In the mornings at our house, I’ll push a brown-bagged lunch in my husband’s hand and hurry him out the door. The kids are usually content watching reruns of Dora the Explorer, the kitchen is clean, and you can actually walk through the playroom without stepping on a toy. I know that, if I can sneak him out the door quietly, I can avoid the “Nooo Daddy, don’t goooo!” tantrums. Everything is good in the neighborhood.
By 6 p.m., I’m useless. There’s a sink full of dishes, a trash can overflowing with rotting diapers, the couch is covered in purple marker, and more than likely a toy is floating in the toilet. There have been several occasions that I’ve sat on the floor with both kids and bawled right along with them, “Daddy! Where are you?”
He’s at work. He’s at the bar. He’s golfing. He’s getting his prostate examined at the doctor’s office. Where ever he is, there’s only one place where you wish he was: home, helping you scrub this bright purple marker out of the couch.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself home alone and begging for my man. And not the way my husband would like me to. It’s the pathetic cry of a weary mother, beaten down by a toddler and a baby who just want mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Mommy. Just remember, when life gives you lemons, kick it back with a shot of tequila.
I want to tar and feather the person who rings my door bell at naptime. It never fails―they’ve been projectile vomiting all morning and the moment my kids’ eyes close, some unmotivated teenager wants to sell me a magazine subscription. “Actually, yes, I would love to buy a magazine. Do you have one on different ways to make the person cry who woke up my kids?”
My favorite type of drop-in is the person who wants to stay and chat. Junior doesn’t feel well. Both kids are now awake and crying because they only napped for 15 minutes, and the oldest just Hershey squirted all over my favorite skinny jeans. And, of course, this unwelcomed visitor just continues on about her adventures on the deserted island of I Don’t Give a Damn.
We both heard it at the same time: a very clear “shit!” spewed from one misbehaving little boy’s mouth. It was about this time that my toddler cracked baby girl in the face with his favorite Choo-Choo. As the whole world knows, it is his Choo Choo and, apparently, baby girl was eyeballing it too much for his liking.
Oh, for the love of everything good in this world, where is my husband?
Grocery shopping with a two year-old and a five month-old is like trying to run the Kentucky Derby on a three-legged horse. I can hear all the little old ladies whispering bets on my failure: “I’ll bet you this $1 kitty litter coupon that she doesn’t make it past the dairy aisle.”
Never doubt a professional. I had everything under control. My son was gnawing on a lollipop and baby girl was fine as long as I kept the cart in motion. So if I needed to stand in one place for a few moments to search for the perfect toothbrush, I just rocked the cart up and back to keep her entertained.
I made it all the way to the trash bag aisle when I heard it: the butt gurgle. Oh no, baby girl. Not now. By the time I made it to the bathroom, she was up to her neck rolls in sticky, orange goo. I took her and my toddler out of the cart and brought them both into the bathroom.
I was elbow deep in baby poop when I heard a woman’s voice echoing from a stall. “Please get your child.” And there was my son on all fours, halfway underneath the closed door to one of the stalls.
I closed my eyes, took a deep breath, and wished my husband through space and time to the grocery store restroom to help me wrestle a 2 year-old and clean up an orange baby. Where is my husband?
Taking two kids to the doctor’s office is almost as exciting as the grocery store. Except next time, I’ll know better than to down a large latte before heading to the office. I wasn’t there 10 minutes before doing the pee-pee dance in the waiting room chair. I took both baby girl and my toddler monster down the hallway and into the waiting room bathroom.
No sooner did I have my pants around my ankles then my son opened the door and took off down the hallway. And there I was, pants down around my ankles, in all my glory, whisper-shouting for my son to pleaaaaase come back and shut the door!
As I waddled to the door, my pants still around my ankles, I quietly cried out, “Where are you, husband?”
That evening, when my husband came home from work, he asked me how my day was. While he was at work, he was wishing himself home through space and time so that he could be here with his family. I never told him about the doctor’s office incident. Instead, I poured us both a shot of tequila with a lemon and toasted to having him home for the rest of the night.