I Wouldn’t Use That Sink…
January 11, 2016
We’ve entered “year end close”, accountant-speak for “I won’t be home for dinner. Or breakfast. Or any dinners or breakfasts for the foreseeable future.”
I mentally prepare myself for these times. I know that the witching hour will be extra hard with no reprieve on the horizon. I know the kids and I will be super tired of each other. I know any big changes in the kids’ lives will be INCREDIBLY DRAMATIC and, therefore, avoid them at all costs.
But the best/worst/oddly refreshing thing about small children is that they rarely, if ever, abide by the elaborate mental life scripts you have been writing for them.
We are experts at knowing what to expect. They are experts at never doing what we expect.
Which is why one of the biggest, scariest changes of our week – moving Hutton to a “big boy bed” – was actually the easiest transition in the entire world. (A far cry from his brother’s transition a few years ago.)
It’s also why some of the easiest, most routine parts of our daily schedules were complete train wrecks.
Like a simple Chick-fil-A dinner/play time before Wednesday night church.
Excuse me, Could you Not
Despite the dinner seating arrangements pictured above, what started as a relatively smooth experience turned south pretty quickly when I looked in the play area and saw one of my older two boys doing what can only be described as the “poo-poo dance”. (Like, when they don’t want to quit playing so they awkward-dance on their tip toes and hope the need to relieve themselves magically disappears. Spoiler alert: it doesn’t.)
Sitting with an infant car seat wedged in the booth next to me and my MacBook visible on the table, I first tried mouthing through the glass.
“Put on your shoes.”
“Put on your SHOES.”
“*good-natured chuckle with restaurant onlookers* PUTONYOURSHOESRIGHTTHISSECONDORELSE *soft smile*”
I made the only logical choice available: leave the 4 month old and high dollar electronics and tend to the poo-poo dancer.
“You have to put your shoes on right now so we can go potty.”
“…I can’t bend over.”
“Oh sweet mercy. Where is your brother?”
“*points to the 3-story playground* He’s stuck at the top.”
And this, you guys, is when having more children than arms is most stressful.
But by some miracle, one recently rescued brother, one freshly shodden brother, one unkidnapped baby, and one sweaty mama made their way to the Chick-fil-A bathroom.
There was a lot of “don’t touch that – let’s stand on our feet – are you almost done in there – don’t pull the trash out – I can’t wipe your bottom because you locked me out – yes, the baby is screaming – what do you mean ‘oops some poop got over there’? – don’t sit on him”.
For 25 minutes.
It was possibly top 3 most stressful mom moments to date.
So stressful, in fact, that when the special needs lady we’d been interacting with in the dining area came in and got stuck in the stall next to us, I literally thought “I’m super sorry but I physically cannot help one more person right now.” as I listened to her rattle the lock on her door for upwards of 30 seconds.
(Like…what kind of human am I? A frazzled mom of littles, thats what kind. She’s fine, by the way. Plus, I mentally made amends by showing off my precious infant. It was so cute the way he was half-starved and screaming and red-faced and all.)
Why is it that all traumatic parenting experiences happen in public bathrooms?
It’s a thing, as evidenced by the very next day in Brooks Brothers land:
A Scone and a Bath, Please.
After I dropped the bigs off at preschool, Davis and I rolled up in my mom-mobile to meet some friends of mine for breakfast. They’re young and cute and collegiate, both about to start their final semester of undergrad.
Halfway through our breakfast, I heard a rumbling from Davis.
We kept talking.
I pulled him out of his seat to check on him.
Long story short, probably the quickest way to encourage your friends to stay in school is like this:
An unfortunate situation which can only lead to this:
- Don’t use the sink at Panera.
- My friends are the best. It’s too bad this experience has deterred them from ever having children of their own.
We are about to be banned from all casual dining restaurants in Texas. (Not to mention the blowout at the park the morning after the aforementioned Panera incident. We’ll probably be banned from public recreation areas, as well.)
One of my few tangible talents in life is the ability to find humor in every situation. (Like when we found out we needed to put our dog down and I said, “You know what’s funny about this?” and Taylor said, “…stop.”)
Having miniature humans can be hysterical.
But it’s also incredibly exhausting. I find myself wearier and fighting for joy more often these days.
Especially this week. It’s been a doozy.
Yet, somehow, I married a man who – despite having worked 57 of the past 72 hours – left a card and a gigantic bag of heaven’s candy (Jelly Bellies) on our bathroom counter to thank me for all I do.
Oh, sweet man. You’re the real MVP.
His love and faithfulness to our family make public poosplosions a little less terrible.
Cheers to you, year end closes and public bathrooms and Pampers fails. You can’t keep this team down.