When my daughter was two years old, my brother gave me a hilarious birthday card that featured a disheveled, tired looking woman soaking her feet in a child’s wading pool while surrounded by screeching children. She had a “whatcha gonna do?” smile on her face, and the caption read: “Motherhood. That’s right, baby, livin’ the dream!” I frequently think of that card during certain snapshot moments of my daily life.
|Oh yeah baby…livin’ the dream.
On this particular Sunday morning, we were fortunate enough to have two sick children for the second time in a month. It was a comically long night with both sickies, the highlight being my oldest coughing so hard I was certain she had vomited. I was unable to respond, lying corpse-like in bed as my baby lay finally asleep on my chest, the only position that had made her stop crying, while my husband rushed to assist our coughing, possibly puking daughter. I was dazed to say the least when I awoke that morning (after nursing for the 85th time in 12 hours) and discovered both girls wedged into bed with us.
Izzy, despite her unfavorable night of sleep, hit the ground running and was trying to coax her sister into participating in some sort of game that involved her being a dog. “Come here, dog, “she encouraged, holding out a ball, while Sophie howled and attempted to scramble over her sister to me, the asshole who had selfishly turned her back to her. I drifted in and out of consciousness for several blissful, albeit disjointed, minutes, jarred back to reality by Sophie clawing at my delicate ear cartilage with her dagger-like, unclipped (my fault) fingernails. A cacophony of sneezing, coughing, nose-blowing, and gas-passing disrupted my attempt at slumber. At one point, the two girls were hacking in unison.
Desperate to escape the Coughing Twins in Stereo, I hefted the baby off my bed and urged her sister to play with her. Izzy instead ran shrieking into the hallway and began violently rattling the baby gate while I closed my eyes in vain.
The introduction of Izzy’s homemade didgeridoo put me over the edge
, jolting me into the realization that the baby was standing on tiptoes trying to pull everything off the night-table next to me.
“Not for Sophie! Mm-mmmm,” I warned, looking around in annoyance to discover my husband had escaped to the bathroom. Clang! Clang! The gate shook. Whhhhhhooooooooo-eeeeeeeeeee, boomed the didgeridoo! Thunk! went Sophie’s head against the side of the bed and she began to sob.
|Future hip hop recording artist
“My dog! My dog!” Izzy screamed, running into the room. From the bathroom, I heard the strains of my husband’s manic laughter, the discordant soundtrack of our morning too hilarious for words. I hurriedly ushered the family downstairs for breakfast. Shawn prepared a veritable feast, designed to energize our bodies and replenish our spirits after the past 12 hours.
As we sat down at the dining room table to enjoy our food, Izzy coughed loudly and rudely over our plates. The baby clawed at my legs crying, snot bubbling out of her nose as I raised my fork to my lips. I commented wryly to my husband, “This is a Livin’ the Dream kind of morning.” To further drive home the point, my six year old daughter began to spontaneously rap, “Yeah baby I’m-a livin’ the dream. Never lookin’ back, I’m-a livin’ the dream.”
I find that days that begin this way often remain tumultuous until the sun is down. Our Livin’ the Dream snapshot for the afternoon occurred at the zoo, as we were desperate to escape the confines of our germ-infested home in the hopes that some fresh air would invigorate us. We were sitting at a picnic table attempting to eat lunch when simultaneously confronted by two of Izzy’s most pronounced phobias: wind and wild birds.
As huge gusts of wind descended upon us seemingly out of nowhere, we noticed that we were being stalked by a persistent, hungry peacock. Izzy flipped her shit. Scaling the table in terror she attempted to climb onto my husband’s head like a spider monkey, screeching in horror. As is the norm for me, I began to giggle nervously while trying to remain authoritative.
“Let’s just go,” my husband said, disheartened. Uncertain as to whether he meant leave the zoo or leave the table, I was determined to salvage our outing. “Pack up the food,” I ordered him, as he attempted to frighten the stupid bird away with the stroller. “Izzy, get on my back,” I directed my blubbering child. We fled the scene like refugees, Shawn hastily pushing the stroller through the squall and carrying the backpack while I careened down the path with my daughter on my back and a water bottle in my hand.
At that moment, my baby let forth a tremendous sneeze, unleashing an unsavory river of snot onto her lip. Knowing that snot is really not my husband’s thing (everyone gets one pass-mine is loose teeth) I leaned over, my six year old perched precariously on my back, fished the wad of community TP out of my pocket with one hand and confiscated the monstrosity of mucous in one mighty swipe. I was Supermom. Livin’ the Dream indeed.
|Every outing is an adventure