There are moments in motherhood. Moments when joy overwhelms or fear paralyzes. There are also regular moments in between those high peaks and low valley that I hope to remember. I hope to remember the way my three year old hugs me as tight as he can with his huge muscles, or squeezes my face to make a smooched mouth. Times I hope to remember lying in bed with my six year old talking about her day or my day or where we want to go together when we grow up. Moments with my infant rocking, snuggling, giggling, and pumping his arms as only he does. His laugh is infectious and he tickles easy. Small moments in between the big, first preschool shows and long hospital stays.
Today was a day I long to remember. It hasn’t gone well. Though, I am smart enough and have been overwhelmed and paralyzed enough to know, that this bad day actually pales in comparison to the real thing.
We started out pretty good. Made the bus on time, boys watched Toy Story and I got an article written. Lunch went well, naps, bus pick up, lifted weights, showered, and played outside. About 3 o’clock we came in after an outdoor snack time. Mister spun himself into the curtains. I asked him to get out of the curtains and unspun him. He punched my leg and was promptly put in his room because hitting mommy is on the zero tolerance list. While in time out he peed his pants; which is becoming such a frequent occurrence that I’m considering time outs in the bathroom. We worked through it, he and I alone in his room. I was so focused on his tantrum and his feeling upset for having peed his pants that I forgot about the others. We talked while he undressed and then we decided to wash off in the tub. I filled the tub and he began to smile after the time out and frustration. My heart breaks for him sometimes. I think he is so big for such a small guy, and he just wants things his way.
I left him in the bathroom to tend to the wet clothes. When I stepped out of the bathroom I heard the sound a makes when it clinks “cheers!” I said, “What is that?” I rushed down the stairs as Goose called from the living room, “I don’t know, Mom.” I quickly arrived in the kitchen to find the 19 month old on the counter. He had climbed up the step stool in the corner, by the knives. He sat on the counter and happily clinked an eight inch bread knife into a glass butter dish. Cheers. Cheers. Cheers. Then I saw the actual mess. He had picked the coffee pot up, held it out passed the counter and dropped it. How hadn't I heard that? Coffee flooded the floor; glass sparkled in the wet, shining puddles. Had he held the knife wrong, his hand would have been bleeding. Had he crawled down the step stool he’d surely have slipped in the coffee and cut himself on the broken glass scattered across the stool and floor. Heart racing, I grabbed him and scanned him for any blood. Zero. The knives! The glass! Not a scratch.
When days like this come - the tantrums, the peed pants, the hurt feelings, infants climbing counters, breaking coffee pots, playing with knives – I feel defeated. I am frustrated by the unexpected glitch and sure tears will come, but they don’t. They stay put, waiting for real cause. Today wasn’t a moment of sheer joy or incredible fear – it was just a moment in the life of a mother of three who hopes that these memories will last. This time, in our lives, is going too fast.