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Motherhood on the Rocks

I put the toddler down, went into the bathroom, put toothpaste on my toothbrush and heard something dump all the way down the stairs. Within five minutes, my good day had turned bad.
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My husband texted me the other morning, "How's it going?"

I was quick to reply, "good," and continued tidying up, feeding the boys and quieting brother squabbles.

Around 9:30 a.m., I decided that brushing my teeth was way overdue since I hadn't brushed them when I woke up, and I drank a full mug of coffee. Ick.

Easy task, right? Brushing my teeth would take one minute, and I told my husband that we were having a good day.

I began walking upstairs to go brush my teeth and the toddler began screaming. Because I am never, ever allowed to walk away from him. And suddenly, he was incapable of going up the stairs himself because he was so traumatized... so I carried all 30 pounds of him up the stairs to our one and only bathroom (these are the days that I wish we had a downstairs bathroom that I could sneak into).

I put the toddler down, went into the bathroom, put toothpaste on my toothbrush and heard something dump all the way down the stairs.

Within five minutes, my good day had turned bad.

I put my toothbrush down to go see what happened, and I found that my toddler had dumped an entire bag of snack mix down the stairs. It was my favorite snack mix that I had brought up to my room the night before to munch on while I worked. I only had a few bites the night before, and I was looking forward to eating more of it the next day (because food is the kind of thing that I look forward to these days).

"Urghhhh!" said the mommy.

"Urghhhh!" said the toddler.

"What did he do?!" said the preschooler from the bottom of the steps.

I explained that little brother dumped my favorite snack mix down the stairs and now I would have to clean it all up. I said it in the same whine that I scold my preschooler for using. He heard it. I heard it. He took note. I tried not to think about it.

"You need to help me clean this up," I said to the toddler, who immediately burst into tears. Now he wanted to be held again and was upset that I was upset over something that was accidental and very trivial in the grand scheme of things.

I carried the toddler downstairs, grabbed the vacuum, carried everybody and everything back upstairs, plugged in the vacuum and began vacuuming the stairs.

While I had the vacuum upstairs, I figured that I should clean the bedrooms, too, because I truly couldn't remember the last time I had vacuumed them.

I moved the desk chair out of my room and into the bathroom so that I could vacuum better. I knew it was a dumb move as I was doing it, but I was too annoyed to care.

Of course, the toddler climbed onto the chair and onto the bathroom counter where my toothbrush was still sitting. I had not brushed my teeth yet, but my toddler was happily using my toothbrush to brush his.

I figured that the damage was done and at least he wasn't hanging on me or crying (or both) so I kept vacuuming until the vacuum broke. It just stopped picking up anything.

I left the rest of the snack mix on the stairs and allowed them to get crushed to crumbs throughout the day. I let the boys eat a few of them off the stairs. My husband ordered us a new vacuum. And I finally brushed my teeth.

So, what did I learn from that morning?

I learned that I should always just text that things are going "OK." I learned that motherhood means being good one moment and on the verge of tears the next. I learned that my life (like my toothbrush) is not my own. And I am learning to be OK with all of that.