I believe that every Mother, at least all of the Mother’s I know, have days where they would just like to curl up, earplugs in, comfort food delivered with a pedicure, favorite sappy unrealistic movie on, and check out for the entire day – if not week. Days to recharge, regroup, get some sleep and free the brain cells of the stress of worry, concern, multi- tasking and disappointment in the inability to do it all.
Today is one of those days for me. I woke up – well, was startled awake – by my dogs barking. Tired from a long night of tagging items with good friends for a consignment event this weekend, Megan being up a few hours overnight, and just overall, I am doing too much exhaustion, all I wanted was to cover up and forget I had responsibilities. Luck was not on my side as I crawled out at 6am to tend to the dogs and my life.
My mood is sour, my humor hiding and my motivation lost without a map. But, as always, I must get up and attempt to do something with my day. Because as we all know, Mom’s don’t get a day off. And if I had read the fine print, I would have considered that prior to signing up for the job.
The girls start to get up in various moods. Katie immediately asks for a movie that we told her she could watch if she went to bed last night, Sarah wakes whining for milk, and Megan wakes with a diaper I know is going to singe my eyebrows off with the stench when I change her.
In my mood, I concede to all requests, hoping to buy myself a short rest on the couch. I change Megan, promise never to feed her anything ever again just to avoid the aroma that will now be stuck in my nose the rest of the day, and sit on the couch. Just as I have covered myself with a blanket, I hear an unfamiliar noise. Accounting for Katie and Sarah, drinking milk and watching the movie, I quickly go hunting for my 1 year old.
She is underneath the desk, pulling at the plugs to the computer.
Good job Mom.
I grab her and set off her first ever, full fledged, throwing things, screaming temper tantrum. It was bound to happen. She lives with Divadee and Divadum after all. Avoiding her own personality disorder would be like avoiding that she’ll want to date at 13. Impossible.
I deal with her, frustrated that my normal tricks are not working and hear screaming and crying in the – we are so spoiled – movie room. I take a moment to decide if I even really care what they are fighting about and if leaving them to pummel each other is a form of child abuse, and err on the side of caution. I enter the room, fully ready to scream louder than them, order them to their rooms and ban them from movies until they are 80. But as I enter, I hear something odd… laughter. Sarah and Katie look up at me and I realize they are pretending and acting out the movie. I laugh too.
That felt good.
The morning continues and I decide to – despite previous experiences – take the girls to Walmart.
Remember, I had little sleep. My decision making skills are, to say the least, lacking and distorted.
I tell the girls and even the baby seems excited to leave the house. They all three come running for clothing, brushing, shoeing and wrangling. I load my herd into the minivan and hit the button to close the garage.
I hit the button again.
It gets almost to the bottom, and reverses.
Once again… nope, opens again.
I feel my shoulders rising, my blood simmering and my head filling with steam.
Hit the button. The door reopens.
All I want to do is take my &(^&*) kids to the store!!!
I call my ex-husband and – despite that he could very well be in the car with a co- worker, in a meeting, or just in the middle of his own irritating inducing situation – start yelling at the top of my lungs! I try not to curse, but I fail. I believe I put a sailor to shame. At least, by the time I started my tirade, I had exited the car. Thus only treating my kids to the memorable vision of their Mother, flailing her arms, slamming her hand on the hood of the car for emphasis, looking like, I am sure, a bloated hot mess screaming something unintelligible on the phone.
He listens and calmly tells me to call the 800 number on the inside of the door and have the guy come out and fix it. I take a deep breath, decide I will let him do that, and pray to the dear Lord above that the garage door closes when I push the button again. God has mercy and it closes.
Deep breath taken, children happily talking about how they want chicken nuggets and french fries, a toy and a princess coloring book, I head to the store.
I do stop at McDonald’s.
What? They have my order ready. It’s $1.99 day. It’s all good.
And I need my newest guilty pleasure, a Frappe. Large. With whip. And fat. And calories. And a straw.
Everyone happy – most of all Mommy – we head to the store.
Loaded in the basket, three little girls, happy to be somewhere besides their home, we draw the typical looks and comments.
“You sure have your hands full.”
“Are they all yours?”
“What pretty girls.”
I nod, say thank you, promise to work on witty retorts to these comments in the future and surge ahead, determined to get the 4 things on my list.
Once in, the I wants start.
“Mommy, I want a Princess mirror.” “Mommy, I want candy.” “Mama – uuuhhhhhhuuuhhhhh!”
We head to item one on the list. New hairbrushes for the girls. I am tired of sharing mine. Hmm, seems I should have thought of that earlier. Oh well.
By the time we leave that aisle, we have 2 identical Cinderella brushes, identical barrettes and hair bands and another Walmart customer satisfied with the side show known as my children.
We head for item number two, hangers, and I endure – and ignore – the orders to get them this and get them that. A task meant for a woman stronger than me who constantly has to remind myself that even if I do cave and get them something that they “have to have”, they will forget about it and want something else on the next aisle.
I get the hangers and as I am throwing them into the cart, I turn and notice Megan, having wiggled out of the seat belt, standing, big grin on her face, in the seat of the cart. I grab her, preventing a sure trip to the ER, and start to scold her. Katie and Sarah’s demands reach fever pitch and they start trying to yell over one another to get my attention.
I feel sweat tricklingg down my back, gathering on my brow and threatening the strength of my deodorant… wait, did I put some on?… yes, yes… I think I did. Whew!
So I am standing in Walmart’s baby section, scanning to see how many people’s attention we have now drawn, listening to my three children scream in protest because they all need my attention NOW, wondering what in the hell I was thinking ever leaving my house!
Right then, because God is in a laughing mood, I feel the Frappe kick in and turn my intestines inside out. Guuuu – reat.
“Mom – I have to go potty.”
Yea, me too.
I buckle Megan back in and walk – quickly – to the bathroom. I maneuver the monster cart into the door of the bathroom, conveniently located as far away from the baby section as humanly possible – further proof and man designed the store, and pray that I can hold on long enough for Sarah to go to the bathroom. Success.
“Mom, I have to go pee.”
Oh dear – this could get dicey.
We successfully finish in the bathroom, Megan screaming at the top of her lungs the whole time in protest that she can not get out, sit on the nasty floor and contract some sort of bacterial illness, and head back out for items 3 and 4. I debate with myself how badly I really need them. I can clean the toilets with Windex, right? I don’t actually need toilet bowl cleaner? And surly people will just take my word for it that items I am trying to sell at the consignment event actually work and just need batteries. Right?
I draw strength from the fact that I never want to come back with my children so I need to get it all done, and head back in. I am standing in the cleaning aisle listening to my trio simultaneously scream for things that they want and I feel a ball of laughter rolling up from within.
With the loudest cart in the store, several other customers standing around trying to get their own items but watching with obvious judgement, and a stomach threatening to send me running back to the cleanest place on Earth, I burst out in loud, obnoxious, never going to stop laughter.
This is my life. And because of it, I get to have laughter on a Tuesday.
And it feels good.
Originally published 8/24/2010