Whenever I meet a mom and she finds out that I have three under three (I’m not going to be able to say that starting tomorrow!), her first comment to me is always, “But you look so calm!” Thanks? Not sure how I’m supposed to look. Perpetually wild eyed, gritting my teeth, and a nervous tick? Don’t get me wrong, having three children a year from each other is difficult, but it doesn’t seem to be giving me mental problems. Heck, mothers used to do it all the time, with a lot fewer conveniences than we have today.
However, there are some days that make me want to get back in bed and never venture out of it again. Today was one of those days.
It all started when my Abuela and I decided to take Rosie to her hair stylist to get her hair cut. Rosie’s hair has never been cut, and it is starting to look it. Her bangs are a disgrace, probably because I cut them, and the back of her hair has one extremely long strand and a lot of other disorganized lengths that give it a very disheveled look. I have seen a lot of moms get overly sentimental about their children’s hair and don’t want to cut it. It is a particularly unusual tendency to me when the child is a boy with long, princess-like tresses that he has to keep pulling out of his eyes while he wrestles around with the other boys and runs around the playground. Or he has it pulled into a top knot like a Samurai (this is less weird because at least he can play around and do boy stuff without it in his face). All because his mother has some sort of emotional attachment to her son’s hair. I don’t have any sons, so maybe that is why this is so baffling to me. Maybe I will feel different if I ever do? I doubt it because I seem to be missing the emotional attachment to hair mom gene. Exhibit A: Rosie’s hair needed to be chopped, and off we went this morning to do it.
Ruth was coughing a bit this morning when she woke up and told me she was very hungry (she is “vewy” everything these days) and needed pickles, bananas, strawberries, and yogurt for breakfast. She said her tummy was rumbling. I can’t believe I missed this foreshadowing of things to come! She drank a glass of chocolate milk and ate some Cheerios and we were late already of course and had to run out the door. By the time we reached Abuela’s house, Ruth started gagging. I froze in horror and was helpless to stop it as she proceeded to projectile vomit all over herself, her car seat, and the seat in front of her. It was everywhere. I got her out of the car and directed her toward a nearby bush. She asked me to hold her. I politely declined. I stripped off all her clothing and just stood there, trying to process the implications of this. Her birthday party is in two days. Am I going to have to cancel it?
My Abuela (bless her) whisked Ruth away to the bath as my grandfather (bless him) got the other two girls out of the car and fed them some lunch. I resigned myself to the revolting task of cleaning out the car. Nightmares of the last time one of us caught the stomach virus were flashing through my mind. A month and a half of cleaning up vomit every day as all five of us fell victim to it one by one. I cursed the name of that toddler with diarrhea and vomiting at that party for MONTHS after that. My husband said it was unjust to curse the name of an innocent sick toddler, but I did it anyway. You try cleaning vomit out of a crib in the middle of the night every night for a week and see if you aren’t cursing germ-ridden toddlers. Anyway, I was praying and praying the whole time I was cleaning out the car that this wasn’t the stomach virus. Anything but the stomach virus! (Well, not literally, but you know what I mean).
The car still smelled pretty vomitous, so my kind grandfather offered to take it to a nearby car wash to be cleaned while we ate lunch. I gladly accepted his offer. He took my keys and off he went. My Abuela canceled her hair appointment and we watched Ruthie closely as she ate her lunch. When we put the girls down for their naps, my grandfather returned. I remember thinking that I never noticed my van was so blue. I opened the door and froze, mouth agape. “Papa!”, I exclaimed, “This is NOT my car!”
That’s right folks. My grandfather had blithely driven the wrong minivan home. But it wasn’t his fault. My car is new, we have only had it a few months, and he had never ridden in it before. To the untrained eye, one blue minivan looks much like any other blue(ish) minivan. So naturally when the car wash people had handed him the keys to a similar minivan, he expressed initial confusion, but the car washers had assured him this was his car, and so he drove it home. I grabbed my purse in record time and jumped in the strange vehicle to drive it back. I called the car wash place to inform them they had switched vans and I was driving one back. When we arrived, a very confused and grateful woman accepted her keys back. She said that when she went to pick her car up, the car wash guy had led her to a van that was obviously not hers. When she informed him of this fact, the car wash employees scampered around and then made the remarkable statement that her van must have been stolen. My grandfather explained the mix up to her and she became livid with the car wash place. “Why didn’t they just apologize and admit to their fault in the mix up?” She said. We acknowledged this excellent point. She resolved never to patronize the establishment again, and we resolved to do the same. I have noticed this a lot with businesses, and it is a deplorable customer service tactic. People, for the love of God, if you make a mistake at work DO NOT try to lie your way out of it and blame the customer. Heck, don’t blame the customer even if it is the customer’s fault! Accept the blame and make an effort to make amends. Trust me, you will make a lot more money that way. Prideful practices lose customers. The end.
Anyway, after recovering my van, we went back to the house to rally and shake our heads at the day’s bizarre events. Ruth has been feeling normal all day, so prayers that the vomiting was an isolated incident would be appreciated. Spending weeks cleaning up vomit once a year is my absolute limit. I can’t do this again!
Luckily, crazy horrible days like this are a rarity. Most days I love my life. Today, I am eating a cookie and going to bed early. I’ve earned it.