Welcome to another Mommy Moment! If you’re not sure what it is, head over and read all about how Mommy Moments at the Monster came to be. A year ago this week, I had Leigh Ann from genie in a blog over to share her first Mommy Moment. I thought I would invite her over to share another moment in honor of her Mommy Moment anniversary!
So go grab a cup of coffee and a donut, ahem, I mean a low-fat muffin, or depending on the time of the day maybe some wine and chocolate, and sit back and enjoy the story!
The family and I just returned from a hellish 36 hour road trip to Dallas and back. We try to make it to my niece’s birthday party each year and visit with my family a bit before heading back home to Austin. These trips are usually a quick, whirlwind 24 hours that leave us exhausted and aching for a weekend to recover from our weekend, but alas, there’s no more weekend left and now it’s Monday.
The party was at a splash pad in my parent’s neighborhood. It was hot, we were all tired, and by the end of splashing, cake, and presents, my kids were DONE. We packed up and started out on the short drive to our hotel to figure out dinner plans.
That short drive became a very long drive.
My kids, ages 4, 4, and 2, were dead tired by this point. A long morning in the car, lots of sun, water play, and the excitement of seeing family had completely worn them out. So I was prepared for a good amount of whining.
“Mommmmmyyyyyy, my tummmmmyyyy hurrrrrrtsssss,” started Rachel, one of my four year old twins.
“I’m sorry, honey,” I auto-replied without even turning around, “We’re almost to the hotel. It’s probably because you’re hungry.”
If it sounds like I dismissed her complaint, it’s because I totally did. My twins are notorious for crying wolf of the tummy ache variety, usually because they’re tired and don’t want to eat dinner. Or brush teeth. Or get dressed. Or anything really, because they’re four and so busy.
So yeah. I blew her off.
But she persisted. Her voice was wavering and miserable. Her normally olive skin was a little on the pale side. But it was the coughing that was making me really uncomfortable, grating my nerves like nails on a chalkboard. I knew there was more to that cough.
Now I regularly admit that I was born with little to no motherly instincts, and I stand strong by that self accusation. I don’t say the right thing in the all important teachable moments. I don’t always know how to best handle a disciplinary situation that could possibly make or break my kids’ wills. When my youngest got stung by a bee and her hand swelled up twice its normal size, I was running around like a chicken with my head cut off, prepared to google the ancient practice of bloodletting, while my husband strolled casually over to the cabinet and got out the Benedryl.
So I’m not the best person to consult in an emergency.
But one area in which I do rock the instincts? I totally know when my kids are going to hurl.
Example 1: Rachel, then 22 months, wakes up early from her nap and is laying miserably on my husband’s shoulder.
“Poor baby,” he says. “I wonder why she woke up so sad.”
I gave her a bit of side eye. She looked a little strange. “She looks like she’s gonna hur– Oh God!” (And poor husband…ew.)
Example 2: Claire, my other 4 year old, had a bug around Christmas time and was laying on the couch with me one night. As I picked her up to take her back to bed, she emitted a faint, strange little burp on my shoulder.
I practically threw her off me with a yelp of “Ugh, she’s gonna throw up!” as I not so gingerly held her over the strategically placed towel on the floor — a must in a house where the stomach bug is making its rounds.
And now the newly evolving example three. All the signs were there: complaining, pallid complexion, strange coughing that was making me squirm just a little.
“Please not in the car, please not in the car…” But I knew it was coming.
This kid was gonna blow.
That’s when one of the coughs resulted in some, how shall we say, spittle?
“Quick!” My husband shouted. “A towel!”
I was one step ahead of him, yanking a damp towel from our beach bag. Already folded into a perfect square, I tossed it back to the third row seat where Rachel sat, its Tinkerbelle graphic practically giving me a sly wink as it sailed across the interior of the car and landed directly on her chest mere seconds before Mount Vesuvius erupted in a mess of partially digested goldfish crackers, grapes, and an ungodly amount of bright pink icing.
Sorry, about that, Tink. But yay me!
Unfortunately I had little time to relish in my towel tossing victory before realized I had better climb back there to check on the state of the upholstery. Oh, and comfort my daughter and stuff. It was like something out of a horror movie — it just kept. on. coming.
And oh my God the smell. I should get Mom of the Year just for sitting in the back seat with her surrounded by that stench and keeping my own lunch down.
By the time we got to the hotel, she was covered, Tinkerbelle towel be damned. And I was back to my instinctless self. How was I going to get her upstairs? Don’t they have a maintenance/vomit-covered kid elevator for situations like these? Does this mean we can order room service?
But for a moment — one moment — I was an instinctive badass with mad vomit ESP and towel tossing skills. May not sound like much, but it’s all I got.
And it did me absolutely no good in the dead of night when she woke up yakking in the bed we were sharing.
Been there, done that…and it never gets any easier, does it? I can handle just about anything, but the whole throwing up thing sucks and always will.
We all take on so much as moms – it’s a tough gig! There’s no manual out there for what we do, so sharing stories like this helps us all learn from each other.
Now head over to genie in a blog and say hello to Leigh Ann. If you are a Twitter addict, you can find her there, and on Facebook too! And if you are a new follower, make sure to tell her that I sent you!