I used to pride myself on being prepared in any situation. And when I’m not, I tend to get severe anxiety about it. Since I’ve had kids, oddly enough, I’ve gotten much more relaxed, because well, as much as we would like to think we can, a lot of times we (at least I) can’t “control” our kids or their reactions to things or if one of them decides to vomit all over the place in the middle of Target and not only do I not have any wipes with me because we are only going to be gone for 30 minutes but I also don’t have any spare clothes so they have to ride home in a diaper and my tank top. But that’s a different story for a different day.
Kids force you to think on your toes, from figuring out how to get them to eat breakfast when they have suddenly decided that they hate breakfast and anything you could possibly have to offer them, all the way to trying to explain why exactly they can’t ride the dog or feed the dog grapes. And why, for Pete’s sake, they need to stop putting their hands in the bath water after the other one, in the bath, has just pooped in it.
So today it was raining when I went to pick the kids up from school. Already, dropping off and picking the kids up is a bit of a balancing act. In a perfect world, both would wear their backpacks and walk politely and hold my hands and we would all be happy. But, alas, the big one still refuses to wear his backpack, even in the cool new space theme that Santa brought. The little one actually loves to wear her backpack but with all the stuff inside, the weight of it literally pulls her backwards. I’ve found the frozen lunch bag to be the tipping point. So, if she wants to wear it, I could remove the lunch bag, but then I’m still carrying a lunch bag so I might as well just carry the whole damn backpack and be done with it. So now I’m carrying two backpacks in one hand.
Additionally, the big one is good at holding hands, (especially at pick up) when he’s not refusing to go to school and lobbying to just come back home with Mommy, but the little one has a limited attention span for walking and holding hands. It usually lasts about 20 feet or so, and then she wants to let go and run and be free in the parking lot. We all know that’s not good. So, I might as well just carry her, right?
So, let me paint the scene. On what I deem a good day, I’m visibly pregnant, carrying an 18 month old on my right hip, trying to keep my purse on my left shoulder, carrying two backpacks in my left hand and having the big one hold onto the backpacks with me so he’s essentially holding my hand.
And today, it was raining at pick up time. I pondered it for a minute trying to think of how I was going to make it work logistically because it wasn’t just a little bit of rain. It was enough rain that some sort of rain protection would be required. Of course, we could have foregone rain protection but none of us are moving very quickly in this fashion described above so everyone would have been quite wet. I decided that I could pretty easily ditch my purse. I could put keys and wallet and phone in my rain coat with a hood. The big one had a rain coat in his backpack. The little one had no rain protection, so I would need to employ the umbrella. Not having to deal with my purse falling off my shoulder was just a convenience thing. Ditching the purse didn’t free up any hands or anything like that. So, I’m still winging it and not sure how it’s going to go.
I go to get the big one first and we get his rain coat on. Then we get the little one and I’m loaded up in normal pick up fashion with two kids and two backpacks. I left the umbrella by the door and had to have the big one pick it up for me before we could go outside. So now instead, I’m holding both backpacks in the same hand as the arm that’s holding up the little one. I’m operating the umbrella with the spare hand and the big one is left to hold onto the pocket of my rain coat. Lucky for me, the little one wants to do a bit of everything and wants to hold the umbrella. So now she is holding the umbrella over both of our heads and I can shift the backpacks back to my other hand to have the big one hold onto those.
And we shuffle. We shuffle through the rain, to the car, while the big one talks about how it’s really raining out and the little one looks around sticking one hand out and calling it a shower. She loves the shower. And the umbrella is literally resting on the top of my head as we get to the car. And then the big one hits his head on the open car door since he has limited peripheral vision from his hood being up and starts crying and doesn’t want to get in the car. And all I can do is try to talk him into it while I’m getting the little one in the car and she’s upset that she is no longer in the shower or holding onto the umbrella. He finally gets in the car. We all make it home in one piece.
And then the little one decided that her 3 minute nap in the car on the way home was enough for her for the day.
And then the big one peed in his bed at nap time so that I had to change his sheets for the second time, today.
And then the little one pooped in the bathtub.
And then the big one pooped on the potty. PRAISE. THE. LORD. That was my light today. That my kid pooped on the potty instead of in his underwear. Even if that came with me having to fish other poop out of the bathtub.
And that’s why preparedness is shit. Just gotta roll with the punches and do what we can. It all works out one way or another. And then we get to try it all over again the next day.
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