A few weeks ago I had a day. One of those days where you think "this can't be real, can it?"
My oldest daughter, Belle, is four years old. She started Pre-K this fall and absolutely loves it. She has school every day from 8-2pm and while she's exhausted, everything is new and fun and she has major #FOMO. So when she was sick within the first few weeks of school, she was not pleased to miss two days in a row because of a fever and sore throat. Finally it was Friday and she felt much better and asked to go back to school. So I packed her lunch, got her dressed in her uniform, loaded both kids into the car, and performed all the normal school morning circus acts.
About two miles into our drive she said, "mommy, my belly hurts" (which is Belle-code for "I'm about to puke"). I pulled over, grabbed a bucket, ran around to her side of the car, unbuckled her, and sure enough...puke city. Right into the bucket. But before I could pat myself on the back for exquisite timing and preparedness with the bucket, she looked up at me with those big, blue, tear-filled eyes and projectile vomited ALL. OVER. ME.
In my hair.
On my face.
Down the front of my coat.
Through my shirt.
In my bra.
Oh, and it's pouring rain....because of course.
So there I was, gagging in the freezing rain, covered in vom, holding a bucket of puke in the local auto parts store parking lot. It just kept on coming, and I gently reminded her to please try to look down and get the puke in the bucket next time. When she was done I dumped the puke in the bushes, got her cleaned up, buckled back in her seat, and then I began the process of cleaning myself off with 78654 baby wipes.
We drove home with the windows down because I can't handle puke smell. When we got home, I hurried both kids out of the car and piled us all into the shower for a very necessary hose-down. I set up the couch with a fresh sheet and pillows, a clean bucket and a bottle of water and I turned on the TV.
I called school to say she won't be in AGAIN and collapsed beside her to watch Peppa Pig for the next 2 hrs.
But the fun didn't stop there. Because the saying is in fact true: when it rains, it pours.
A little while later, Belle was content on the couch resting, so I decided I needed a more thorough cleaning than the speed-shower I took earlier when I was afraid more vomit was just around the corner. My youngest, Rosie, who is 16 months, loves the shower and freaks out every time I try to take one without her. I had no spare energy that day, so I gave in and brought her with me. I got her undressed and took off her diaper and she immediately peed all over the bathroom floor.
Fine. Whatever. I can handle pee.
We both showered (again) and got sufficiently clean and I decided to let her stay in and play by herself once I was done so I could have some peace and quiet while getting dressed.
But by the time I started combing my hair, I realized it was too quiet and PEACE DOES NOT EXIST. I quickly discovered that Rosie had pooped all over the shower and was now smearing it onto the floor (which is made of river rocks, so those are super easy to scrub poop off of. NOPE)
The next few minutes went something like this:
Me: OHMYGOD OHMYGOD THERE'S SHIT EVERYWHERE!
Rosie: shhht shhht
Belle comes running in: ohmygod mom. What do you need me to do? How can I help?
Me: (half laughing half crying full on losing it) I DONT EVEN KNOW. I HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO CLEAN THIS.
Belle: here. Paper towels.
Me: ok good.
So I washed Rosie AGAIN, got her out of shower, got myself back in shower (AGAIN) and started cleaning poop. Which is when I discovered that she'd put her poop in the buckets she plays with. Awesome. Now I was gagging again.
I told Belle she was on Rosie duty "just please watch her or read her a book or something while I clean this up!"
I scrubbed the shower with bleach and flushed the poop filled paper towels.
Then Belle came running back into the bathroom yelling, "I have to go potty!"
AND THEN THE TOILET OVERFLOWS.
I called my husband and told him about the literal shit storm I was standing in and he said, "Coll, you can't put paper towels in the toilet."
I think I actually turned into the emoji with the steaming hot red face whose head is exploding. I was done. I turned my back on the overflowing toilet, closed the bathroom door behind me, walked into my hallway/closet area and sat on the floor and cried. Big, huge, ugly tears.
After a few minutes, I picked up the phone and called my mom. Because that's just what you do when the shit hits the fan. Or you're stuck in an actual shit storm. When you're up shits creek. Or when you discover the true meaning of "when it rains it pours." You call your mom. Because moms know. Moms get it. This whole mom-struggle is REAL DEAL and at a time like this, all you need is another mom - preferably your own - to say "you can't even make this shit up."
When I first posted this story (as it all unfolded in real time) on Facebook a few weeks ago, I got so many responses from friends, acquaintances, people I hadn't even seen or spoken to in years. They all said the same things:
I've been there.
You got this.
This job aint easy.
Hang in there.
This job is not easy. It's the very hardest. But knowing that there are other moms out there who are also getting puked on and cleaning up shower poop sure does make a girl feel better when she's having the DAY of all days.