an outpatient surgical center and now I am negotiating cookie allotments and blankie retrieval requests.
My poor little baby is teething at the ripe old age of 3 months. She has just mastered the art of stuffing her mouth with her fingers in a way that leads me to believe she could have a career in professional eating contests if that is where her interests take her. So although she now has a readily chompable object within reach of her sore little gums, she is a cranky hot mess who has decided regular nap schedules are for schmucks. Her one and only happy spot (as happy as a hot mess teething baby can be) is in her carrier on my chest. Which leaves me very aware, through the sudden onset of heat and an overwhelming oder, of any poopsplosions she may create. My 2 year old is on the tail end of her cold and has discovered the wonderful word “BOOGER”, in addition to proudly showing any off she is able to dig out of her nose. Now that she is feeling a bit better, the zombie portion of her personality has dropped off leaving the lovely Real Housewives diva cast member in its wake. While watching Horton Hears a Who for the umpteenth time, she pronounces that I will get her chocolate milk, cookies and her blankie AND if I happen to be out of chocolate milk or cookies I can easily get them at the store! Like a seasoned hostage negotiator, I agreed to the demands of cookies and milk, but would not cross the line to get the blanket. She has two good legs that can easily walk her up to her room and get the thing off of her bed where she left it when she got up for the day. After a number of well placed belly raspberries she realized she couldn’t whittle me down to cave to her final demand and went back to the couch to enjoy her milk and cookies.
Bouncing between both of them all day, I have started to feel one with my inner ping pong ball! I decided to give vacuuming the carpeting on the stairs, since a good amount of cat litter had made its way there, when I discovered the sticky remnants of the peanut butter and jelly sandwich my 2yo had for lunch. Thinking “I got this!” I grab a wet towel in one hand and the vacuum in the other and go to work. What I didn’t realize was that the cookies wouldn’t last. As I get to the second step I hear the oncoming screaming of a toddler over the dull roar of the vacuum. I look up and see a wild haired devil child, running at me with her arms wide open yelling something I couldn’t quite make out. She crashed into my left leg and surrounded it like a little octopus. I finally made out that she was yelling “cookies, cookies, cookies….” over and over like some new age mantra of the very hip toddler set. I tried to get up to the fifth and sixth stair without any success due to the hefty weight I now enjoyed on my leg. I turned off the vacuum and agreed to get more cookies, but as soon as the words left my lips she was much more determined to finish my job vacuuming the stairs.
I somehow managed to finish the stairs, remove the peanut butter, make dinner, bathe both girls (amid a ton of giggles and hugs) and somehow, just somehow, put everyone to bed with a few kisses and some snuggles. Being a parent strips you down to the very core of your person. You just don’t have adequate rest, time to think or ability to multitask, to do much more than react directly from the gut. Our kids get the best and the worst of us because of that. The wonderful, amazing, brilliant thing about that is your kids get a fully authentic you, and that means that they will in turn be a wonderful, amazing, brilliant and authentic them.