Mark’s been working late the last couple of nights, so I’ve had my summer mommy’s helper, Sher, stay late to help with late afternoon activities/dinner/bath/bedtime. After tonight I’m a bit worried about how she might perceive me.
Last night, we were taking a walk and it started thundering, and the sky appeared vaguely dark in one location. She was like, “Maybe we should head back.” And I was like, “No – let’s keep going. I don’t even think it’s going to rain!” After all, Joel and Fredrik seemed to be enjoying the walk, and I could not waste such a prime opportunity to get some peaceful exercise.
Not even ten minutes later it started pouring down rain. Like it was a legit monsoon, and both boys were screaming, and Sher and I were totally drenched, and then Sher had to put on my clothes for the rest of the night, and I had to apologize profusely for being an idiot.
Mark later asked, “Didn’t the stroller cover keep the boys dry?” No Mark. It was like raining sideways.
Then tonight, Sher and I decided to head to the athletic club to swim and have dinner by the pool. This was my first outing with both boys without either Mark or a crowd of family members, so I was nervous, and I told Sher as much.
So nothing about this night really went as planned. First, I’d been bragging to Sher about how much Joel had enjoyed our recent pool visits. Well, tonight he didn’t enjoy the pool to nearly the level he has in the past two weeks – he kind of stood by the pool, hesitating to jump in, etc.
Maybe Mark not being there had something to do with this. Or maybe it was that Joel didn’t feel as safe in the water with me (even though he’s always wearing a life jacket). I don’t know why someone would feel unsafe in the water with me – I only started sinking and yelling and flailing my arms a little bit when I inadvertently stepped off the ledge into the seven foot deep section from the four foot deep section.
So then we ordered a poolside dinner (Fredrik peed on Sher in the clubhouse while we were ordering), and then Fredrik fell asleep in my arms at the table. No big deal, but Sher and I both know Fredrik’s exhausted because he’s hardly napping, which, at least in part, feels like my fault.
Then Joel mostly ate honey dew melon and French fries for dinner, which made me feel like he was going to become malnourished or something.
So once we finished dinner, we decided that Sher and I would take turns running into the locker room changing into dry clothes while the other stayed at the table with the boys. After we’d each changed clothes, we decided to get the boys dressed, but I was like, “We can just let Joel wear his swim trunks home, because I don’t care if the car seat gets a little bit damp.” It seemed like not a remotely risky decision, as Joel isn’t one who ever poops at night, and I wanted to save myself some time and effort.
So we arrived home without issue, and Joel consumed his nightly cup of milk and then peed on the floor through his swim trunks, which was fine, because we have hardwood floors, but I still felt stupid, because I probably should have put him in a diaper.
So then Joel ran off into his room, and I was like, “Oh I bet he’s going to go sit on the potty and finish peeing!” At this point Sher ran back like, “I want to see if he’s sitting on the potty!” And I took the rare opportunity to relax on the couch for a bit while feeling really proud of Joel. (He seems to understand the potty well for his age, though of course he isn’t actually potty trained yet.)
So then all of a sudden Sher was like, “I think we have to start the bath now – Joel pooped!” So I ran back with Fredrik and started drawing a bath. I finally corralled Joel over to me, and I took off his swim trunks and they were completely full of the biggest, nastiest, stinkiest shit that anyone has ever seen.
I managed to get the trunks off of Joel and keep most of the poop in the trunks, but, in case anyone doesn’t know, mesh underwear isn’t ideal for catching poop, so the poop got basically all over Joel (and elsewhere too). So at this point, I was frantically wiping him with toilet paper, while Sher was running to grab wipes. And I was yelling, “What do I do with these trunks – put them outside?” And Sher was brilliant like, “Can you throw them away?” (She really came through in the crunch.)
Finally, once I’d wiped a reasonable amount of shit off of Joel, I put him into the tub. Though I didn’t actually fill the tub until I’d scrubbed him some more, as I wanted to minimize the level of filth in the water. Once I’d gotten Joel clean, I let the bathtub fill a bit, so he could take a normal-ish bath. And at this point Sher was just holding Fredrik, watching.
I was like, “Oh my God – you’re going to go home and be like, ‘This mess of a mom I work for…’” To which she was like, “I mean, that’s what people do when they go home at night, right?! Talk about their day!”
Then I noticed Joel was starting to drink his bathwater (which he never does), so I told him to stop, and he tried to do it even more, so I had to end the bath as abruptly as possible. Then I went into Joel’s room to grab his pajamas so Sher could dress him while I bathed Fredrik in fecal-free water, and, while I was in Joel’s room, I found a piece of poop on his carpet, but, luckily it wasn’t mashed into the fibers or anything, so I could easily pick it up with a piece of toilet paper.
Then Sher helped Joel brush his teeth and he threw his toothbrush onto his carpet, and Sher was like, “Ewwww – don’t do that Joel. You just pooped on your carpet!”
Anyway, it’s been a shit couple of days, and sometimes I feel like such a failure! Something like this happens almost every time I leave the house. (Fredrik had to freeball it home from a Mexican restaurant the other day.) If I keep leaving the house with the kids, will I get better at it? Does it just take practice?