The unconditional love that only a mother is capable of having for her children is impossible to adequately explain. No matter how frustrated and/or mad I get at my children, I still love them. Like really, really love them. I don’t get it some days, but I’ve stopped trying to make sense of it. It’s an achy, almost haunting type of love. One that levitates above and follows you around where ever you go, even if you would rather it didn’t at times. Like when you would just like to have “a moment” to be really pissed off at them without having this feeling create intense mommy guilt. Why can’t I just be okay with the fact that my emotional response to any given unpleasant situation is probably quite reasonable and maybe even normal? Sometimes I have a right to be mad. Right?
Example. Two days ago, my soon to be 3 year old son pooped in the tub. He is not an infant. I have had to deal with my infant children pooping in the bathtub on several occasions. It is not fun, but it is expected. Infants have no concept of right and wrong. My son does. I was so pissed…and he knew it.
I was putting laundry away in the adjacent room when I heard him declare in an almost arrogant tone, “Mom…I pooped.”
What the hell do I do with this information? There was no calling in for reinforcements and/or assistance either. Daddy was not home. My physiologic fight or flight response immediately kicked in and I quickly weighed my options. Ignore him…he’s kidding. Grab your wallet and toothbrush and get the hell out of the house as fast as you can. Crawl under the bed and hide. Or just walk in there and call his bluff. He has to be bluffing. Of course he is. What a jokester.
He was not bluffing, and I was not laughing. He was sitting in the back of the tub with his legs straddled apart and his arms stretched high up over his head trying desperately to avoid having to make contact with his own fecal matter that was floating directly in front of him. I guess I should be thankful that he wasn’t resorting to his old habits of eating it. Ugh.
I just stood there. Blankly staring at him and at “it.” Seriously? Are you f*@king kidding me right now? What am I suppose to do with that?! And why are you staring at me like it’s my job to deal with it? He looked scared. Is Mommy scaring you buddy? (I have said nothing. Not one word.) Or maybe it’s the 12 inch long supersized not so pleasant smelling tootsie roll that keeps taunting you by inching closer and closer to your left foot that is scaring you? You can’t scoot back any further buddy. This is the end of the line for you. It’s coming, whether you like it or not. You can be certain that by the time Mommy figures out what to do with it, it WILL have reached its target. Let me introduce you to the concept of “hindsight.” Probably not the best idea you’ve ever had, huh?
When I finally woke up from my self-induced coma, I once again weighed my options. Do I pull the plug first or get a strainer? Do I curl up in a ball and start hysterically sobbing? Do I start day drinking…again? Do I tell my son that he messed with the wrong cat and simply walk away, but not before muttering, “Sucks to be you buddy?”
Of course not.
I return in 30 seconds or less with surgical gloves securely fastened, several plastic bags, and my sanity clinging for dear life. It is important to understand that I do not generally have a weak stomach when it comes to bodily fluids and/or waste exposures in general. I have had 3 children and I used to clean and bandage gunshot wounds for a living. However…
When I reached into that bathtub to grasp what visually appeared to be a very solid object and then quickly realized that not only was it on the liberal side of squishy, but it was now (because of my firm grasp) disintegrating before my very eyes into hundreds of free flowing loose particles, I lost it. I should’ve went with the strainer! I am so f*#king stupid! Always go with your gut Jill!
As much as I tried to fight it, my gag reflex kicked in, and the series of events that followed has since been fast tracked to a secret and very dark part of my brain that I’m quite certain I will revisit some day in therapy.