I may or may not have almost lost my holy hot shit in a handicapped stall in a random bathroom at Chicago Midway Airport this weekend.
Because I was mid-pee, and my two and a half year old was looking under the stall at the girl peeing next to me.
For a second.
Until he dropped Darington, his Blaze cartoon car.
Which rolled out under the door of the stall I was in.
And his diaper bag was hanging on the coat hook.
And my purse was hanging on the coat hook.
And I was peeing.
And he's two and a half.
And he lost his car under the stall door.
It happened in slow motion - like these things typically do. The General's hands reached up for the DEFINITELY NOT CHILD PROOF LOCKED STALL DOOR, easily slid the lock open, and, due to the extra weight of the diaper bag and purse (with all. the. necessary. vacation. things. in. them.), the door swung right on open.
Because, in case you don't remember, I was definitely still peeing.
A grandmother - characterized as such by her greying hair, her soft hands, and her kind smile at me while I was doing some kind of wild-dancing-pants-"Yes, please, I'd LOVE to flash all of these women waiting patiently in line"-shimmy - had picked up Darington, glanced in my general direction, and handed the car back to my now-suddenly-so-bashful child.
And then she shut the door.
And held it shut from the outside.
So I could finish ... shimmying.
Immediately, Tuck dropped to his hands and knees to scope out just who that woman was exactly.
His hands and knees.
In the bathroom.
At the Chicago Midway Airport.
[Cue the Deliverance banjos.]
That's when I realized that I was sweating.
I lugged the 200 pound toddler-who-suddenly-never-wants-to-walk-anywhere-ever-again/vacation equipment to the sink. Washed everything. Hands. Car. Hands again. My hands. Car again (because it fell on the floor ... again). Used about 8,000 paper towels. And sighed.
And then the grandma was there again, making her own way to the sink. As I put The General down on the floor with his shiny car, and slung my "pack-pack" over my shoulder, she smiled at me in the mirror.
"You're doing fine," she said.
And damn if I almost hugged her.
Now listen - my child is an absolute gem. He was a travel champion this weekend. We flew to Houston and back in four days, sat on three planes, spent a day at the rodeo, had a huge family dinner, exhausted all of the children on a bounce house in the backyard, and survived Mexican restaurants and David's Bridal. And he did most of it with a smile on his face.
That doesn't mean being a mom is easy though. It is the single most difficult thing I have ever, ever, ever done. It's hard every day and my kid is funny, quiet, well-behaved, and smart. I can't imagine what mom life is like for people that have a Honey Boo Boo crazy train kid, or, God Bless Them All: Mothers Of More Than One Child.
After the bathroom trip at Midway, The Gen and I joined The Boyfriend again at the gate and this was when The Gen's only meltdown occurred. I tried to schedule the second flight right at his nap time, and was only off by like 15 minutes (#momwin), but the 15 minutes were sort of brutal to all of the people around us. [And you know their gritted smiles in your general direction, or their, "He's so cute," comments are just really code for, "PLEASE DO NOT SIT THAT CHILD NEAR ME ON THIS BIG PLANE FOR THREE SOLID HOURS."]
I must've said something to Tuck like, "Mommy can only do so much at one time, honey," because I was still sweaty, he was crying, and he wanted both M&Ms (in the diaper bag) AND Pickle the car (in the purse) at the same time.
And The Boyfriend said, "Just ask me if you need help."
It didn't dawn on me then. It took awhile. But I realized that even after he offered to help, I still didn't ask him. That was a lesson for me, I think. The Gen eventually fell asleep on the plane (before we even pushed off from the gate). I looked to my left and him sleeping with his head on my lap, and to my right at The Boyfriend asleep, and then took a deep breath.
The thing about being a mom? You're totally equipped to do it all. You can carry your kid through the entire Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. You can carry a purse, a diaper bag, and your toddler through an airport. You can push a swing, hold a drink, and keep your head on a swivel for snakes in the grass ... at the same time (without getting smacked in the face by the swing). You can change a diaper in a stall at a bridal store - while you're actually wearing a bridesmaid dress.
It's f'ing exhausting. But you can do it. All of it.
At the end of the day, when you're just taking a second after spending an hour putting a sweet little boy to bed (the one that just is begging to stay up with the rest of the fam) ... if you just sit for a second - just let it wash over you. You feel it.
It's the feeling of accomplishment ... gratifying, fill-my-bucket-right-on-up accomplishment.
So much so, that you get up the next day happy to do it all again.
Hopefully without the icky restroom floor germs though, because Hand Foot and Mouth Disease is nooooo joke.
. About Moi .
I love, love, love flannel sheets and I am really passionate about lists on post it notes and most of the time I'm sad that no one else is as excited as I am about Diet Mountain Dew. I also adore run-on sentences. And if you need an awesome virtual assistant, who is full of personality and really good jokes? Email me. I'm your girl.
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He saw her before he saw
anything else in the room.
- F. Scott Fitzgerald
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