This morning I woke up to the 21 month old telling me in his own language (that I am still learning) that he was STARVING. Despite having dinner last night and then a pear, a meatball, a whole cup of milk and a granola bar for a bedtime snack. To add to the 7am fun of trying to decode what his clicks and hums mean, I am sick. I am actually very sick with either a head cold, the flu or possibly a prolonged stroke/heart attack/ intestinal twist, Dr. Facebook can’t quite diagnose me. The dog,of course, understands everything the baby says and jumps off the bed thinking that I am going to also jump off the bed and go get food. Yeah dog, not happening. I lay there and contemplate texting my neighbors an S.O.S. that I’m dying, the baby is starving and the dog is about to explode. But I am not that desperate…yet.
I roll my butt out of bed and the baby immediately starts screaming because he is positive I am going to leave him for another baby who has more money and a private jet. So, I scoop up Mr. Baby and stagger to the bathroom to set him down so I can pee. Which is also a total betrayal of love and loyalty according to him. Meanwhile, the dog has also decided that I don’t love him either and is downstairs barking like someone is ripping his ears off. I am doing my very best to ignore both of them and just get ready as fast as possible so that the screaming stops and the dog doesn’t pee, puke or poop on the carpet.
As I brush my teeth, I remember that I threw up last night in the sink, so I have to grab the disinfectant and do a quick wipe while Mr. Baby tries his best to climb INTO the sink. It was literally a wrestling match with me keeping him away from the germy sink and the Clorox wipes. I won. Off to his room to change the diaper.
I can’t smell anything because of this plague I have so, poopy diapers have been a complete surprise for the past 4 days. I should have known…I should have KNOWN, but I was so full of confidence because he never has poopy diapers in the morning. Never. That is, until THIS morning. I whip off his diaper with an air of arrogance reserved for horse jockeys and white men and sure enough, poop goes flying everywhere. I. Mean. Everywhere. The wall, the baby, my bottom lip. EVERYWHERE. Look for the blessings, isn’t that what Mr. Rodgers told us? At least I can’t smell the poop that is on my bottom lip.
Mr. Baby decided that he was over the poop and the Nana who refuses to allow him to play in pukey sinks or with chemical wipes and decides to take his naked poopy body to the top of the stairs to conference with the dog through the gate thereby smearing baby poop into the crevices of the gate which the dog thinks is a terrible breakfast but if it’s all he is going to get, he will take it. I can’t even with these two.
I get all of us cleaned up and dressed and ready to confront the possibility that the dog has exploded all over the livingroom. We make it downstairs and it’s a Christmas Miracle! The dog has NOT exploded, no pee, no poop. He did use the Christmas tree water to wash down the baby poop, but I call that resourceful and give him a pat on the head. I get the leash on the dog, the hat and coat on the baby, and I find my flip flops and off we go into the frozen tundra of Upstate New York in December to get to the Starbucks for breakfast. I’m not going to debate the pros and cons of having Starbucks every morning so you might as well keep it to yourself. Just accept that is what is happening today and every day up to this day in rain or snow or dark of night (morning, whatever) and any illness or pooptastrophy.
I get the dog to his favorite morning poop area, I get the baby buckled into his seat, I get my half awake/flip flops/sweatshirt under a sweater/forgot to wash my face into the car to go. The dog starts whining, the baby starts with his favorite game of Drive Nana Crazy In The Car in which the rules literally involve cry-screaming, repeatedly saying NANA and pulling the dog’s ears, for as long as the car is in motion. It’s not a hard game but I haven’t won it yet. I can tell you that if I had ANY doubt as to the sort of day this is was going to be, it was erased when Mr. Baby decided to add pushing the All You Need Is Love button on his Beat Bugs book in between “Nana” and scream-cry and pulling on dog ears. Gentle reminder I suppose.
We get to the Starbucks, I open the back window half way for the dog and go in for our usual. Mr. Baby seems to lighten up while we are in line as all of his favorite baristas are saying hello to him while he snacks on his blueberries. I put him in his seat and that is when I make the fatal mistake of throwing away the empty blueberry container. I don’t know what I was thinking. I truly don’t. My lack of consideration for Mr. Baby and his empty blueberry container can only be attributed to my own stroke/heart attack/flu illness. He let me know how wrong I was. He also let the entire Starbucks know, as well as the car dealership next door, the bank across the street and the Target a half mile away. One of the barista’s dropped a full pot of coffee when Mr. Baby released the cracken. Side note: another benefit of this stupid plague is that I can’t hear anything. No sense of smell, no hearing, I have become numb to many of the weapons of the toddler.
I smile and nod at the other consumers, I wave cheerily to the people outside who make a sharp turn back to their cars rather than enter the war zone that has suddenly erupted. I can read the dog’s lips and see he has joined the army and is barking his head off. I am pretty sure we are all going to be arrested now. So, in anticipation of spending the next 24-48 hours either in jail or in the psyche ward, I calmly finish my bagel. Who knows when I will get another.
I gather up the baby, my keys, my tea, a handful of napkins and hobble out to the parking lot while yelling at the dog to zip his lip. I do the buckle, the starting, the drive. The baby finishes his Drive Nana Crazy In The Car game. We get home, I get everyone out and up the stairs and into the house. I think I am going to just go ahead and die at this point. But the dog insists on being fed, the baby wants his We-Just-Walked-In-The-Door-Snack and the 3 cats are swirling between my legs because they know I like being challenged when walking around my own home.
Fed. Done. Sit down. Put Mr. Baby’s show on. Dog jumps up onto the leather couch and silently throws up everything he has eaten in his life. I just happen to look over and see his “Sorry about that” face (thanks Mr. Rodgers) and leave the room to grab the clean up supplies which sets off the Screams of Abandonment from Mr. Baby. I come back to find the dog on the orange suede chair and take a step towards him to take off his collar directly into the slime puke or the “after-puke” he has let slide from his doggy mouth. Squishes between my toes, all warm and well, slimey. I hop into the kitchen while praying my uterus doesn’t fall out (another story for another day) and grande battament my leg into the kitchen sink while yelling at Mr. Baby to not touch anything and at the dog to not eat anything. At this point, if it had been a regular day, I would either be crying or laughing or both. But today, as I battle the possible anthrax infection spreading throughout my body, I just silently scrub my foot in my kitchen sink while staring out the window wondering what the me in the parallel universe stepped in this morning…