I call them my "mommy moments"--those moments where you suddenly look at your harried, frustrated , exhausted life, and, instead of screaming, just think to yourself, "Yep. I'm a mom. This is what it's all about. Whether I like it or not."
If I were a more optimistic, mothering type, I would think of "mommy moments" as those sweet, tender moments of breastfeeding my daughter, watching her sleep, or listening to her infectious giggle as I pretend I can't reach something she's trying to give me. (For some reason, that cracks her up. Weird kid.)
But, no--I associate "mommy moments" with all the things that made me think, pre-motherhood, that I really shouldn't have children. (Spit up. No sleep. And, last night, the trifecta of a sick child, a sick husband (in the ER, no less), and a shirt soaked in vomit for two hours.)
Yes, last night as one of those nights. (Oh, what a night/Late November back in twenty-ten ...) Anne was sick with a cold all day; by 8:00 last night, what had begun as a mild cough had become a horrible-sounding hack that apparently hurt her sweet throat, because she would burst into tears each time she coughed. Hubster came home with stomach cramps--bad ones. Writhing-on-the-couch, doubled-over-in-pain, groaning-in-a-voice-I've-never-heard-and-hope-never-to-hear-again stomach cramps.
What's a mom/wife to do? Besides feel thankful that the cat and I aren't sick, too?
So, I left Anne with her sick daddy and flew (not literally) to Wal-Mart for gas medicine, in case that's what was causing his cramps. Then, after I got home and he took the "fast-acting" medicine and it didn't do a thing after thirty minutes, I kissed him good-bye and saw him off to the ER.
Bad wife? I wanted to go with him, of course, but I was busy with my screaming, sick little one.
After he left, Anne started to feel fever-hot again, so I went to get the children's Tylenol ... and couldn't find it.
What's sad is that we have three bottles of the stuff at home, and I don't know where a single one of them is. This is because Anne likes to chew on the rubber dispenser thing in the cap. So who knows what couches they're hidden under, what hollow plastic toys they're inhabiting.
Then, as I paced the floor, screaming child in my arms, trying to remember where Anne last chewed a Tylenol cap, I felt a wet warmth all over my shirt and waistband. Ah, vomit. Anne's screams grew louder.
Baby Tylenol ... Take Me Away ...
So, I did what any intelligent, social-media-savvy mom would do: I got on Facebook and sent out a request to my 200+ friends. "Can someone go to Walmart for me and get me some Tylenol for Anne?"
"If so," I wrote, "I will bake you cookies of eternal gratitude."
And would you believe, two friends offered to make the Walmart run for me. And the one who lived closest did. Cookies of eternal gratitude--for both of them--will be lovingly baked soon.
Meanwhile, Hubster had a CAT scan and a bunch of tests run, but they never did figure out quite what was wrong with him. We do know it's not appendicitis or kidney stones. He goes to his doctor today for more tests and general head-scratching.
In a move I don't quite understand, the hospital released my morphine-drugged husband just before midnight so he could drive home. I guess they figured that, if he's going to be miserable, he might as well be miserable in his own bed.
Oh, well. I guess it's cheaper that way.
So, he was home at midnight, and Anne finally went to sleep for a nice three-and-a-half-hour nap at 1:00.
Oh, the "mommy moment." I forgot all about that.
It came when I thought I'd put Anne down for the night, and after my husband was soundly in bed (post-ER), not in too much pain. Silly me, I thought I could jump in the shower for five minutes to wash the soaked-through vomit off me.
When I finally turned off the shower, all I could hear was my husband groaning in the next room and my baby wailing over the monitor.
And I started laughing. Couldn't stop. Felt overwhelmed with gratitude and love for both of the pitiful humans with whom my life is forever intertwined.
Yeah, I think I must have cracked or something. But I thought, "This is motherhood." And I felt strangely (very strangely) happy to be there.
Fortunately, motherhood also involves sweet moments of breastfeeding my child, tender moments of watching her sleep, and fun moments of listening to her infectious giggle (even if she does have a weird sense of humor).
And yes, it's worth it. "Mommy moments" and all.