Imagine one of those days.
One of those days when you dare a grocery shopping trip with 3 kids, hoping you look at least little more put together than you feel.
Then you get home and see you had green baby food on your cheek the whole time.
Also, part of your ponytail had come undone. Instead of falling gracefully, it just stuck out to the side of your head (because you haven’t had a chance to wash/do your hair in 4 days).
You think of how pathetic you must’ve looked the cashier lady when you asked if you could run to get the bananas you forgot (she seemed about to be annoyed for a second, and then after a glance at you, changed her mind).
But THANK GOD – nothing else matters because now it’s nap time. The kids are tired, and for a couple of hours you pretend you don’t still have half a day in front of you.
Watching the Bachelorette episode you missed, you can’t think of anything else but all the germs being shared. Such a mom.
Too soon, though, it’s time to wake up from the dream. Every inch of your body, mind and soul aches as you extract yourself from the couch.
You usually get Melissa first out of habit since she’s the oldest, but for fairness’ sake, you get Andrew. You have a bonding moment with him while potty training. Melissa’s strangely quiet-ish in her room.
In Holly’s room, Andrew makes her laugh a lot, and as you sing songs for both of them, you think of what a nice time you’re having. Maybe you will survive this 2nd shift after all.
Not so fast. Melissa doesn’t want to come out of her room. She’s upset that you didn’t get her first. Oh you mean, insensitive mom. With all the patience you can muster, you explain that you’re taking turns of who you get first, and “do you know that mommy loves you?” She responds, “a little.” And still doesn’t want to come out of her room.
Your (fake) patience wears off. Going down the stairs (holding a baby and watching a toddler, which is never for the faint of heart) you call out to Melissa again, this time not so sweetly. She’d better come have dinner right now, because you told her so.
Melissa’s teary at the table. She doesn’t want to eat. You tell her to start eating right. this. second. She starts wailing. Then she says she wants to pee.
You let her go potty. There’s no pee. Only more and MORE wailing. In a moment of clarity surely brought by an angel (because it cannot have come from you), you decide to try honesty. You say: “Melissa, if you don’t calm down, guess who’s not going to calm down? ME. So you’d better calm down.”
Amazingly, by the hand of God, this works. Melissa goes back to the table and eats well. She even entertains Holly a bit. It’s a miracle!
Again, you have the illusion that you’re out of the woods for a mental breakdown. Things are going smoothly, right? There’s no need to feel on the edge. Not even when Melissa’s asking for something you can’t decipher at the same time as Holly’s diving down from your arms in an attempt to grab the TV wires.
THAT’s when you lose it.
NO. NO NO NO NO. You keep exclaiming that, as if it made sense to these little people. Then, in a whimpering voice, you point out how hard you’re trying. You’re trying so, so hard. And you don’t know what else to do.
Finally, with Holly distracted on the floor and the Wiggles’ DVD on, you collapse on the couch. Melissa looks a bit shocked at first, but as you lean non-threatningly toward her, she puts her arm around you, and you rest your head on her tiny little shoulder. Never to miss a hugging opportunity, Andrew comes too, saying, “It’s okay, mommy.” You think you’ve sunk to a new low, but are grateful that at least you’ve raised kids sweet enough to comfort you when you’re there.