We were on our way to Target to get T his reward for handling the pain of a flu shot. Yep, I bribe my kids in order to make a scary event more bearable. I’m not even going to apologize. Yes, I vaccinate my children. Because I believe in science and herd immunity and I’m really not going to apologize.
I let an old lady’s car in front of me as we inched towards the intersection and out of the business park. Old lady put on her left turn signal and I cursed inside my head. We were going to be stuck waiting for her to turn forever. Sure enough there wasn’t a break in the traffic for ages. Finally one came. She did not pull out. I was biting my tongue to hold in the string of expletives that were flashing through my head. Another break came. “Grandma! Come on!” I shouted. She went.
From the backseat T was furiously craning his neck to try to see the other driver. “Mom? Do you have two grandma’s?” Yup, little man thought my actual grandma was in the car in front of us.
C was in the front of the shopping cart as I walked down an aisle at Target, concentrating on the task at hand rather than my children. He shouted, “Socks!” as he grabbed a pair from the hook. Might seem like nothing, but when you kid has a speech delay and only a dozen words at 26 months old it felt like the fucking most amazing thing that had happened in ages.
The boys were nearly out of patience as I herded them into a dressing room with five bras in my fist. I got permission from the attendant for each boy to take something into the room to occupy themselves. Play doh for C and T’s little transformer figurine flue shot reward. I stripped down to my waist as I begged C not to scream and T to get out from under the bench. I stood there in an ill fitting leopard print bra, flesh spilling from the sides of the cups. I’m sure to make that extra flesh feel less lonely my muffin top poofed luxuriously from the top of my jeans. I started laughing hysterically. Leopard Print. LEOPARD PRINT! Fat spilling everywhere. Muffin top. What was I trying to do? I’ve never quite felt so much like a Mother in my entire life.
We all were ready to go home, but we were 5 stores away from LL Bean. And T has started to tell his teacher that he didn’t bring a hat so he can wear the awesome one in the classroom. The one he deemed much cooler than his own. The one from LL Bean. I figured we could get him one of his own as he’s worn his current chapeau for two years. As we left LL Bean hat in hand we passed a Mom with two kids, each probably a year younger than my own. I was trying to wrangle C who was throwing the great tantrum of ’13 so I didn’t get a close look, but the very young toddler was in a stroller. “That little fella was excited to go to the store because he thought he was going to play with me!” T exclaimed. And suddenly I was laughing again.
At some point we are going to have to face the music and potty train C. We’ve promised ourselves that we will put him on the toilet first thing in the morning, but we’ve been too lazy to actually do it. This morning I sat with him on the bathroom floor and gave him two choices-the little potty or the big potty. He wept and raged and shook his head and said, “uh-uh” which means no over and over. We sat quietly for a minute and he pointed at the big toilet, so I put him on. Nothing happened, but I told him he did a terrific job. T called me out of the bathroom. I shut the toilet lid and left. A moment later I returned to find C standing at the commode on tiptoes, lid and seat raised, desperately trying to hold his penis above the edge. Guess he’s been watching how Daddy and T do it. I held him off the ground so he could “aim” properly, laughing hysterically and telling him what a clever monkey he was. Looks like we are going to have to get a stool.
Parenthood is frustrating and exhausting and just when you think you have figured out every way possible to screw it up you surprise yourself with creative new ways to make mistakes. Admittedly I bitch about it nonstop. But the small little moments above? They all happened in the last 18 hours. No matter how bad my days are there is always a counterpoint of hilarity and delight and wonder. You know what I’m talking about. The moments of silliness or absurdity or parental pride that might bore everyone else on the planet to tears. The moments that will either be a part of your family lore forever, or be forgotten the next day. The moments that actually make it possible to slog through your day. They are the reasons I wouldn’t exchange my kids for a million mornings of sleeping in, or lazy weekends reading the Sunday Times cover to cover, or nights out at the bar with friends.
Maybe I’d give them up for a million of those. Do you know how long it’s been since I’ve read the Sunday Times? But surely not for a hundred thousand.
His luxurious cream cheese mustache is rather fetching.
New hat on this delightful creature.