Today’s post was inspired by a Facebook post from a friend of mine, who shared about the duality of motherhood.
Mother’s Day began with a cough, that turned to a gurgle, that turned to a barf, that turned into a rather large series of watery squirts. I’m talking about toddler diarrhea here folks and it’s no joke. It’s like I always say, you haven’t lived until you’ve awoken to the sight of your child sitting in a puddle of his own excrement.
Both boys snuggled into bed with Brian and I. Archie to nurse, Ollie purely to snuggle (and perhaps finagle his way into watching a show or two on our bedroom TV.) I quickly texted my own mother and aunt for advice and they both took time out of the wee hours of the morning to hold my hand and pass on some much appreciate words of wisdom.
A laundry audible was called to replace breakfast in bed and a family trip to Target for emergency provisions usurped a chance to shower without tiny fists beating on the bathroom door.
Brian tried to insist on sending me back to bed, but the opportunity for us all to spend uninterrupted time together happens so infrequently, that I just couldn’t take him up on his offer. We ate a quiet breakfast together and watched the boys play sweetly (for the most part) in the family room. After our trip to Target, the four of us took a leisurely drive through the neighborhood around Ollie’s preschool to admire the lush, green lawns and daydream about what our next house might be like. With Archie snoozing beside him, Oliver suggested that we stop at the playground on the way home to play some baseball. We spend the next 45 minutes in the sun, fielding grounders and watching Archie drag the baseball bat around the park yelling “Ba! Ba! Ba!”.
I served a lunch of Pedialyte and probiotic yogurt and passed the minutes until our babysitter arrived by checking and rechecking diapers for signs of urine.
By this point, Archie was happy as a clam and Brian tried to assuage my fears regarding leaving him with a sitter by kindly ushering me off to enjoy a hot shower, without interruption.
I burst into tears when giving the babysitter her instructions. She very sweetly assured me that all was well and that she could manage my laundry-list of “call me if’s…”
Brian and I headed off for our Mother’s Day date. Lunch together and then off to an afternoon Nashville Sounds game at their brand new stadium. There is something truly rejuvenating about spending time alone with your spouse. We ate our food and had a non-piecemeal, linear conversation about something non-child related.
The baseball game was pure bliss. At times we chatted. At times we sat in silence. No one dictated our actions and it was glorious. I ate a full soft pretzel with mustard, without having to give a bite to anyone. However, every now and then, I would steal a glance at the family of five next to us and miss my boys.
We headed home before the game ended to pick up the boys and head to my mother-in-law’s house. Racing around the house to gather all the necessary accoutrements required for a simple evening out with two children, we quickly lost our post-date glow and reverted to “parenting mode”. Thirty minutes later we were out the door and back in the car for a 40 minute drive, right before dinnertime.
An afternoon in the sun was now making my eyes heavy and with my hand on Brian’s knee, I let my lids close and listened to the sweet sounds of my boys laughing and dancing in the back seat.
We arrived at my mother-in-law’s house and I held Archie’s hand while he toddled around the house, attempting to get up the stairs and in the bathroom and in the cabinets and out the front door. He hollered when I attempted to pass him off to Brian and with very little energy left to expend, we decided a bath would be a good course of action. My sweet and very accommodating mother-in-law prepped the bathroom with everything we could possibly need, but Archie was still none-too-pleased. Exasperated, we decided to head back home.
My mother-in-law let us leave her kitchen in disarray, from the meal she (a mother herself) prepared for us, repeating over and over, “Young mothers just don’t get much of a Mother’s Day.” When it was time to go, she hugged me and sent me on my way with a Geranium (her mother’s favorite flower).
In the car, I tried to feed Archie a banana, but he couldn’t get it to his mouth without dropping it. I thought back to the downright fit-fest he threw when he fell down as I tried to hand him off to Brian earlier in the evening. Nursemaid’s Elbow strikes again.
I told Brian to pull over and I jumped out of the car, ran around to Archie’s and flung open the door. With a couple of quick maneuvers, a loud POP and a few sobs, his elbow was back in place and he was ready to chow down on that banana. Crisis averted. We drove home with two very happy boys dancing in the back seat.
When we arrived at home, Brian put Archie to bed while Ollie and I got our jammies on, snuck in a few extra snuggles and listed all things we liked about each other. The day ended with the lull of Friends in the background and a foot massage from my sweet, wonderful, loving husband
My Mother’s Day, that began with a cough, that turned to a gurgle, that turned to a barf, that turned into a rather large series of watery squirts, ended with hug and a kiss and the kind of restful night’s sleep that comes when your heart is full and your feet are freshly rubbed.