So, you know when something is so ridiculous, it’s actually funny? I feel like I have moments like that, oh, every day as a stay-at-home mom. Take today, for example.
Although I no longer go into the office, I still manage to do a bit of work. This afternoon, when the kids’ naps magically overlapped for about 45 minutes, I managed to leave messages with a few people. Then, feeling pretty productive, once naptime ended I stopped by the—ahem—ladies room, with both kids in tow. (News flash: when you have small children, you never, never get to use the bathroom alone).
Just at that moment, what do you know, one of the people I’d phone called me back. This was a very important call, so even though I have a strict no-phone calls-in-the-bathroom policy, I thought, “Screw it. I’ll answer.” I picked up and, quickly excused the background noise by telling the caller I was at home with small children. I left out the part about being on the toilet. B-a-a-a-d idea.
I tried to rush the call, but nothing is faster than an inquisitive toddler. Within moments, Kisan accidentally pulled something into the sink and started hollering. He wanted it back and he wanted it back now! I frantically motioned to him to be quiet (it didn’t work). Unable to get off the toilet or to quiet toddler-zilla, I looked around in desperation for something to snap Kisan out of tantrum mode. I found a plush bumblebee sitting in the baby’s lap and, panicking, I did the first thing that came to mind—I chucked it at Kisan. No, it wasn’t my finest mommy moment. I think I was trying to snap him out of his agitated state, sort of like slapping a hysterical person across the face.
Well, no need to judge me, because I knew it was a bad idea as soon as it left my hand. You know when something terrible is about to happen, everything seems to slow down? Well, time now took on a movie-like quality as the plush toy slowly arced up in the air and, yep, landed with a soft “thunk” on Kisan’s head.
It was like I’d prodded a rabid dog with a stick. Kisan’s voice rose at least five octaves. If he could’ve foamed at the mouth, I’m sure he would have. Instead of being merely frustrated, Kisan was now incensed because, well, I’d thrown something at him. And really, it was a dumb move on my part. Oh, and the man on the phone? At this point, he’d stopped talking (probably shocked into silence). So, as the last resort of the desperate, I picked Kisan up and locked him outside the door. As I quickly stammered out an apology to the man, Kisan (now in full Hulk mode) started to use his tow truck as a battering ram. At this point, I just told the man I would be sending him the paperwork in an e-mail, and hung up the phone.
I probably stayed in behind the door for another minute or two, gathering the willpower to deal with the weeping and wailing small human that was now trying, heart-breakingly, to reach me from under the door, pressing his face and hands as far as they would go under the one-inch crack. I eventually opened the door and calmed him down, and we went about our day. I wish I could say this is a unique episode—but it isn’t. Each day is broken up with moments like this, so many moments where I am dealing with a child who is, by turns, irritating, then amusing; angry, then gentle and kind. It’s a constant emotional rollercoaster, and at night I’m so drained I don’t even have the energy to watch a favorite show, or write a blog post, or do anything but stumble into bed.
But today was better than yesterday; and, reluctant optimist that I am, I know tomorrow will probably be a little better than today. If I’m going to have these crazy moments, I’m glad I can at least laugh at them now—not five or ten or twenty years down the road, when I’ve forgotten how bad the bad can feel. I want to enjoy these moments now, the moments that are so over-the-top chaotic and (quite frankly, ridiculous) that you can’t help but laugh, because, hey, they make life endurable.