“My ear, Mommy, ouch my eeeaaar!”
Now, let me explain the magnitude of this statement.
Very little strikes fear in the heart of a parent quite like the phrases, “Ouch, my ear!” or “My eye itches!” (except maybe the dreaded “I have to pee/poop/puke” from the back seat on a rest-stop free highway).
You see, squirting drops into a toddler’s ears or eyes is shockingly similar to playing that game on the boardwalk where you have to shoot water into the clown’s mouth to fill the balloon over its head. If the gun was really 2 inches long and the water came out of a pinhole. Oh, and if the clown was bouncing around the booth like a ping-pong ball, kicking your hand, and screaming “NooOOOOOO!”
So, obviously, “ouch my ear” is precisely what every parent longs to hear at 1:32 in the morning, the day after they have successfully squirted 5 drops into their child’s ear, twice a day for 7 days…oh yes, for the fourth time in the six months since tubes were inserted into those ears, to prevent infections. Money well-spent, I’d say.
A close second to that beautiful parenting moment is rushing your other child to school 5 ½ hours later, seeing the conglomeration of photo equipment in the gym, and realizing three very important things.
- Today is picture day
- Today was the wrong day to give in and let my son leave the house in an old Captain America t-shirt and sweatpants that are too short, and that have “THWAP!” and “POW!” scrawled across the legs.
- Spending 15 minutes of precious commute time to go home, frantically pull a button-down shirt and jeans out of the closet, and return to school was a colossal waste of time, as my son melted into a puddle of sobs upon seeing me, retreated to a corner, and began exclaiming, “Those are the itchy clothes!! I Can’t Do This!” in front of both the school staff and the photographers.
A friend of mine posted on Facebook yesterday that she was having the Mondayest Monday that ever Mondayed.
By the time I got back to my car and took one look at the red-lined mess on my GPS, I decided was having the Tuesdayest Tuesday that ever Tuesdayed.
Shifting in my seat and blinking at a sea of bright red tail-lights, I went over the adventures of 1:32am-7:38am and couldn’t find the right emotion to go along with all of it. Anger? Frustration? Giggly delirium?
I decided to go with detached acceptance, since that was better than full-on sobbing in stand-still traffic.
But while I was playing with the radio to find a song that matched my mood (because if you’re going to pretend you’re in one of those melodramatic movie scenes where the character peers out of the raindrop-covered car window poignantly, re-evaluating all of the choices that led her to this point in her life, you need an appropriate soundtrack), my eyes wandered over to the shoulder of the highway, where a woman in an “I have somewhere to be this morning” kind of suit was talking on her phone and pacing in front of her demolished car.
Life is great at smacking you in the face when you really need it.
I thought about the night I totaled my first car in an ice storm, and how my 19-year old self would probably laugh in my face if I started whining to her about my current problems. Yes, my morning was miserable. I didn’t plan on everything falling apart around me before I had even eaten my breakfast. But that poor woman on the shoulder of Rt 80 certainly didn’t plan on standing in the rain at 8am on a Tuesday, explaining how her car came to look like a crushed soda can.
My daughter suffers from chronic ear infections. She takes drops and is usually 90% better in 2 days. She will outgrow them. She is a happy, otherwise healthy, hilarious little person who takes great enjoyment in everything from food to fuzzy slippers to singing the “Pumpkins on the Gate” song for the 37th time on the way home from school every day.
My son might take his kindergarten picture in an old t-shirt and loud, ill-fitting sweatpants. He might not take a picture at all. It’s just a shame that I don’t have 5,372 other pictures of him from practically every day of his 5-year old life (said no mother with a smartphone ever).
I was late to work. I’ll work late. I’ll get home late. My husband will cook dinner, and finish the laundry, and we’ll all stay up a little late to have our time together. The world will keep turning (unless those flat Earth people are actually on to something).
I’m slowly learning that the best way to deal with the shitty days is to remember that you’ve had worse ones, and you’ll have better ones.
Also, always answer the phone, even in your worst mood, because it might be your mother calling while you’re writing your blog to tell you that, after 10 minutes of wondering why her oatmeal tasted so funny this morning, she realized she had sprinkled paprika over it instead of cinnamon.
That pretty much turned my whole morning around. (Sorry, Mom, it’s too good not to share).
So what are we going to do today? We’re going to be positive! Grateful! Thankful! Soulful! And very, very careful when reaching into our spice cabinets!
Happy Tuesdayish Tuesday, everyone.