Photo by David
Did you ever feel nervous about having kids--wondered whether you would know what to do? Well, let me tell... Not to worry! You'll know. Trust me, you'll know. When you're left all alone and a need arises, you will shine--you'll have to.
Take today, for example. All was quiet in the house... nap time. nobody stirred, except the dryer that was humming along, turning, turning, in a soothing rhythm and the fan whirring in Elliott's and Caiden's room acting as a poor man's white noise machine. I was knocked out, laying diagonally across my bed on my stomach, feet dangling off the bed from my ankles down, still clothed and clod from our morning outing. I had set my timer for 20 minutes (right, like that's gonna happen), but by the time it went off, I was asleep enough to know how good it would feel to not get up to the Miles Davis song alerting me that my time was up. So I slept on... and on and on and on. Sleeping, that is, until Elliott's wretchedly repititious cries for "Moooommmmy. Mooommy. Mooooooomy..." finally worked their way to the rational and conscious part of my brain.
I groggily asked him, "What?"
To which he promptly replied in a sing-song voice, "Wipe-me!" as he does in that way that only Elliott can do where he magically takes two words and somehow combines them into one.
I unwillingly pulled myself up off my stomach, wiped the drool from my face, and proceeded to fulfill my motherly duties. When I was finished, I stumbled into their bedroom to attend to Caiden, who also happened to be calling for me. I assumed that she too had been awakened from blissful slumber by Elliott's cries for help. Still somewhat groggy, I reached down to get her, hoping to bring her back to my bed for a little snuggle, thereby buying me a few more minutes of down time.
And that's when it happened. She swiped at my bangs with her little hand and made baby noises as if to get my attention--and then I saw it. Black-crusted fingers and hands, a smear of black across her forehead. Then came the smell... and that's when I knew. I had been subconciously trying to frantically think of an alternative reason for her to be covered in black gook. I could find none. It was poop. Good, old fashioned, stinky, messy, pain-in-the-butt, disgusting poop.
At this point, I think my head swung instinctively side to side--just to make sure that I truly was the only one here which would mean that I alone would have to deal with this mess. I don't know who I thought I might find lurking in our hallway, but I had to be sure. After all, there was poop everywhere! There might even be a little bit in my hair. Now that's just not right!
Well, as I was saying at the very beginning of this post--once you become a parent something happens. And that something just happens to be your kids. Your kids happen... And you know what? When they happen, you respond, react, cry, whatever, but its just you. Things will come up that totally surprise you. Things you're not prepared to handle or expect; but you do what is instictual--you survive. I did. And I'm here to tell the story... And so will you.
(Picture at top added for visual interest. Fam in SF)