The other day at ballet I went inside with Levy to chat with another ballet mom about carpooling, and as we were waiting there was a distinct...rumbling...from inside the baby's little size one diaper. I knew what was coming, no big deal, I had the diaper bag in the car and was only going to be there for a minute. But when I put my hand down to the baby's leg dangling from the carrier, that's when I felt it...oh s#*t. Literally.
Long story short, I sent Levy running up to the bathroom to get me paper towels and retreated back to the minivan before I could chat with the other mom and sent her a text that read, in part, "Sorry I didn't catch you the baby had a blow out and I had baby poo on my hand" because really, if you can't laugh as a parent, you are sunk my friend.
Last week I posted a picture on Instagram of me and Talley waiting in the school pick up line. We have had a child at that school for six years now and this is the FIRST year I have had to do the school pick up. I have to admit, I was intimidated at first. It's a LOOONG line and I knew there were procedures and stuff I didn't know, but the school staff filled me in on the deets and I am a pick up pro now. Anyhoo, there we were, waiting for big sister so we could drive her down to ballet, all smiles. I had the snacks ready to go, water bottles filled, ballet stuff packed, I was on point (ballet pun intended) with the mom game that afternoon as I snapped that selfie, and sometimes it feels good to celebrate those little parenting victories, amirite?!
We drove down with zero problems, no complaints from the peanut gallery in the back until just when we pulled in. Now, under normal circumstances, this is when Levy hops out and I quickly put her hair in a ballet bun and send her in to class. Normally. Today though, Jack unbuckled his seat belt and informed me that he was not feeling well, about .02 seconds before he then stood up and vomited all over the car. ALL OVER. All over himself, all over the floor of the car, partially onto my bag, partially onto the baby. All. Over. The. Car.
Now, time kinda stands still when a kid starts puking. At first you are like "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO" and slow motion try to somehow prevent this reality from happening. I think I may have momentarily thought I would somehow catch the puke and it wouldn't go all over my car? Yeah, I bailed on that idea pretty quick. That's when the acceptance starts. Yes, I will get child barf all over my car. It will be okay. And you just hope it is over soon.
Levy hopped out REAL quick and Jack stood there, as children usually do, amazed at the fact that he had just thrown up inside the car. The two year old was crying, the baby was crying, and I was laughing my ass off. Because, really? REALLY?
I got Jack stripped down to undies, threw about 85 million baby wipes onto the puke pile, made sure the baby was puke free, put Levy's hair into a bun and sent her inside. I handled that part like a pro, because I'm a mom, and you just gotta.
I was pretty impressed with myself, I have to admit, and Jack seemed to be doing okay so we headed back up home. But once we got back on the Northway I heard it. The toddler started coughing. THAT KIND OF COUGH. Right before they...YEP she threw up too. All over herself and her new car seat and her hair and hands and holy cow HOW IS THIS HAPPENING. I was now driving 65 miles down the highway during rush hour traffic with barf all over my minivan and barf all over my two year old. To say things were a mess would be a gross understatement.
But what are you going to do? You tell them they're going to be okay, throw some wipes in their general direction, and keep driving your vomit filled minivan with three crying children back home.
Emotionally, I really could have gone either way. I could have cried. I had JUST cleaned out the car, again, after a rather thorough smashing of a bag of cookies and an unfortunate incident with a milkshake that I did not realize had made it to the back of the car. It was so clean, and now it was so covered in barf.
I was also so tired. It was a long day, and the potential of multiple stomach flu infected children being home all at once when school had literally just started was daunting. It was also so incredibly ridiculous that I had to laugh. I couldn't keep it in. I literally could not believe how insane the afternoon had turned out. Jack started laughing, and Talley started laughing, and the baby stopped crying, and we made it home, they made it into the tub, and after a really long time at the car wash I felt it was safe to back in the minivan again.
This story is really just a reminder to you guys that at the end of your rope at the end of a long day, you have the opportunity to laugh instead of cry. Yes, it can be draining, yes, it can be frustrating and tiring and sometimes upsetting, but it is also gloriously ridiculous sometimes and man it feels good to surrender to that.
And that day at ballet, with the baby poop on my hand, I laughed all the way down the stairs. I probably looked like a maniac, with a wad of paper towels holding onto the baby's butt covered in baby poop. I thought how hilarious it can be sometimes to be a parent. No matter how hard you want to or need to act like a grown up, sometimes these situations just call for you to surrender to it and laugh like a little kid.
So, yeah, sometimes I do look like I have it all together. My jeans are clean (and they are jeans not leggings) and I am wearing jewelry and my hair is showered and clean and maybe I have makeup on and I've got all my ducks in a row. And sometimes, I have baby poop on my hand and a smile on my face.