On Mayhem and Mommyness

I had a bit of a crisis yesterday.

It was the nanny’s day off, and as my husband is away a few weeks for work, I had the kids and the house to myself. Food was pre-cooked in the fridge, chores and laundry were done yesterday, I had everything I needed within reach, and it was a warm, quiet Sunday.

Pretty easy, right?

Sure, unless one of the kids decides to get a fever, supplemented with a bad cough, then vomit every time he coughs, and be constipated, too.

With one kid straining on the toilet, and a newborn in my arms, I tried to navigate through what seemed like a perfectly ordinary day in the life of a mom. Said kid on toilet starts screaming in pain, and as I go to the bathroom to soothe him, the other kid—still in my arms—picks up on his pained vibe and she starts screaming back.

It could have been a comedy of sorts. The one where they try to out-shout the other, each louder than the next; where the mother starts screaming at both kids in exasperation, and everyone yelling so hard that they suddenly pause, realize the sillyness and start hysterically laughing.

Nope—no laughing here.

The screaming kids continued for a good 30 minutes more while I tried to keep a level head. I rushed back to the bedroom for the baby bouncer and pacifier, (which I couldn’t locate even though I know there are five pacifiers in the house!) flicked on the TV and sat my girl in front of it while I went back to the bathroom to tend to my boy, who was still wailing (he needs to eat more vegetables).

All this time, I’m talking to myself in my head. Don’t lose it, no one around to help you if you start to cry, too.

After that half hour, “normal” started to settle in. My boy decided to not try straining anymore; he got off the toilet, washed up and laid down on his designated couch in the living room. Suddenly he was smiling again like nothing unusual happened. My girl started yawning, so I eased her to sleep.

Disney Junior took over for another half hour while I put together dinner, which consisted of carrot sticks and ketchup for my son, whose fever had also magically disappeared.

On Skype a bit later, I vented to my husband about the events he’d just missed. Before long, the nanny returned, and all was right with the world.

Yes, I knew being a mom would mean just getting through one day after the next, so I survive it with the comforting thought that all these things will pass. I try to enjoy the “now”, knowing one day, all too soon, my kids will be grown up and living life on their own.

Crazy times like those make us appreciate the pockets of peace. The silence I do hear this morning is soothing. The only sound that trumps it is my son’s patterned snoring. To my ears, it’s even more welcome background music.

I know I can get through, because millions of mothers in the world do, and I’ll be just fine. After all, on a daily basis, I’ve got more love from my kids than I do their whining.

And, a backup supply of Toblerone.

Acrylics on Canvas by Nyx Martinez

(Speaking of pockets of peace, I managed to do some painting with my son the morning before mayhem broke out, and produced this picture of calm before the storm.)


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