My heart goes out to the single parents out there. Mountain Dad is on a business trip this week which leaves me the sole adult in Big E and little g’s life. I’m once again reminded of all the things Mountain Dad does on a daily basis that I take for granted. Just his presence in the evenings gives me a break from the constant clamour for attention from my two tots. With Mountain Dad around there’s another adult to play with, jump on and cry to. With him gone I get to be the playmate, jungle gym and comforter for everyone.
The business trip could not have been at a worse time. For one thing, our truck is in the shop, thanks to me sliding helplessly into a van and SUV two weeks ago. On top of that, the afternoon before Mountain Dad flew out Big E suddenly announced, “I’m going to throw up!” Which he did…all over the couch…and the floor.
That one pukey moment led to many more. The first day he couldn’t even keep down water, which meant a lot of worry…and laundry for me. I wouldn’t have minded so much; everyone gets sick sometimes, but I had to cancel an awesome Moab mountain bike adventure I had planned with a single mom friend and her son. Thanks to being sick, instead of exploring Arches National Park we’ve been trapped indoors, watching a lot of Mighty Machines and slowly going stir crazy.
Last night, I put Big E in the tub and started making dinner. Little g also wanted a bath so I got her undressed and ready to go. Right before I plopped her in with Big E, she did something amazing. She saw her dirty shirt on the floor, picked it up and walked into the other room to throw it in the hamper. Unfortunately her tiny arms missed the goal, but it was the thought that counts.
“Good job, little g!” I said. I’ll encourage any sort of cleaning up effort by my kids. She smiled, picked the shirt up and threw it again. I herded her toward the dirty clothes bin in an effort to show her where the shirt actually should go. She got it in there once, but then promptly picked the shirt up and walked back toward the bathroom.
“MOM! G is throwing her shirt in the tub!” Big E yelled from his bath. I hustled into the bathroom.
“No, no, g. Bring that in here,” I said. She smiled and tried to throw it back in the tub. I gave up, if the shirt got wet it was no big deal, it was going in the wash anyway. Besides, the kitchen timer had rung so I left to check on dinner.
When I returned, Big E was splashing by himself, g was back by the dirty clothes bin and a familiarly unappetizing smell was in the air.
“E, did you poo in the tub?” I asked.
“No, I’m just swimming,” he said. I followed my nose out of the bathroom, down the hall and to little g. She smiled and giggled, holding her dirty shirt out to me. Her naked baby body was cute as could be, except for a streak of brown running down her leg.
“EWWW!” I cried and whisked g back into the bathroom, attacking her poo streak with baby wipes. Once cleaned, I did what I should’ve done originally and put her in the tub. She laughed and splashed with her brother, not realizing the grossness of the gift she had left somewhere in her brother’s bedroom. Armed with more baby wipes and some cleaning supplies I hunted for the missing poo. It didn’t take long to find.
As quickly as I could, I cleaned up the mess, depositing the dirty baby wipes in a garbage bag. The whole ordeal was disgusting, but nothing I hadn’t dealt with before. Maybe that’s the mark of a jaded parent, you’re no longer surprised to find a pile of your kids poo on the bedroom floor. The funny thing was, I think it was easier to clean it up that way than the daily wrestling match I normally have. My wiggly one-year-old does not like laying down to get her diaper changed.
Maybe I should just let her walk around naked all the time. Then again, maybe not.