Parents of young children can laugh or cry at the chaos.
In parenting, there are good days and there are bad days.
The good day? We finally remembered to take out our trash, after forgetting it the last two times IN A ROW post-sleepless newborn nights. (We may or may not have set it out a full 24 hours before they arrived so we wouldn’t forget again. Behond, the lone DIAPER TRASH MOUNTAIN of Arlie Lane.)
Third times the charm.
The bad days of parenting? Dave and I are used to a lot of spills and messes. We really are. They. Are. Young. Children. It’s natural. It’s normal. It’s our life. But yesterday was a day for the books.
First incident? During breakfast, Esther yanked the wood blinds so hard (or more accurately she was swinging from the wood blinds like Tarzan’s cousin), the big wood crown molding piece at the top of the blinds came crashing down. Samson and Esther burst out laughing. Dave and I just took another swig of coffee without batting an eye.
(Sometimes when parenting young children, I feel you emotionally distance and detach yourself from the chaos as a survival mechanism.)
Second incident? At dinner time, Esther was chomping Scalloped Potatoes and Ham in her high chair. (Don’t be impressed. Someone made it for us. I cook nothing with a newborn, two-year-old and five-year-old. Yogurt and cheese slice yet again for the win.)
Suddenly, she reached over from her high chair, and slapped my iphone off the counter to the floor. POW! I tried to STAY CALM AND CARRY ON as I pulled the phone up. Yep. The screen was shattered in a beautiful spider web. Awesome.
But none of this held a candle to the day’s final event.
We put the kids down for bedtime at 8pm, like we always do. We thought they were out for the night. I stumbled into my bedroom like a sleepless newborn mom zombie and crashed into the sheets. I was out in 2.5 seconds in a deep, deep delicious sleep. Dave went downstairs into the garage – aka man cave – to work on a project.
Suddenly, I heard Esther’s two-year-old high-pitched voice mumbling something like, “I all wet! I all wet!” (Her voice is so high she literally sounds like the Muppets character Beaker).
I wasn’t sure if her voice was a dream or real. But when I distinctly heard “wet” repeated over and over combined with the sound of running water, I bolted out of my dark room. The only light on in the dark house was Esther’s bathroom. I was half asleep when I walked in, but immediately woke up. She had both sinks running full blast. And both sinks were completely full of water, overflowing and flooding the bathroom rugs and floor.
Like the level-headed, calm woman I am under stress, I took one look and started screaming at the top of my lungs, “DAAAAAAAAAVID! DAAAAAAAAAAVID! IT’S AN EMERGENCY!!!!!” (Unfortunately, he was in the garage, so he couldn’t hear me.) I flew down the staircase like a Mom Usain Bolt.
But I couldn’t get to the garage because the hallway was raining. THE HALLWAY WAS RAINING. I looked up and the ceiling was pouring water like a luxury shower head at a hotel. Our very nice, very expensive hand-knotted runner rug below was soaked.
I popped through the ceiling shower, like a child going bursting through a splash pad water spout, to retrieve happily ignorant Dave from the garage. My husband is athletic. My husband is quick. I’ve seen his catlike reflexes and proudly watched him compete many times. But never have I seen him move faster than when he saw THE HALL RAINING.
He shoved a big red plastic bucket underneath the ceiling waterfall, yanked the rug out like a boss, and flew up the stairs like a cat with it’s tail on fire. I followed, almost as fast, but more out of concern for the wrath awaiting my two-year-old baby girl, than for the thousands of dollars of house damage to be stopped.
The culprit was nowhere to be found. (Esther’s a smart cookie. She was in bed fake sleeping.) After Dave stuffed every towel we owned onto the flooded bathroom floor, he headed toward my darling two-year-old’s princess room with fire in eyes. He swooped her up on his hip, and she immediately started sobbing as they made their way to the bathroom.
Like a good defense lawyer, I started yelling, “Honey! She’s only two! SHE’S ONLY TWO! It was an accident!”
Dave: “SEE THIS, ESTHER? THIS IS A ‘NO, NO!’ DO NOT TURN ON THE WATER AGAIN! WATER IS A ‘NO, NO’! DO YOU UNDERSTAND?”
I had to cover my mouth with my hand at this point to stifle my laughter. Because no matter how many times we correct Esther, she still says, “Yes, ma’am!” instead of “Yes, sir!” to Dave. Sure enough, through her sobbing, she yelled out, “YES, MA’AM!”
My man’s man hunter Dave, like every time, corrected her firmly, “It’s ‘yes, SIR!”’
Esther sobbing, “Yes, SIR!”
Good days and bad days in Parentingville. To parents everywhere, I salute you. We are in this together.
STOP AND SMELL: Parents of young children can either laugh or cry at the chaos. Let’s laugh! Have a funny story to share about your child’s spill or mess? Tell us about it on the Stop and Smell facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/LeahSpinaAuthor