It’s been several months since I’ve posted — far longer than I intended, actually.
But the insanity that has become my life as a working mom simply didn’t allow me the time to write. But the months away have been a good thing. It’s given me time to think hard about what it is to be a mom, a writer/editor/manager, a wife and … well … me.
That’s the good part for me. The good part for you, dear reader, is that I have a ton of stories saved up — tales of parenting foibles, daycare mishaps, a trip across the world, what it’s like to start work again, and hitting rock bottom only to build yourself up again.
But for today, I’m going to start with something simple to ease us all back into the world of my two boys: bath time. But this isn’t really a story about suds and squeaky toys. Because it’s my boys, this is a story about poop. Lots of poop.
It was just a few days ago. I had picked up the boys from daycare and given them their dinner. All was going according to plan. The kiddos had just finished their spaghetti and meatballs. Judging by the amount of sauce on their faces and chests (now that it’s summer, they eat outside shirtless), they had eaten their fill. After several handfuls of blueberries, I released them from their booster seats, stripped them down to their diapers, and corralled them upstairs to the bath.
First thought: This is going pretty well! Not a single meltdown this evening.
Second thought: Hubby should be home by now. Traffic must be bad. No matter! I can totally handle bath time on my own.
Little Man #1 wants to try pee pee in the potty. No problem, I set him up and get the bath running while keeping Little Man #2 from unrolling all the toilet paper.
Once the bath is ready, I plop them down, hose them off and commence the soaping and scrubbing process while they play with toys. Everyone is happy.
Third thought: I’ve got this down cold! Hubby will be so impressed/jealous when he comes home and hears nothing but joyful noises of play and sees how I’m crushing bath time.
Then it all falls apart.
While soaping up Little Man #2, I notice a smell. “Did you do a little fart?” I ask in a silly voice.
I look up. Not a fart.
Little Man #1 is midway through his second bomb. The first one already floating around among the toys.
I panic. “Out, out, out!” The boys both look at me like I’m the one who pooped in the tub.
I pull them out one by one. Now, I have two soapy babies standing naked next to a tub of toys and poop that is quickly breaking up in the water.
Fourth thought: I’d be awesome if Hubby came home now.
While keeping both boys confined to the bath mat with my leg. I drain the tub and start to collect clumps of poop with some paper towels. I go to drop the whole thing in the toilet, but then remember paper towels will clog it (a lesson learned the hard way many years ago).
So now I’m throwing out soiled paper towels in the garbage while grabbing bleach and the scrub brush.
That’s when disaster #2 strikes. Little Man #2 pops a squat on the bath mat and lets out a giant poo.
He’s going for a second one, when I manage to scoop him up and hold him over the toilet, still corralling Little Man #1, who is about to step in the poop on the floor, with my foot.
Little Man #2 poops in the toilet. Success! I put him down and start cleaning both the mat and the tub.
Thought #5: I got this. I totally got this!
But Little Man #2 is not even close to done. For the next 15 minutes, I am simultaneously cleaning the tub, keeping the kids from slipping on the floor with their wet, soapy feet, and scooping up the subsequent five poops from the bath mat — at this point I’d given up trying to keep the little guy from pooping on it.
Thought #6: Where the f$%*#k is Hubby?!
Finally, the tub is clean, the soiled toys are isolated to the sink, the bath mat is crumpled up in the corner and replace by another, and the boys are back in the tub.
Meanwhile, I’m a sweaty mess. My hair is plastered to my head, I’m soaked to the bone, and there’s poop on my shoe.
Thought #7: Look on the bright side. The boys aren’t constipated.
As I’m coming down the stairs with two clean, diapered babies, one who insists on walking down the stairs himself while the other tries to wiggle out of my arms, my husband walks in, all smiles until he sees me.
“Hi baby — oh god, what happened?”
I explain. Without a word he takes the boys. Later, he cleans the bathroom.
Final thought: Every day with these little crazy people is a lesson in survival. I need a beer.