Sometimes being a parent means having enjoyable experiences such as cleaning your carsick-prone child’s mess, using whatever items you have on hand in your car. Coffee stirrers, five slightly dried out baby wipes, tissues and Q-tips are a less than efficient way to clean regurgitated hash browns and eggs from car crevices that you previously didn’t know existed. Miraculously, your tiny child managed to projectile vomit like something out of “The Exorcist,” while missing his school uniform entirely. Somewhat full of guilt but aware that he isn’t ACTUALLY sick, you convince yourself that this kid can surely go to school today. You have a Doctor’s appointment that you have waited three months for, dammit! The parenting fun continues because you are trying to get your other children to school in a timely manner, but here you are…….waylaid on the side of a road. It is SO MUCH FUN, attempting to clean the car and make sure your littlest kiddo is alright while people speed their cars past; some even honking and yelling because you are an inconvenience. Thank you, kind people. Your horn blaring in this moment is ever so helpful.
After your rudimentary cleanup and a small break for the nauseous child, you will continue towards school, fully aware that you will be late. The commentary from the Teacher’s Aide on your lateness will surely not be withheld. This is certainly not what you need, and it is also super kind. When you arrive at school, you will realize that the minivan with easy-to-open sliding doors really was not the good decision you believed it to be when you purchased your car. The children can too easily abscond from the car when you are momentarily distracted, and preschoolers tend not to be aware of oncoming traffic in a parking lot. Many parents will be rushing to work and not concerned with tiny bodies thrusting themselves into the path of their giant SUV’s. (You would think that on school grounds they SHOULD be aware. They are not.) You will rush from the car to intercept your tiny escapees. During your mad rush to contain the wild ones, you will find that your son’s backpack was somehow hurled into oncoming traffic. You grab the backpack and hurl it over your shoulder while trying to keep a tight grasp on your mini-human tornadoes. When you arrive at the classroom door, you inhale with a deep breath and try to calm the heck down only to be greeted with “Mister Leslie, you are late!” Ummmm…..OK, he is three and I drove but whatever. Way to be passive-aggressive lady. The next comment of “Mister Leslie, tell Mommy not to be such an enabler. You can carry your own backpack,” leaves you ready to hurl obscenities but you remind yourself that you are an adult and need to practice self-restraint, even if the other involved party might be acting like a condescending asshat. Again…….he is THREE. You seriously doubt that having decided to carry a 3-year-old’s backpack while attempting to keep him safe in parking lot traffic will turn him into an incapable adult.
You will almost be free to head towards your long-awaited Doctor’s appointment when your 4-year-old yells out, “Mikey threw up on the way here. It was so gross!” You were almost free, but now you have an irate teacher’s aide accusing you of being THAT irresponsible parent who endangers all by sending a sick child to school for their own selfish purpose. (Meanwhile, people DO TRY but every parent….especially women who are primary caregivers, do need to do little things like……I dunno… WORK, or see a Doctor that they have waited months to see) The teachers are aware of your child’s frequent history of carsickness but none of that matters because they have decided motion sickness is not the culprit and you are just an abomination. On your way home with one child who is elated to not have to attend school, you call the Doctor’s office to cancel and are promptly informed that you will still need to pay for your visit since you should have informed them 24v hours in advance that you could not make it. Annoyed, you think to yourself….but I didn’t know this would happen yesterday. You are also told that the next available appointment will not be for another 6 months. Great. Absolutely awesome.
Once home, you take advantage of the opportunity to sit with your son on the couch when he asks, “Mommy can we snuggle?” You might be absolutely frustrated by how the morning went down but he will not always be this little. He will not always want your comfort. You feel a bit lighter and realize that yes, THIS IS WHAT LIFE IS ABOUT………enjoy your blessings. You look towards the counter where you had an egg sandwich. The cat is seated at the chair facing the table like she is human. The cat is licking her lips and looking at you in a typical cat-like way (you know, like they are always scheming and up to no good, with a little bit of a “#@&% you” attitude thrown in just for good measure) She has eaten only the egg and turkey from your sandwich, and you have been left only with the bread. Somehow, kitty managed to not at all disturb that bread while silently slipping out all the good stuff from your sandwich.
No breakfast for you Mama.
Jenn Miele Leslie lives in Woodbridge, CT with her husband, three kids ages 8, 10 and 15 and two bulldogs who likes to fart and snore. Originally from Long Island, N.Y. (yes, that IS how you say it – if you’re from there you just understand) she misses being able to find a decent bagel or breakfast sandwich. Once an Art Therapist specializing in working with adults with various developmental disabilities, Jenn now spends her time shuttling her minions to: school; playdates; dance classes and competitions; occupational therapy; coding classes; and what feels like a million additional places, on a daily basis. In her occasional down time, Jenn enjoys photography, painting and an iTunes playlist that boasts way too many 90’s alternative songs.