“Coffee,” you plead to no one.
As if he can read your thoughts, your oldest jumps up to excitedly tell you HE’S already MADE your coffee. He proceeds to hand you some very dark, cold water and waits patiently for you to drink it. All. I love my son, I love my son, you say to yourself. “Mmmm…thank you, buddy,” and mean it sincerely. “And the cheerios you added at the bottom were especially thoughtful!”
You run to get dressed, while telling both your boys — for the 4th time — to do the same. Experience has taught you, ‘getting dressed’, must come with very clear direction: “Put your shirt on, put your underwear on – ok, turn them around the other way, put your pants on….”
With your own shirt half way on, you check their progress, only to find both sitting on the floor, with one sock on, but otherwise naked, despite the detailed instructions. “Get dressed,” you tell them again. You seriously consider if you should just record this statement, and have it on constant re-play in their room. Wondering how they could have not only NOT gotten dressed, but actually gotten more UNDRESSED, you accidentally stab yourself in the eye with eyeliner. Vowing not to wear that again, you throw it in the trash. Except you look like a dead fish without it, so you dig it back out. You yell out again – now for the 10thtime — telling your boys to get dressed.
When your husband asks how you slept, you have an intense urge to smear jelly on his face. Especially because you ‘slept’ with one son — who could only get comfortable and fall asleep, by lying on your head. You would be more rested if you walked around all night, while someone punched you in the face.
No. You tell yourself. You Can NOT wear those yoga pants AGAIN. You eye them anyway, even though you know they can practically walk around by themselves.
And now for the final battle cry of the morning ……coats, gloves, hats. This battle, you will win. Boobs up, lipstick on, time to go forth and mom.
Until you see your younger child has developed a rash on his right arm. After berating yourself for not noticing it sooner, you start to dial the pediatrician. “Chicken Pox,” your husband says, as he walks past, in a towel. It’s not chicken pox you say (to yourself) and keep dialing.
It’s off to the bus rush, or as rushed as two little boys, who insist on stopping at every corner, kicking every stone, and picking up every rock along the way will let it be. Your pediatrician is on vacation and you will need to take #2 son to a back-up doctor. Oh yeah, he doesn’t speak a lot of English. Kissing #1 goodbye, you pick up your ‘sicky.’ The rash has now covered his entire arm. Thankful for the cuddle, he kisses you. Then sneezes in your face.
You grab a taxi, and re-arrange your morning activities, texting, canceling, re-scheduling. Upon arrival at the doctor’s office, you realize that your husband has taken cash from your wallet, so you have to pay the taxi driver in coins. This makes him about as happy as a shark on land.
The doctor asks your son to get undressed, so he can perform the examination. Your typically, happy, cheerful child refuses. Loudly. The doctor gets annoyed and acts very terse (and kind of mean), which is not going to help matters, so you plead, beg, and bribe your son to get undressed. You find it all very ironic. Not even an hour ago, you had to plead and bribe this same kid TO get dressed. The doctor, now highly agitated, starts taking off your son’s shirt. For this, your son grants him a kick – square in the crotch. You apologize profusely. On the upside, you have learned all the German curse words in one, short lesson.
“Coxsackie,” the doctor tells you. “Cock-what?” you ask. There is just something so wrong with every syllable of that word. If you weren’t sick before you had it, you’d definitely get sick just upon hearing the name itself. You’d think with all the words in the English language, they might come up with something better. The doctor writes you a prescription, tells you to leave, and personally escorts the both of you off the premises — quickly, very quickly.
Throughout the entire morning, aside from the minor meltdown and crotch-kick, your son has been in a fabulous mood. The least sick-acting, sick kid you’ve ever seen. It all stops now. The smile turns on a dime and you can see a thunderbolt of a tantrum coming on. There will be no calm before this storm. You don’t understand why at first, but quickly realize, he hasn’t eaten anything for an hour. A whole hour. As anyone with boys will tell you, it is a MUST that you keep snacks on hand, basically for the rest of your life. Or I guess until he turns 18 (but probably even after that). Boys are kind of like those pigeons in the park that never get full. If you keep feeding them crusts of bread, they’ll keep pecking it up. But here you are. Without your granola bars. Damn. This is the mom equivalent to showing up to work without your skirt on.
You order some things you hope your son will eat, and some things he would rather eat, while forcing yourself to forget that article you just read about the chicken nuggets. You wonder which food he will actually be able to stomach. He is sitting on your lap, as you begin to think through the re-scheduling of the rest of your day. You no longer have to wonder what he will eat. It is no longer a mystery, as it has now been regurgitated on your chest. You knew it would be the french fries. Your son says, “Sorry, mommy,” and gives you a throw-uppy kiss. The people next to you smile, sneer and snicker. You smile back, or at least smile the best one can, with someone else’s vomit on your face.
“Oh, coxsackie,” you say. Because that’s all you can say. Your son wraps his french-fried fingers around your head, and snuggles you, with his puke breath. “I love you, mommy.”
“I love you too, buddy. Let’s go home.” And you smile.
Moms, I’m sure you can relate.
Patty McDonough Kennedy is a writer, speaker, trainer and entrepreneur. She has lived and worked in a number of countries, and mostly writes about life, motherhood, business, sisterhood, and the fabulous mess that can be. When she has other general musings and observations - she'll throw those in there too. In addition to her own writing, her blog ((Laugh Lines)) also features guest posts written by men to bring different perspectives. Contact her at pkennedy@humanworks. guru