There is a very fine line, recognizable to all mothers, that divides the vast difference between the expectation of things in your life, and the reality of how they actually turn out. All parents know the velocity with which a long planned and expensive trip to a theme park can be ruined by something as trivial as the wrong flavor of juice. We’ve all seen a holiday mood plummet when a child is asked to put on the outfit they themselves were so excited about just yesterday. Hardly any of us have escaped the inevitable perfect storm of crap that just happens to land on the day you plan a date night. Yet we all find ways to salvage these days. We swallow our pride and try to fix whatever is going on and in the end end up forgetting all the crappy parts of the day and remembering the day fondly. It’s all part of parenthood right? But on Saturday I wondered, is there some conspiracy amongst our children? Do they recognize the sound of hardly ever worn heels and the smell of freshly washed and flat ironed hair indicating a free for all in accidents, injuries, illness, spilled sippy cups, and sharpied-on dogs? Is something more sinister at play here?
These are the thoughts that crossed through my mind as I sat in my living room on saturday at 1:30 am, eating 3 hour old sushi and icing a bruised knee, on what happened to be the eve of my 30th birthday.
The day was pleasant, this should have been my first indication. We had pancakes for breakfast at home. I lounged around for a few hours reading a book while the kids were playing together nicely. Hubs did some car repair stuff before we all got ready and went to my mom’s house. She had very graciously offered to have us over for lunch and then watch the kids while hubs and I went out for the evening. We settled on going to the movies, followed by a drink or late dinner. Then it started. My 1 year old fell after lunch and got both a shiner and a cut on the bridge of his nose. My usually resilient tough guy was inconsolable. It took 10 minutes, one lolly pop, and an ice pack before he was back to his happy self. Enter mom guilt. How could I leave my baby right after his first big injury? What if he got a concussion? What if it was all too much to ask of my mom now that he was hurt and more needy? Now my 3 year old is whining and acting up.. Should we just skip the movie? Hubs and my mom convinced me otherwise. He’s fine, it’s just a small cut, my mom is perfectly capable of taking care of kids even after a big boo-boo, etc. So off we went. We had a great time, having only been to 2 other movies alone in the 3 ½ years since we started this parenthood journey, this was a treat! After the movie we decided to get some sushi to go at our favorite place near the theater and rush pick up the kids, get them in bed and enjoy our dinner with a bottle of wine at home.
We expected to find my son asleep and my daughter maybe laying on the couch watching a movie. As soon as I walked in my heart sank, my son was wide awake being entertained by my sister while my mom was stressed and dabbing cold wet towels on my daughter, who was sleeping on their guest bed. Over the last hour she had gone from moody and whiny to screaming and burning up with a fever, to completely knocked out while my mom tried everything to cool her down. Mom-mode immediately kicked in, Hubs was sent to a nearby pharmacy while I started checking temperatures. My light sleeper was not disturbed by any poking, loud talking or wet towels. When she finally did wake up she didn’t recognize me for several minutes and thought I was my sister. Bath time. We drew few inches of room temp water and struggled to get her in, in the end I ended up stripping down to my underwear and sitting in with her. By the time this was done, medication was administered and we got home, we were exhausted. It was decided she would spend the night in our bed so I could keep an eye on her all night. I put her in bed while Hubs got our baby to sleep and then, in perfect culmination to the night, I fell. I have no idea now this happened and can’t even remember the last time I fell down but it happened. I landed right on my knee while walking out of my bedroom.
So I ate my food with water and tylenol instead of wine, and had a little pity party in my head for a few minutes about the events of the evening. What a way to welcome my 30’s right? But something happened as I went to finally lie down. I had checked on my son and was taking my daughter’s temperature in the dark and it dawned on me, this is exactly the way I want to welcome my 30’s. Not the hurt babies and feverish toddlers, I hope this doesn’t happen often or at all. But if that day was a sign that my next decade will be spent taking care of my family, if this is my reality… then I couldn’t ask for anything better and all I can say is #worthit.