One Eye Laughing, The Other Eye Weeping

It was a rather rough day, one that started when the siren-cry filled the once silent early morning air, alerting me that all was not well.

Bed sheets were stripped, baking soda was sprinkled on the soiled area, plastic mattress pad penciled on the shopping list. I lay beside my child, the once-wailing-turned-chatty potty trainee who insists on wearing underwear day and night. He does really good but that chocolate milk before bed was a mistake. My mistake. Now I lay next to him, answering his endless questions at 4:30 am, wishing him back to sleep. 

Sleep finally happened about an hour later. We both dozed off in his bed. When my phone alarm rang at 6, reminding my of my commitment to working out ---which is currently boasting a 25% follow through rate for the week-- I hit snooze. 

So it'll come as no surprise to you but, I over slept.

Wet bed. Over sleeping. Rushed morning.

There was a list of errands that needed to be done, I couldn't keep putting them off, day after day. I hurried through breakfast, getting frustrated at the little boy who is always in a hurry, except for when he isn't. 

Come on, I coaxed for the umpteenth time, we've got to go!

9:23 am. The kids are both strapped in, the smallest protesting the injustice of a carseat.

We stop at the bank first, where we chat with our favorite teller, Christine. We drop a package --brown paper, tied up in string-- off at the post office, and waited in line for the local thrift store to open. The last errand (It wasn't going to be the final stop, but I easily talked myself out of the rest. They can wait for tomorrow. Or tomorrow's tomorrow.) was to pick up iced lattes for my husband and his employees, who were replacing the shingles on our house roof. 

It took a bit of time at the cafe. I chatted with several people I knew, Carson, of course, chatted with everyone. 

I had both kids strapped in, the lattes all accounted for, and we were pulling out of the parking lot when I suddenly remembered, he's wearing undies! Carson, how are you doing back there? I forgot to ask if you needed to use the potty. His standard response, the No mom, I'm fine, came first. On the heels of it came the one I dreaded. Mom, you need to pull over!

I knew I couldn't waste time. But I didn't want to go back to the cafe. That would mean getting both kids out of their carseats, hoping we would make it to the restroom in time. And even if we made it in time, there is still always the chance of a line...

There is a rest stop a mile down the road. I pulled off.

My plan was simple. I would get Carson out, he'd pee, we'd leave again.

Nothing went as planned.

I got Carson out of his seat, and helped him undo the button of his jeans. Brooklyn, meanwhile, is wailing from hunger, still angered at the injustice of her rear-facing carseat. My little boy, who is always in a hurry, except for when he isn't, wasn't. He took his good ole time, his sister beyond angst.

I couldn't take it anymore. Brooklyn was unstrapped, lifted out of her carseat, and nursed. 

What a sight we were, little boy, pants dropped around his ankles, now in a hurry, waddled all around the rest stop; frazzled mom, shirt lifted and baby latched, scurrying after her son, yanking his pants up, over his knees, over his butt. Somehow the mission was accomplished, in all that rush he had managed to pee. I sat on the picnic table bench, allowing the littlest to finish her snack. She slobbered and cooed, taking after her brother, who is always in a hurry, except when he isn't. 

Hey mom, I'm jumping over the bees! I glanced up. My kid wasn't kidding! He was hopping over a nest of ground wasps, three already wandering his shirt, most likely looking for flesh to pierce. I swatted them off, grabbing his hand and swiftly walking toward our vehicle. They were offended, beginning to swarm at us. We took off running, back and forth, opening the car door and clambering in as fast as we could. It wasn't fast enough. Carson's ear had already been stung. He was screaming from pain, his sister crying, not keen on her carseat, yet again, and I was more frazzled than ever. I tried to calm my kids, but mostly I just wanted to be home.

The crying and sniffles continued for the entire twelve minute ride home, and as we turned into our drive, it was all out wailing again from the smallest child. Her brother had noticed she was almost asleep and screamed in her face, Brook-win WAKE up. She gets so frustrated when he does that. Me too. 

I pulled the Tahoe into the garage, put it in park and switched the engine off. But as I opened the back passenger door to get the kids out, I realized Carson wasn't the problem at all, Brooklyn was crying, because in my frazzled rush to save ourselves from the bees, I forgot to strap the poor child in! She was scrunched in the bottom of her carseat, and I stood there, shaking my head at myself, praying for a better afternoon.

I know we often hear the saying Motherhood is Messy, and this little essay is letting you in on my messy. The messy I'm choosing to laugh at, because the only other option would be to cry. 

I need help. Send coffee!


  1. We've all had those days, I can so easily see that happening to me. It seems like no matter how long it's been since Jaxon had water, he ALWAYS has to pee when we get in the car, even if it might have been no more than 20 or 30 minutes since the last bathroom break! Thank you for being candid about your day and I hope you have a lovely weekend to make up for it. ��

  2. Wow, I love this so realistic glimpse of motherhood. Makes me realize--single woman that I am--that your job isn't easy, and to admire you mothers all the more for all you do and all you accomplish and the way you pour out your lives for your children.

  3. You have a way of making the messy seem "doable". These are the days that will be remembered and laughed at in years to come. My daughter once had a potty accident on the kitchen counter while trying to reach the sprinkles on the top shelf. I literally was laughing and crying at the same time for that one. :)