** warning ** some of this might frankly be TMI for some of you. Read at your own risk.
Life is a bowl of cherries! I wake up every morning refreshed and full of energy! I never leave the house without my hair perfectly blown out and with my makeup perfectly done and my kids perfectly dressed, clean, and hair done in cute, perfectly done braids! My house is always clean! AND I cook wonderful, healthy, 5-course meals every day for my family!!!
Let's be real here. Life is hardly perfect or simple when you're a mom of 4. Otherwise I wouldn't have pictures of me that look like THIS:
Or have stories to tell like these:
You know it's going to be a questionable day when you kill two spiders in the kitchen and two in the bathroom before 7 am. And I'm not talking little-bitty, barely-know-they're-there kind of spiders. I'm talking big, brown, hairy-legged wolf spiders with bodies the size of dimes that watch you try to kill them and hustle out of the way Looong before your foot comes down on them like those big 'ole spiders in Brazil did.
At least this year we seem to just be dodging the small-to-medium sized wolf spiders. I can handle dime sized bodies with hairy legs.
But I CAN handle them.
The ones we had a few years ago, though, with bodies the size of quarters and legs that resembled fingers... not so much. Those things will keep you up at night with the lights on so you can see them coming and grab the shotgun if they approach your bed. And give you nightmares if you ever do manage to fall asleep.
But back to my current story.
The four-spider day just happened to be a Sabbath morning when my fourth kiddo was almost 3 weeks old and we were attempting to go to church. The spiders were just the beginning of the fun.
In between the circus accompanying the dressing, grooming, cleaning, feeding, and disciplining of the big kids there was the blowout. Even after 3 previous babies which have all proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that Sabbath mornings and picture days are inevitably christened by blowouts, I still found myself unprepared. Or maybe there just IS no "preparation" for a blowout?
I'm not sure there is a mother out there who doesn't look at the yellow streak up the backside of her little one and think, "Uh... how do I get these clothes OFF, exactly?". Or more specifically, "How do I get these clothes off without getting this goop all over this kid... and myself?!"
Sometimes these things can actually be managed with half a package of baby wipes and sometimes it requires a bath for baby and a shower for mommy. Maybe that shower doesn't actually happen for another two days, but hey, when you're a new mommy you count yourself lucky to get a shower more than once a week.
Just don't count on that once-a-week shower happening on Sabbath morning, though. While I was busy wondering how I could mask the spit-up smell in my hair without half a bottle of perfume, I actually SAW myself in the mirror and realized it had been a little bit too long since the last time I used a pair of tweezers. I didn't even WANT to look at my legs or count up the days (ahem...weeks) since I'd used a razor.
The real fun started, though, once we'd finally made it to church. The kids actually caught the last 15 min. of Sabbath School (yay!) thanks to the help of Grandma! I'm not sure we would have made it at all without her. Exactly 10 minutes after arrival I realized that while I had appropriately stocked the diaper bag with all the necessary items for BABY, I had NOT stocked it at all for Mommy.
What does Mommy need, you ask? Well, for starters, disposable nursing pads (hereafter to be known as DNP so I don't slip up and say "breast pad" or worse, just refer to them as pads). Again, you would think that somewhere along the way with THREE previous babies I would have realized how important this is. Or how important it is to replace the DNPs after EVERY time you feed the baby. Because there was a very uncomfortable moment while standing in the foyer when I realized I had ONE DNP in place, not TWO. While my baby began to fuss...
Let me follow that little PSA by another PSA: Whatever you do, when you find yourself in that sort of situation, do NOT use toilet paper as a substitute for a DNP. Unless you like having TP mush in your bra and have some sort of plan for how to clean it OFF before the next feeding. Really, if I'm ever in that sort of situation again (which, I hopefully won't be thanks to a now fully-stocked-for-Mommy diaper bag) I will go for the full-size sanitary pad DNP-substitute and pretend I have always had a very lopsided chest.
The other thing that I learned MUST be stocked up on? Oh yes, that's right - pads and pantyliners. Because why stop at just one embarrassing leak? No, no, let's go for the full-body betrayal here. And might I just stop right here to say THANK YOU to the lady who made sure there were extra supplies stocked up under the sink in the ladies' room?
I mean, I KNOW I've learned these important lessons already, but I seem to have a VERY hard time remembering them!
Apparently I have a hard time remembering a lot of things.
Later that day when we were at home, my mom had a headache so I went to the kitchen to get her some ibuprofen. I grabbed the bottle, shook out a dose, and then went to the sink to get a drink of water for her. But then I remembered she already had a bottle of water with her in the living room, so I got myself a drink, turned around, and walked into the living room. Once there I stood in the middle of the rug looking around, confused. I was SURE I had just had some ibuprofen in my hand. Where did it go? I looked down at my two empty hands and KNEW I had just lost my mind. Maybe I was dreaming? Sleep-walking? Something was wrong, here. I retraced my steps, even squatted down and looked on the floor... and then I burst out laughing. Well, I didn't have a headache to begin with, but after that I was SURE I wasn't going to GET one, either!
Now that's some scary memory loss. And that's not all of it.
This is my second full week of packing up all 4 kids and getting two of them off to school on time without the help of grandma. It has been busy, but we have not been late once! I have, however, had at least one of these thoughts go through my head on almost every single morning:
"Did I brush my hair?"
"Did I brush my TEETH?!"
"Am I wearing exactly the same jeans and hoodie I wore yesterday?"
"Will I ever find the time to put some makeup on again?!"
Maybe my memory will come back right about the time my night sweats let up and my hair starts to fall out. Gotta love those hormones. Or lack thereof.
At least I know I'm not alone, here. Yesterday morning I saw places on the road where there was distinct evidence that at least two people were going to arrive at work and wonder what on earth they'd done with their coffee... until they got out and saw the coffee stains on the trunk. And it wasn't even Monday.
Ah, there is bit of companionship in shared amnesia!