You know those days when you've just got it together? You're like the It Mom. You look good, the kids are well-behaved, you get to places on time, you packed everything you needed, everything is cool, calm, collected...
Yesterday was not one of those days.
I started the day already off when I attempted to pack a bag for an entire day's outing, complete with errands, groceries, and a water play date, in a frantic and rushed 7 minutes. Needless to say, I forgot a couple of things...like wipes and enough food and formula for the baby. I also forgot to do something with my hair.... I did not realize until I got home at 8 p.m. just how disheveled I had looked all day. We're talking stray fly aways in every direction, the messy bun pulled up in the back...a look that screams "I have lost total control and right now I just can't stop what I'm doing to find it." (But in my defense, I had worked out that morning. It was Gym Hair.)
At my friend's house, the play date started out pretty smoothly: water balloons, a slip & slide, and the sprinklers. Even Aidan Kai got in on the fun...until I dropped him. Yes. Dropped him. Again. This time, fortunately, it was not off of a sofa and onto a laminate floor. It was a simple, but theatrical, drop and flip out of my arms and onto the wet grass, where he promptly rolled over and immediately started an indignant and impatient wail. My friend was kind enough to chuckle and withhold any comments. (But in my defense, I have a bum arm.) Aidan Kai did recover quickly (as so many children do while the mothers hold on to the guilt and self-inflicted abuse for days, at best), but we should've known the play date fun couldn't last. Two constantly hungry newborns, two 3-year-old rambunctious boys, and one very curious and mobile 10-month-old...what were we thinking? The adults were outnumbered, and the kids knew it. By the time I got out of there, I needed a nap, a nanny, and/or a cocktail.
I left there and then drove 40 minutes in South Florida traffic to my neighborhood Target with the intention of buying formula, and only formula. An hour and one severe thunderstorm later, I had spent $200, and nearly forgotten the formula. But hey, I had red and blue July 4th paper plates, glittery Uncle Sam hats, and a pack of water balloons...Oh, and almost a broken baby. This time it would've been Aidan's own fault if he had fallen, as he decided to show off in the register line and climb out of the shopping cart seat and STAND UP. (Okay, no, maybe it would've been my fault yet again, since I was the one who never clipped him in. But in my defense, Ben never climbed out of shopping carts.) I got to him just in time, as the cashier frowned at me and said, "Mommy, you should clip him in. You don't want an injury like that." Yes. Thank you, Target Check-out Girl.
We then go on to do full blown groceries. Now the three of us are hungry, cranky, and in need of naps. When we arrive at Publix, I immediately clip Aidan into the shopping cart and even wipe the cart down with antibacterial wipes for extra credit. I am zooming up and down the aisles, frantically trying to keep Aidan entertained, Ben nearby, and my entire family's nutritional needs in mind. It is when we are in the produce section and I am seduced by the summer peaches, that I think it is okay to step two frickin' feet away from Aidan, because...after all, everyone, he is clipped in. I am sniffing my third peach when Ben starts shrieking "Mama! Aidan has a piece of the bag in his hand and he's putting it in his mouth!" I think, 'Bag? What bag?' and assume Ben is being dramatic, as so many of us in my family are (okay, just me). But no, he has managed to tear off a tiny square of the plastic bags used for fruits and vegetables and is, in fact, putting it in his mouth. This can not be good. After a few seconds of "what-ifs" running around in my mind, I showered Ben with praises about how "dangerous" that could've been and what a "good job he did taking care of his brother." (In my defense, the peaches really were spectacular.)
So we are now down to the near-end of my day, and I am grateful that I have a shopping cart full of groceries and a baby with no major head injuries. We are standing in line to pay when Aidan starts getting pretty fussy, so I whip out the only thing I've got left: emergency Cheerios. (It is important to remind my readers at this point that Aidan has some puking tendencies, so we try to refrain from any solid pieces of food in public locations...even good ol' Cheerios.) And I do think for a moment, 'Is this a good idea?' But I also think, 'C'mon, Liz...after the day you've had? You'll be out of here in 2 minutes, and the kid will have a handful of Cheerios to keep him busy.' Like the play date earlier, it seemed okay at first....I had already run my card through the machine and even signed the receipt...I was waiting for the bag boy to pack the last of the bread bags...IT WAS THE LAST FRICKIN' CHEERIO, PEOPLE. And he did it. Yes. I know you saw this coming. He started to gag, and I did what any other mother would've done...I cupped my hands under his mouth and prayed OUT LOUD "Oh God, no please. No." But yes. Right there, in the check-out line at the grocery store. Go ahead. Laugh. (In my defense, I did such a good job wiping everything down with antibacterial solution and paper towels, that the floor was shining.)
On our way home, I got a call from a friend, and she happened to ask about my day. I used the term "frazzled mom" in the description. Apparently, Ben liked this phrase, because he sang it repeatedly as I pulled into the driveway..."Frazzled Mom! Frazzled Mom! Frazzled Mom!"