“Mommy I had an accident!”
No day goes smoothly that begins with the shriek of those 5 words.
“Mommy I had an ACCIDENT!”
Lying in bed you pull the covers over your eyes watching the lovely plans for your morning routine go south. You wave goodbye to your well made intentions and rise. Because you have bigger fish to fry this morning you overlook the fire truck positioned in the doorway and don’t nag about the boxes that are piled taller than the nearly 4 foot preschooler you claim as your own.
“Why are you–“about to ask about the nudity when the smell-it-before-you-see-it ‘accident’ makes itself know. You do the tiptoe dance around the tower of stolen shoe boxes, legos, Buzz Lightyear and the askew desk to the window. ‘How the hell long has he been up?’ you’re asking yourself because this configuration took more time than the 5 minutes between the first shriek and now. Fresh air waifs the room and you inhale.
“Mommy. Mommy? Mommy!”
“I’m standing right here darling. What do you need?” You have to keep a calm voice. Staying calm in the midst of madness has become your hallmark after all. Four and a half years into this parenting gig you can’t go willy nilly over every scream and shriek especially not after that incident at the zoo in year 2.
He’s naked and jumping up and down. You haven’t even made it to the bed. Coffee is so out of the question at this point. “I can’t find my phone! Will you help me find my cellular phone?!”
“Babycakes,” patience – you tell yourself – patience. “What is mommy doing right now?”
That’s when you laugh, because this is foolishness and there is no way out of it and getting mad will only take you to that dark place. “Let’s take care of the peed-in-bed first. You clean up this floor.”
“Ok, mommy.” He starts with the boxes but then he gets distracted by a tiny mobile train an uncle gave him for Christmas. Off in preschool fantasy land, you figure you got 3 minutes. Sheets.
Pulling the spiderman coverlet back, you feel the heaviness of it. He was laying on top of his covers again, you deduce. No matter how many times he gets tucked in throughout the night each morning he’s on top of the covers. Spiderman down. You ball it up and start a pile. Then you see the bed’s soaked straight through. “What the f–? Waterproof mattress cover my caboose,” you mumble.
You inspect the pillows and each ‘friend’ who spent the night. The pillows are sweat soaked so you pull the covers off and into the pile they go. Spongebob got out alive, into the clean pile he goes. Bear Bear is good to go. Baby bear not so much (he needed a wash anyway after the Friday jelly situation). Then there’s Leo (who happens to be a lizard) and Thomas the Train (they’re married even though they’re both boys – same sex marriage is all good in this hood) are both clean. But Spiderman really got soaked and we won’t even talk about what happened to the Hulk. Yuck! Sheets come off and the pile is complete. This mattress cover isn’t worth the 23.99 you paid for it. You fantasize about taking it back to Target soaked and demanding a full refund. Its a good fantasy, Momizilla ramshacks local Target angered by peed soaked mattress cover claims water proofing is faulty.
“Mommy I need to take a bath.” Oh right he’s naked. You empty the laundry basket of its toy village, wondering briefly where are the other dirty clothes and dump the soaked linen and pee-bathed bed inhabitants inside. “Hey, where you going with Spongebob?”
“Spongebob is pee-y.” cum laude at the University of Michigan, the English language a sage, now you use words like pee-y. Oh how the mighty have fallen. He looks sad. “No worries baby. He’ll be good as new once he’s washed. Let’s get you cleaned up.”
He skips to the bathroom. A laundry room trip is gonna take another full 20 minutes off the morning. Late isn’t even the word for what’s happening right now. You tell yourself, go with it. Just go with it. Looking at the clock you note that you only have about 45 minutes left before your late becomes inexcusable. You turn the shower on, then you remember, “Babe, where are your pajamas?”
“Oh. I threw them away.”Big browns reflect back at you. It is impossible to get mad when he looks so freaking innocent all the time.
You exhale, “Babe, we don’t throw our clothes away. We wash them. Go get the pajamas.”
“OK mommy.” He skips out of the bathroom.
Shower running, you decide no one’s calling CPS because you left a pile of pee soaked linen in the hallway all day. Pee soaked linen in a laundry basket probably doesn’t even rank on their list so you drop the basket push it aside and kick the fire truck back in his room. While he searches for the pj’s he trashed you lift the mattress and turn it on its side, spraying it with Resolve and praying there’s disinfectant in the formula. Luckily his school uniform is still neatly laid on top the nightstand. You grab it hopeful your morning will be salvaged.
“Into the shower.” You instruct while debating if this is the time to call in to say you’re running oh about 35 minutes late. Its not. There’s still hope. He still can’t find the wet pajamas so you put them on the list of to do’s for tonight. He’s in the shower and now you can brush your teeth.
“Mommy I washed everything two times.” Turning you inspect him and he’s sudsy everywhere so you’re pretty comfortable with the report. “Rinse.” You add deodorant and moisturize your face deciding those adds in fashion magazines with the super fly single mama’s are simply bullshit. Nobody’s got time to do a full face in the morning. ‘5 minutes my ass,’ you huff. We won’t even talk about the hair. Its a ponytail day.
The kid gets dried off and greased up. Yep greased. Eczema makes him itchy and you pray no one ever confuses the scratches on his back with a cat-o-nine tails beat down. You, after all, don’t believe in corporeal punishment. “Put your uniform on. Mommy’s got to get dressed.”
The fact that you match is a miracle. Ironing is so out of the question. You’ve decided to take your grandmother’s advice and let the wind and sunshine pull the wrinkles out of your linen dress.
5 minutes till you absolutely HAVE to be out the door, “Mommy I’m hungry.”
Of course he is. He grabs a yogurt from the frig and you put together a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He can eat it in the car. That’s when he coughs and you have to decide if the cough is a cough or the sign of an asthma episode. He coughs again clears his voice and you exhale. “Shoes, babe.”
2 minutes. You have no idea where your red shoes are, you decide purple is a neutral and grab your bag. “Mommy we really need to clean our house.”
You beep the alarms. He opens the door. Yep, 4 year olds can do that. You use to think alarms were for keeping people out now you use them to make sure he stays in. Life changer.
In the car with 1 minute in change. There is a God. Turning onto the freeway you thank HIM again because the traffic is clear. Getting him to school is the easiest part of the morning until you get to the car pool lane. How many letters have to go home and how many instant voice messages have to be sent before people STOP PARKING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET TO DROP THEIR KIDS OFF!
Anyway you’re parked and it looks like you’ll be on time for work and he’s on time for school and God is good and life is easy. Then he trips and lands face first in the mud pile near the school entrance and before you can scream, “Why hast thou forsaken me?!” The preschool aid rushes to your side and sweeps him away, over her shoulder she calms you with, “I got this, his change of clothes are in the cubby. Have a good day mom.”
Now it’s time for work.