Ghostly Laughter

It is the middle of the night. I hear a toddler giggle.  At first I stared into the darkness in a petrified state, every shadow morphing into a ninja. 

Then my brain started to work.

I cannot locate the exact doctor stethoscope toy blurting a decent variety of sounds and phrases EVERY 5 MINUTES. 

There is no off button. I would need to unscrew.   Yeah, well screw that. I am too tired to do all that! Hope I get used to it soon. 

When Fools Still Dream

My eyes glanced warily around, then scanned my email. All was quiet. I took a small breath. No one yelled, scolded, complained or cried. I sighed in relief. Today might contain a blessed bit of solace.

The God’s looked down upon me and chuckled maniacally. They twitched in morbid anticipation of loading my shoulders with heavier cinderblocks. Their lips curved with impish delight. “That fool,” they said. “Still hopes to see the light. There is no tunnel. Only mayhem!”

I turned my head sharply to the left. Thought I heard something.  Was that laughter? Or the wind? Nevermind. Work beckoned; several emails pinged simultaneously. I squinted at them as my heart thudded dully.  Another impossible challenge dropped onto my lap.

Looking back at my toddler tiger in bed as she recovered from a persistent fever, I pursed my lips and began to type.

The Terror

“Shhhh.” I gently removed my fingertips from his back and retreated. My gaze did not leave him.

One more step. Almost in the clear.

Done.  With an inaudible sigh of relief,  I turned around and reached onto a shelf to check pending mail. My leg grazed a VHS tape from the donation pile and it clattered to the floor.

Nooooooo! 

My head whipped around to look at the sleeping toddler. Don’t wake up!

His body inhaled deeply and slightly shuddered. I continued to stand frozen in place. My arms were still in midair, my knees bent as I crouched like a gorilla.

I slowly returned to human form and wiped a bead of sweat from my forehead.  That was close.

Toe Attack

The chair leg leaped into my path and ripped off my little pinky toe. I awkwardly hopped on one foot, frantically dragging my tortured limb behind me. My fingers slapped onto the counter and I  sucked in air between clenched teeth.

Eventually, I dared to peek at my missing toe.

Huh.  Still there. Not purple or hanging by a thread. Definitely not bleeding. I could have sworn…

I looked back curiously at the toddler chair sitting innocently in it’s usual spot.

The pain of stubbing my toe finally began to subside as I shook my head. I have got to stop fighting with the furniture.

Parent Problems

1. Instead of sitting back in contentment after a beer, you feel satisfaction after finding time to poop. 

2. In the battle between sleep and a beer, sleep always wins.

3. You can’t think of a single hobby unrelated to your kids.

4. You automatically sing a long to Five Little Monkeys with great enthusiasm for at least a minute before you realize none of the kids are in the car.

5. While standing in line at the grocery market, you cradle bread close to your chest and sway your body back and forth to keep it calm.

6. You leave adults standing there with half finished sentences as you abruptly run into the next room to handle a kid fight… and forget to return.

7. Watching anything rated higher than PG-13 makes you feel naughty.  You constantly glance around to see if the kids might catch you watching swear words, violence.. or worse…

8. Your potty mouth is a sugar mouth around other adults. “Fudge it. Fudge-meister. Fudge Noodles.”

9. You eat on plastic kid plates, even when they are at school.

10. Laundry is a daily torturous event.

Mom’s Don’t Poop

I am pretty sure I haven’t had a real poop in ages.  I mean, how many parents can really find time to poop in peace?

At bedtime, it can take a gazillion years for them to fall asleep. When they finally shut their darling little eyeballs, I barely function well enough to brush my teeth. So, how could I possibly make it to the bathroom and coax my body to perform on demand? Not me!

You really have to go when your body is ready. Miss that urge and POOF! It will return again the absolute worst time.  Standing in the grocery store, having checked off item number three out of twenty. Or driving your kids to practice, without hope of a decent private bathroom for HOURS. Worse, getting caught by another parent when a super strong wave hits:  “***poop now-poop NOW – POOP NOWWWWW***.”

I don’t know what happens to anyone else, but I feel my face flush.  Not a toilet flush – my face flushes.

My bodily functions are a private matter.  But sometimes, I share it with my kids. And they just happen to be young and unaware of the word ‘discretion.’   “Oh, well my mom said she has to poop so we can’t stay.”

Yeah.  That happens. 

Whatever Works

I looked around frantically.  Nothing!  My fingers pushed past coupons, credit cards, chapsticks, scissors, pens and hand sanitizer. I rifled through every pocket in case a napkin was hidden under a gum wrapper. 

Ah hah! I glanced around surreptitiously and quickly unwrapped a pantiliner. Folding it in half, I reached up and wiped my toddler’s nose. I folded it again and dabbed at the remaining snot threatening to drip into her mouth.

I am glad I use the unscented kind.

Pointing the Finger

Tiny voices roared. I quickly flushed, washed my hands and ran into the room. “What’s going on?” (Because nothing is ever peaceful when a mom pees alone in the bathroom).

Jessica told on her cousins calmly. “They’re arguing.”

I looked at Sally and Sarah. “Why are you arguing?”

Sarah explained, “Jessica is pulling my head backwards, and Sally yelled at her to stop.”

My face crunched up in confusion. “Jessica, why did you say they were arguing when you were the one making trouble?”

She looked at me as if it was obvious. “Because they were arguing over me making trouble.”

The reasoning skills of children are beyond me. I cleared my head with a shake. Maybe I just shouldn’t use the bathroom anymore. It’s the one time of day every kid makes trouble or seeks me out to ask questions or tell on someone else.

Building Babies

My eyebrows furrowed slightly.  “Who built you?”

“No! Who builded me?!” She gestured to her arms.

I stopped trying to correct her and answered, “Mommy and Daddy made you. We built you.”

“How did you build me?” She looked up at me and waited.

“Well, Daddy planted a seed in Mommy. Mommy had an egg in my tummy and the seed mixed together and you grew in my belly! When you grew big enough, you came out of my belly and now you are growing even bigger!”

She covered her eyes. “I don’t want a seed in my tummy!”

“Oh, no honey.   You have to be a big girl like mommy to get a seed.”

“Did it hurt?”

I was slightly astounded at the speed and number of questions she fired at me. “Yes. It does hurt to grow and have a baby. That’s why you need to wait until you are big like Mommy.”

“I don’t want to hurt.”

“Oh, honey.” I pulled her into a hug. “You don’t have to have a baby!”

“Okay. Sing me a song.”

And just like that, my three year old was done hearing about where babies come from.

Unexpected Waterfalls

There comes a time in every mother’s life, when she asks herself, “Why me?” Although I seem to have one of those moments at least once a day, I don’t think I am weak or lazy. Perhaps I am just in the middle of a VERY long streak of challenges.

She grasped me tightly and sobbed into my shoulder. “No, Mom!” Her three year old voice was in obvious pain.

“Please, honey. Just let your pee pee go. Stop holding it in.” I closed my eyes as she wailed louder, hopping frantically in my arms.

I had applied the urine bag around her private parts as the nurse instructed me. We needed a sample or she would need a catheter. Right now, I couldn’t figure out which was worse.

As my twelve year old daughter and I sat in the middle of the bathroom floor, I held my baby closer to me and murmured gently in her ear. “Everything’s going to be okay. All you have to do is let your pee out in the bag and Mommy will take it to the doctor. You don’t have to go. Mommy will drop it off! We are going to make sure you are all better now!”

She screamed furiously as the pressure in her bladder became overwhelming. My older daughter gasped out. I jerked as pee began spraying on my leg.

No, I obviously did not place it in the exact correct spot, or perhaps it moved with all her jumping. Who was that screaming? All of us, I think.

I grabbed at the bag and tried to hold it in place as her warm urine gushed over my hand. No time for caring. There was NO way I was going to put either of us through this ordeal again. I was going to catch her pee, dammit.

Her eyes widened, mouth reflected shock. We had a major waterfall, and it was splashing everywhere.

The torrent finally stopped. Silence ensued while I gently peeled the bag from her private area. My baby cried out again as she resumed peeing. Standing up peeing straight on a floor would bother anyone who was nearly potty trained.

My older daughter found a washcloth and held it uncertainly. I latched onto it and pressed it against my baby like a diaper, the bag of pee held precariously in my other hand.

We shrieked to each other in our confusion. “Mom, she wants to make the rest on the potty!”

I glanced at the precious pee bag and pee washcloth in my hands. “Put her on! I can’t move!”

I watched, pee dripping down my leg, as my oldest daughter placed my youngest on the toilet. I heard immediate tinkling.

My older daughter looked at me. I stared back. It was rather awkward until she broke the silence. “Mom. I have pee on my leg.”

I kept staring at the pee bag.

“Yeah. Me too. Uh, do you wanna hold this pee bag, or clean this pee up.. Or …” I was pretty uncertain, although I knew I had to act fast.

“Ummm, no. Uhhh, okay.” She took the pee bag from me and stood still. One glance at the baby assured me she was going to just stay on the potty.

I found the pee cup and took the pee bag. Pulling the tab at the bottom, I frowned as I lost some, dribbling through my fingers. “No!” I exclaimed, carefully aiming the bag to the cup. I capped it and placed it in the biohazard zip lock bag. I washed my hands and ran to put it on ice. They told me that was important.

I came back with baby wipes for the eldest and found them in the exact same positions. I evaluated the situation and let them stand/sit there until I cleaned up the pee from the floor with Clorox.

We cleaned ourselves as best we could and I left in a hurry to submit this precious sample.

Pulling into the parking lot, apprehension settled on me as I envisioned carrying an ice bag of pee into the clinic. There was no way to feel regular about that.

I turned off the car and walked quickly to the laboratory, on the heels of a young couple. They sat down to wait as I stood awkwardly shifting with my pee bag.

The lady at the desk asked me if I was dropping off. I gave a short laugh. “Yes, but this is the kind of thing you need your gloves for, and I need to go home and shower after.”

She nodded and had me wait as she typed for minutes. A line began forming behind me, as I continued to hold my pee pee bag.

She finished her typing and turned to me. “Is it shi shi or doo doo?”

I felt the eyes widen and ears grow, from the line behind me as I guffawed, “Oh no, that would be terrible. It’s pee.” I added hurriedly, for everyone’s benefit, “It’s my three year old daughters. It was difficult to get.”

That was certainly an understatement. Did they all hear me? Did they understand I didn’t carry my own pee around?

I pretended to be invisible as I left the office. My eyes kept straight ahead, I sighed internally.

I have pee on me. Again. I do what I have to do. This is my life.