In our family, I’d say 15 percent of all days are pretty seriously awesome. Most days are just okay – probably around eighty percent. And what of the remaining five percent of days? Atomically, horrifically, spectacularly awful. To clarify, that means that about 18.25 days out of the year are atomically, horrifically, spectacularly awful. And yesterday, apparently, we were due.
To be fair to my precious Seabass, the night before had set him up to fail. Attending the 3rd birthday party for one of his friends, we were out late, and there was a fair amount of sugar involved. For a kid who almost never goes to bed late or has access to sweets, Seabass was doomed to crash and burn.
But even aside from those circumstances, lately, Seabass appears to be ramping up for the Apocalypse. He is loud, wiggly, sensitive, and clumsy. In context, that means he’s waking the baby, constantly hurting himself, disintegrating at the slightest infringement on his independence, and DANCING ON MY LAST NERVE. So with all of this firmly in mind, I braced myself for a day of difficulty.
But I would have sold my cerebral cortex for a mere “day of difficulty” if I’d known how ugly yesterday would get.
Seabass lied to me three times. The first time, I was folding clothes when I heard a startled arf! in the backyard. When I arrived at the scene of the crime, Seabass held a toy hammer and Murphy appeared to be suffering the effects of PTSD.
“Did you hit Murphy?” I asked.
“I didn’t do aneefeeng,” said Seabass.
“Are you lying to me?” I asked.
“No. I’m not. [beat] Yes.”
The second lie came after I heard a thud and scared wail from Sweet Chuck. She had been sitting up, but was now, suddenly, quite horizontal.
“Did you push Sweet Chuck?” I asked.
“Did. You. Push. Sweet Chuck?”
“No. [beat] Yes.”
The third lie was the worst because I actually saw what Seabass did before he lied to me. He didn’t know I was watching as he barreled his ball-popping toy vacuum cleaner into a happily upright Sweet Chuck head-on, causing her to be horizontal – and screaming – once again.
“[Aghast] Did you just push Sweet Chuck down again?!?” I asked.
“No! I didn’t! [beat, starting to cry] Yeeeeeessssssss.”
All of this happened before 11:30 in the morning. By lunchtime, I had the “FREE TO A GOOD HOME” sign ready.
The apex of all this awesomeness came when Jake called to remind me that he was scheduled to file our taxes with the accountant directly after work, and couldn’t help me put the kids to bed. Putting 2+ kids down for bed is something that most moms or dads probably don’t fret about performing solo, but this mom doesn’t care for it so much. Jake is my helpmate and the calm half of our marital equation. I depend upon him.
Everything was actually going pretty well for a while. Dinner was on the table promptly, Seabass was happily munching away at pasta, and Sweet Chuck was in her Bumbo for rice cereal. About halfway through dinner, I noticed that she was staring off into the distance and turning a little red, but it quickly passed and we kept eating. It wasn’t until I picked her up to put on her pajamas that the cause of her red face became clear.
People, there are blow-outs, and then there are supernova butt-blasts, leaving a trail of weeping and gnashing of teeth in their wake. You wouldn’t believe such devastation could come from my sweet little sugar lump of a daughter, but it does and it did. It did.
Wipe after wipe after wipe. Wipe after wipe after wipe. Pasty baby poop on my fingers, on my arm. Her hand swiped into it. I tried to keep her from putting her hand in her mouth. Tried to keep the dog away from what he, no doubt, considers a rare delicacy. And tried to stay calm while Seabass wrangled every single moment for new ways to be utterly obnoxious.
There was so much godforsaken poop, the only answer was a bath. But the kitchen sink (where we usually bathe Sweet Chuck) was full of dishes. It’ll have to be Sweet Chuck’s first bath in the bathtub, I thought, foolishly. I ran to the bathroom with a naked and poopy Sweet Chuck in my arms, Seabass and Murphy pawing and squawking at me. I placed her into the cavernous tub and started the water. Her eyes became enormous and shrieks of terror began flying from her mouth.
“WHY IS SHE CRYING? WHAT’S GOING ON? WHY IS SHE USING **MY** BATHTUB?” yelled Seabass.
Clearly this wasn’t working. Maybe she’ll be okay in the bathroom sink, I thought, again, foolishly. By this time, Sweet Chuck wasn’t going to be okay anywhere but Mama’s arms, but I tried anyway. Again with the shrieks of terror and Seabass running laps around us.
Finally, I gave up and realized that her regular bathtub in its regular position was the only solution. I hoisted the 25-pound screaming Sweet Chuck out of the bathroom sink and ran to the kitchen. As I furiously threw dishes from one side of the sink to the other in order to make room for the infant tub, the warm, wet sensation of Sweet Chuck’s pee came over the left side of my body. Par for the course, really.
The bath was had, the pajamas were donned, my clothes were washed, and sleep finally took over, I’m happy to report. But it was the kind of day that leaves a mark. I was in bed by 8:30pm, long before Jake came home.
There are many benefits to having children. I hope it’s not gauche to say that tax credits are one of them. When our accountant divulged how much our tax refund would be, Jake decided to surprise me with these beautiful sparkles, picked up on his way home.
They don’t completely make up for the atrocities of March 27, 2013, but I love them anyway.