Yesterday started out being one of those days. One of those very, very exhausting days. Hubby has started a new business so has been working extremely long hours, 7 days a week for the past few weeks. He is gone before the babies wake up and not home until after 10pm. The babies have been a little cranky because they haven’t seen him and are too little to understand that he is working and not that he has moved to another planet. I have been a little cranky because I’m tired and I miss him. It’s exhausting to do the double baby thing alone especially in the hustle and bustle of the Christmas season with a “to-do” list longer than Santa’s list and being limited to only venturing out to places that can accommodate a double stroller in between nap times, meal times and bed times. I basically have 3 very small windows of opportunity to go anywhere and it involves a great deal of planning, packing and loading bundled up babies into car seats, into a stroller, back into car seats in cold, snowy weather. Showering alone is something very sacred these days and something that I have missed since I am too damn tired by the time Hubby comes home. Sure I can shower on days that I manage to achieve SNT (Simultaneous Nap Time) but it’s not the same because I’m still listening for babies waking up and crying and feeling guilty while thinking about the million things I should be doing during this very important time such as folding laundry while it won’t get thrown everywhere or scraping banana sludge of the kitchen floor without getting food thrown on my head from the highchairs above. Guilt-free, thought-free, worry-free showering with incredibly hot water and no babies or rubber duckies at your feet is the best. Luxury at its finest.
Yesterday started out with double poopy diapers. (Nothing says “Good morning!” like TWO poopy diapers. One so tarry it sticks to baby’s skin and you have to try to scrape it off without hurting baby and the other so wet it has leaked through pajamas, sheets and requires a whole load of laundry to be cycled, mattress to be disinfected and baby to be bathed. No coffee needed. Actually, coffee is needed but no time for coffee!
We had places to go and people to see. I made Miss 18 months a cheese omelette for breakfast to fill her up since she will be eating lunch a little later than usual. As I turn to wash the frying pan, I hear Mr. 7 months making a lapping sound like a dog in a water bowl. I turn to see that Miss 18 months has reached over, grabbed his high chair, pulled it closer and then piled her bite-sized pieces of omelette onto his tray. He is holding a piece in his hand licking it like crazy. He throws a fit when I take it away from him and offer him a piece of banana instead. Rightfully so. He hasn’t had eggs or dairy yet and I’m too tired to remember why you’re supposed to wait or if you’re still supposed to wait because the rules change all the time but I know I’m not tackling this one today.
As I start to dress Mr. 7 months old after breakfast, I start snapping his little white onesie and panic because he is bleeding. There is blood all over his abdomen. Lots of it. What the!!! I quickly unsnap his blood-stained onesie to discover that he is not bleeding, I am. In my hurry to slice through a butternut squash the day before so I could throw in the oven to roast for him for dinner, the knife slipped on the wet squash and I cut my “Peter Pointer” finger pretty good. Good enough that if I did not have two babies in tow, I would have gone to the E.R. and got a stitch or two but when I thought about putting snowsuits on babies, loading into carseats during nap time of all times with an out-of-commission finger, I decided to just stay home and apply pressure and elevate it. It bled long enough to remind me that I should have had it looked at but not long enough for me to decide that it was worth the hassle of loading the kids up and having them and their carseats covered in blood while I did. I’m going to live. But since I split my cut open again, dressing Mr. 7 months old, his once-white onesie may not see another wearing.
I cleaned up my blood-stained boy, dressed him again and bandaged myself back up while Miss 18 months old entertained herself by splattering her leaking sippy cup of milk all over the living room floor and throwing my laundry everywhere from the laundry basket I had dropped too close to the baby gate on its way up from the laundry room to be folded.
I made a bigger mess trying to wrap a gift for a baby shower with one less finger and then abandoned my omelette, banana, cheerio chaos in the kitchen when I heard my coffee maker beep signalling it was checking out for the day for the second time this morning and I still hadn’t managed to pour myself a cup. It sounds stupid to complain about a cut finger. It really isn’t a big deal but when you realize you can’t even clean up your messy kitchen without busting your cut open and getting blood everywhere, it becomes a bigger deal. Half an hour before we need to leave for the shower, diaper bag is packed, gift is wrapped, Miss 18 months is in a party dress and tights, Mr. 7 months is in a dress shirt, tie and cardigan and I am in pajama pants, a milk-stained tshirt, no bra and look like I have yesterday’s mascara smeared under my eyes except that I haven’t worn makeup in forever. That is just my sleep-deprived skin. Perfect. Whoever says the “au naturel” look is beautiful clearly gets more sleep than I do. Concealer is my best friend. And sock buns. (Except I have way too many socks missing the ends because I can never find my last sock bun sock so have to make a new one. Hubby is much better at finding them when he puts his socks on to find that one is missing toes. C’est la vie!) Needless to say, I wasn’t going to have time for a shower so I was going to do my best to throw myself together and try to look human while figuring out what the heck I can wear that will be dressier than my usual mom uniform but that I can still get my boobs out of when Mr. 7 months decides he is hungry. Nursing in public. Cringe. I’m getting better but it’s still not my favourite pastime.
I quickly get ready as Hubby calls to tell me that I really deserve a break (Yeah…I know!) and that if the kids get fussy he will leave work and come to pick them up at the shower (Not going to happen. He works 30 minutes away. If they are truly that awful, I will just take them home myself. I’m just being selfish. He needs to work. We’ll be fine. I was just having a moment to feel sorry for myself. We all do it but we’ll be fine!) Crap! I suddenly remember that we had a blizzard yesterday. I rush him off the phone because I need to dig the car out before I can get to the stage of loading the bambinos and all of their gear on board. Hubby left in a hurry this morning so didn’t have time to shovel or some such crap. (Again, this is me being irritated that I have to watch 2 babies through the living room window while I try to dig us out of the driveway after just getting ready so the wind can whip snow in my face and soak my tights. He’s going to look better later…keep reading!) I bundle up and start shovelling out the path from the front door to the driveway as Miss 18 months lifts the blind over her head from inside the house and bangs her sippy cup of milk against the window. I watch milk dribble down the window as I shovel and wonder how much milk that frickin’ cup can hold? How could there still be milk in it to spill?)
Then I look up and “Ahhhh!” (that was the sound of the angels singing) my driveway is clear. During all the chaos, screaming and crying this morning, I somehow did not see or hear some beautiful, amazing, thoughtful, incredible, selfless, anonymous neighbour slow-blowing our driveway. I’m almost tearing up just typing it.
You will never know how much your random act of kindness meant to me. You brightened a very hectic morning. I think I know who you are and once I know for sure I am going to hug you and make you a basket of all sorts of awesomeness to show my appreciation and gratitude. You are amazing! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Clearly someone is watching the 18 trips I make to the car to leave to get groceries and then the 10 extra trips I make coming home when I have groceries to bring in after the gazillion loads of babies and baby gear. Thank you!
We went to the shower where the giving and help didn’t end. My mom offered to ride with me to help with babies. We arrived at the same time as a bunch of friends who quickly offered their extra hands to carry diaper bags, babies and booster seats and baby gifts (Oh my!) These wonderful people offered to chase Miss 18 months old around so I could change and feed Mr. 7 months old, hold Mr. 7 months old so I could cut up food for Miss 18 months old, rock a tired and crying Mr. 7 months old so I could chase Miss 18 months down to get her coat and hat on to leave and then help me lug all of our stuff back out to the car to go home. It truly does take a village to raise a child… or at least to take two babies anywhere! Thank you to all of you awesome, thoughtful people!
The amazingness doesn’t stop there. Both babies fell asleep in the car on the way home. As I was driving home, I realized I was exhausted as well and for a split-second thought “Maybe we can all have a nap!” but then quickly remembered the upside-down banana-smeared, milk-stained, upside-down mess I had left the house in. The dream of a nap quickly died as I realized I had to basically clean up the after-effects of an indoor tornado if I was lucky enough to get both babies to transfer to bed and continue their naps. And for the record, I have a better chance of winning the lottery and being struck by lightning on the same day than I do of both of them transferring to their cribs and continuing their naps. Ugh. Cranky, tired babies that don’t want to sleep and a gross, disgusting house. Boo!
As I turned down our street, I saw Hubby’s car in the driveway. Odd. Did he get picked up this morning? No. His car was not there when we left. He normally isn’t home until after 10pm. It was only 5pm. I pulled in the driveway and ran up to unlock the door, throw my purse inside then run back to start the process of unloading babies and baby gear. Mr. 7 months first in the infant seat since he can’t escape on me and can continue his nap bundled up in his seat for now then Miss 18 months in my arms with diaper bags slung over my shoulders. We run through the cold to the door. I open the door and walk inside to a sadly unfamiliar smell. The smell of clean. Lysol clean. Delicious, refreshing, lemony fresh, disinfected clean. I look around and the house is spotless. I don’t say a word. I just start crying. Miss 18 months looks at me through tired eyes and starts to tear up herself wondering why I’m crying. I smile and explain they are happy tears. Hubby comes to the door and gives me a hug. He came home from work early without telling me and cleaned the whole house while we were gone. When I walked into the kitchen, it was sparkling clean, the table was set and there were 3 Styrofoam containers sitting in the middle. He had picked up Thai food for the two of us and one entrée with no spice for Miss 18 months old. Wow! We happily ate dinner together as a family for the first time in weeks and when we finished, I got up to clean up and Hubby stopped me and told me to go enjoy a nice, hot shower instead. Best surprise ever. It couldn’t have happened on a better day. I am so very grateful.
We all have those days where life feels overwhelming and you feel alone in an uphill battle. That is how yesterday started for me. It started covered in milk, blood, poop, banana and egg with a side of screaming baby. It ended with constant reminders that I’m not in this alone, that help is never far and was filled with random acts of kindness that totally lifted my spirits and made me feel thought of and loved. A cleared out driveway, hugs and helping hands from friends, a clean house that I didn’t have to clean myself, dinner I didn’t have to cook or clean up and a delightfully long, hot shower. Life is truly about the little things. It’s the little things that make life absolutely amazing. The simplest gestures can do such a long way.
This mama can’t stop thinking about all of these random gestures and the impact they made on an otherwise overwhelming day. We are truly blessed and will be paying it forward this week. I’m not sure when or how just yet but we will be giving back in hopes of brightening someone else’s day. Stay tuned.
For everyone who turned our day around yesterday, thank you. You don’t even know the impact you made on our life! Hugs! xo
andbabymakes3imean4 is one mom’s adventures while tap dancing on the brink of insanity with 2 babies, 11 months apart. If you liked this post, please click “follow” or like my page on facebook to be the first to know of future posts. Thanks for reading! xo