Sometimes, as a mom, you have days like I had yesterday. The type of day where you wake up next to your 3 year old son, and have vague memories of your husband helping said 3 year old during the night, as he experienced crying melt downs over a runny nose and goopy eye. You can’t quite remember all that happened, because on the off chance you are actually sleeping while quite pregnant, you do all you can to ignore the world around you and stay in dreamland. The clock reads 8 am, and you can no longer ignore the baby acrobat-ting on your bladder. So you try to climb out of bed while simultaneously getting stuck and experiencing an odd foot cramp.
If you are anything like me, electro-shocked mom zombie is an apt description of your morning state. You look to your right to see your 2 children enjoying a kids show, and move towards the coffee maker. It is at this moment that your son states “Mom, I am hungry and I haven’t eaten breakfast.” Ah yes… breakfast. It’s all coming back to you. It’s been one of those weeks, and amazingly you have managed to avoid grocery shopping for over a week. Unfortunately this means there is no food… Yesterday you visited the only corner store for several kilometres, and payed a whopping $8.75 for a loaf of bread and bag of mediocre hot crossed buns. You tried to do the math on what could cost what, but simply swallowed your shock and passed your visa over the counter with a smile. No boys, we can not buy candy.
“Would you like a bun?” You utter with a smile and cheery voice, in hopes they won’t realize there aren’t really any other options aside from toast. The 3 yo says no, the 5 yo says yes, and then follows up said bun with 2 pieces of pb&j toast. Ahh. Breakfast complete. That means you can steam the last drop of milk for your coffee, and there is still a drop for your husband who is fast asleep in the 3yo’s bunk. Bless his heart.
The morning goes relatively smoothly, and you savor your toast and coffee while mentally going through your list. Yes, the list that accumulated last night while you were not sleeping and having what seemed to be a very amusing text conversation with your younger sister. The type of list that pops into the mind of a very pregnant brain. You will go down to the crawl space, retrieve the baby clothes and diapers for sorting and washing, clean the kitchen, grocery shop, spring clean the van, and mentally try to figure out how you will crouch down to vacuum the back row.
Better wake your husband first so he can get ready for work.
“Mom, can we go biking on the road today? The snow is almost gone!” Ah yes, biking. You have been avoiding this because you aren’t quite sure where or how the bikes were put away in the fall when you were plagued with nausea from previously mentioned baby, and living in a slight state of dillusion.
“Yay!! Biking!!!” exclaims the 3 year old.
“Maybe. We can try…” You say. You are then asked about biking for the next hour by the 5 year old… who is seeking a much more definitive answer. You see, he doesn’t understand that sometimes, as a mom, you can not give concrete answers. It may be that the bike is unaccessable… or that you will not accomplish your list. But you will try, so you give the all encompassing “maybe.” Cleaning the van is moved up to step 1… after putting on real pants.
You get the kids coats and boots on, and remind your husband about fixing the windshield wiper before he heads out to film for the day and night. That is also in the back of your mind… pace yourself you say, solo supper and bed time tonight. You start the mission for the bikes. The shed is empty. Shoot… maybe its in the back with the lawn mowers… nope. That means it is most likely under the blue tarp beside the shed that is half burried in snow, and frozen to the ground. Your husband confirms you worst fear; the bikes are under the blue tarp. He can’t get them out and needs to get on the road, but “If you want to break away the ice and try to work them out you can. (of course that is what you want to do at 8.5 months pregnant) I don ‘t know why you promised them they could ride bikes today…”
“I didn’t.” You think to yourself. You were simply answering to the 5 year old that got it in his mind that is was spring because it is no longer -48. You did say maybe, but you know that will mean nothing as you try to defend yourself against the meltdown that is most certainly going to ensue. The news is out, the bikes will not be removed. And so the crying begins.
“The only fun thing I wanted to do is ride my bike…” the 5 year old gasps between sobs.
You offer sympathy and compassion, but after 20 minutes of trying to prepare the van for vacuming, you send the children to cry together in their room. 3 minutes peace.
Somehow it takes over an hour to vacum the middle row and front seats of the van. The children cry for an hour. In fairness the 5 year old probably stopped after about 35 minutes, but the 3 year old got himself worked up over not being allowed to play Alpine Village on the computer, and carries on in goopy eyed, sleepless hysteria.
You hope the neighbours aren’t looking. You continue to clean the van, determined to accomplish something on the list. You are a veteran mom of little people. You almost have a 6 year old. You can take it. Irrational crying doesn’t phase you. You offer the 3 yo a hug, as he has moved out onto the front porch shoeless and coatless. Mom of the year award. Just a few more crumbs… ok. He is coughing. You move to tend to him and offer a glass of water (distraction technique) he moves inside and proceeds to barf on the floor from crying so much. Of course. You clean up the mess, and get him some pretzels.
The van cleaning will have to finish soon, things are falling apart at the seams and the shit has most definitely hit the fan at least twice. But you will not be deterred. You put the children on the couch, and state: “I will be 5 more minutes cleaning the van, and then we can go to lunch and grocery shopping!”
What are you thinking. What are you thinking! You are going to take the crying, irrational, underfed children out in public?! Even with the unconfirmed suspicion that the 3 year old’s goopy eye may or may not be pink eye.
But you will do it. You must. If you don’t get groceries today, you will be hooped for solo supper tonight, and tomorrow just won’t allow for grocery shopping, at least not before you have hit the mid afternoon third trimester slump.
As you back out of the driveway you think about what to give your children for lunch. You don’t want to do it, but you know your only option in the neighbouring town is fast food. McDonalds it is. At least you found a table and only had to take the children pee twice. And what are you supposed to do if people feel the need to pat your child on the chin and talk only to him while you sit at the table and try to get your kids to eat their lunch before you need to be heading home for supper. You are slightly phased by the 5 year old peppering you with questions about what exactly his Happy Meal Toy is… and all you can say is, “I don’t know. Maybe a puzzle? Or a space ship?”
“Are you sure mom?”
“Mom, how come that lady said she only likes kids and not moms, dads or adults. Isn’t that kind of weird?”
“Yes hunny… It is kind of weird.”
You make it out of McDonalds relatively unscathed, aside from the complaint of a slight tummy ache coming from your 5 year old. You remind yourself why you don’t feed your family McDonalds and promise to better plan your groceries for the next week. Ah, yes. Grocery shopping. You give the kids a pep talk, and mentally prepare the fastest route to get the necessities. This isn’t going to last long.
They start to fight over who gets to sit where in the car cart, because one steering wheel is missing the horn. You are just out of the produce section when your 3 yo announces “Mamma. I have to go poo!”
“And mom. I need to pee.”
You wonder to yourself why it is so frustrating that your children have to use the bathroom EVERYWHERE you go, even when you try to conquer it with a pre-emptive bathroom break. It has, after all, been your reality for nearly 5 years, yet somehow, it still surprises you.
“Ok….” You mumble.
You try not to think about finishing the rest of your grocery shop, or unloading the groceries by yourself when you arrive home, and you most definitely avoid the pesky question floating around in your brain…
“How will you do this with 3.”