My Amazing Race

July 14, 2010 at 1:21 am | Posted in Bun, Giggles, Lollipop | 29 Comments
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Let me tell you about my day.

First, I wake up to my alarm. (You know it’s going to be a long one when you have an infant in the house and need to wake before he does.)

Lollipop has an oh-dark-thirty swimming class. Then preschool. Then Bun has a doctor’s appointment. And I am taking all three kiddos. Everywhere. With Giggles in underpants for only our third diaper-free outing since training began in earnest last week.

I gather changes of clothes. And snacks of many textures. And sippy cups, vaccination records, a bottle of Purell, a back-up bottle of Purell, and the required goggles Lollipop still won’t wear. I even remember the white T-shirt she needs for tie-dye day at school.

I wake the children. Yes, I wake them. Yes, that seems wrong somehow.

I cook Eggos and cut cantaloupe while my husband starts Bun’s bottle. I shower (hooray!). I herd Lollipop and Giggles into the potty, into their shoes, into the car while my husband loads Bun.

We pull out of the driveway exactly three minutes after swim class starts.

Victory! Over Goggles and Tuesdays.

When we get to the pool, the stupid key card that never works for me doesn’t work for me. I rattle the door and curse. Someone lets us and the five dandelions and three rocks that Giggles has somehow acquired into the pool area.

Lollipop joins her class, generally ignores all instructions that involve putting her face in the water, and tells the teacher she is cold 147 times. Giggles has to pee. Then he has to pee again. Bun stares at the clouds and the water and the trucks passing by. He kicks his newly discovered feet a few times.

Class dismisses. With the help of a strategically placed pool chair and blue alligator towel, I help Lollipop change out of her wet swimsuit and into her school clothes. I beg Giggles not to throw his toy car into the pool. I clean some spit-up off my arm and pants.

Into the car. Just past the first stop sign, Giggles has to pee. I debate whether he really needs to and decide not to chance it. We pull over. He pees on the sidewalk under a tree at the neighborhood park. Twice. Back into the car.

I drop Lollipop off at school and quadruple-check that I have remembered the T-shirt for tie-dying. I have. I give myself a mental woot-woot. I drive through Starbucks and inhale a grande white chocolate mocha before we leave the parking lot.

Off to the doctor. We arrive early. (Early!) Giggles has to pee. I situate him discreetly in the parking lot landscaped bushes. He goes. Twice.

We head inside. Wherein Giggles has a mini-meltdown because he hates the doctor’s office. I assure him he is only there as moral support for his baby brother. He asks if he can have Bun’s conciliatory post-vaccination sticker. I agree.

We Purell and head into the waiting area. Wherein Giggles attacks the toys with gusto. I shake the words “staph” and “strep” out of my mind and offer up a silent prayer for mercy to the diarrhea gods.

Bun wakes from a car-induced catnap and sputters his displeasure at the fluorescent lighting. Wherein Giggles informs me he has pee in his shoe. Since he has peed seven times already and it’s barely 10 a.m., I am dubious. Alas, he offers me proof.

He takes off his black croc and shakes pee onto the floor, much like an expert swimmer emptying his ear of water after a record-setting relay. I blink. Bun sputters. Giggles continues to shake.

I sit Giggles in a chair. I grab some wipes to clean the floor while deftly offering Bun his nummie. I am about to strip Giggles down and clean him up when Husband arrives. He takes Bun into the bathroom and gets him changed. The nurse calls us back to the exam room.

We do the usual weighing and measuring and question-answering. Giggles attacks a basket of books. The nurse leaves. She comes back. She asks to re-weigh Bun because, surely, that can’t be right. But it is. He’s a chub. Off the charts. My heart smiles as and I squeeze a chunky thigh. Giggles races his toy car around the room.

The doctor comes in. We talk. Giggles interrupts a few times. I ply him with assorted crunchy snacks. He throws a few pretzels on the floor. Husband attempts to bottle-feed Bun, who is onesie-less, chilly, and cranky. The doctor gives us a handout about making sure Bun lays on all parts of his head equally. So as not to get a dent. Because he’s that big. Giggles attempts to eat a pretzel off the floor.

The nurse comes back. Shots are administered. At least three people in the room cry a little. Stickers are chosen, follow-up visits scheduled. Husband goes back to work.

I take the boys to Target for a few things. Giggles has to pee. Twice.

We head to a favorite sub shop for a bite to eat before picking Lollipop up. The line is too long. We drive through McDonald’s instead. Giggles says he has to pee. We pull into a spot and I reach into the diaper bag for this little gem. It’s not there. In my mind, I see it sitting, forgotten, on the toilet at Target. I try to convince Giggles to pee on the curb. He will not.

We get to Lollipop’s school, and I haul the boys inside to the bathroom. Where Giggles pees. Twice. Lollipop pops in to say hello, giddy at having almost all of her family there at school with her. We bob and weave through a gaggle of children carrying spaghetti-laden plates to the compost bin. We get back in the car.

I debate. Go back to Target for the training potty or not? The thing is amazing. I will surely buy a replacement. And to avoid spending money on something that might or might not be lost, I decide to risk the tired eyes in the backseat and delay nap time juuuuuust a little bit longer.

I pass chicken nuggets to Lollipop and Giggles on the way. They inhale them. I try not to think about what’s in them that makes them so tasty.

We arrive at Target. I herd everyone to the bathroom. No potty. I herd everyone to the service desk. I tell the lady what we’re looking for. She looks at me like I have green hair. But she says she’ll check. And she comes back holding our beloved little red training potty. Lollipop shouts, “Hurray!!” I might have, too.

I herd everyone to the concession area where I divvy up the McDonald’s French fries. I order a small fountain drink so I don’t feel so guilty about bringing in outside food. I am equally amazed by the tiny cup the clerk hands me and the large amount he tells me I owe.

I chug a cupful of Coke. Lollipop and Giggles trade each other fries based on some criteria I cannot identify. Bun snoozes and whimpers in his car seat. I chug another cupful of Coke.

Back into the car we go. Home. Clothes, snacks, cups, shoes, bags, and stickers get dumped in a heap by the door. We read books. We sing songs. We pee. Twice. I blow kisses and close doors. I feed Bun and rock him to sleep. I ignore the pile by the front door.

And I listen. To the silence. Finally.

The day wasn’t perfect. I mean, we peed in our shoe. And I had caffeine for breakfast and lunch. But I did it. I did it.

And I’m beat. Night-night.

Ever had a day like this? What’s your best toddler-herding strategy? Your go-to caffeinated beverage??



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  1. I am totally exhausted reading this post! I think your son must have peed at least 45 times! Hold on to this victory of the day. I remember the first time I left the house by myself with the twins (which also was in the frigid climate of a NJ January), there was just victory in my spirit. They didn’t freeze to death. I got them (and carseats) into the stroller. For the first time I felt “normal” since they had been born. Here I am at 8 1/2 months still feeling that sense of victory every time we go anywhere. And you know what? It is victory.

    • Yes, victory indeed! And my son’s still trying to figure out when he’s, you know, done with his business. Clearly, we have some work to do there! =>

  2. BTW – my go-to caffinated beverage is Coke Zero. Yum!

  3. I’d be done after swimming lessons. Whew! That’s a day, my friend. You had me laughing out loud at the pee in the shoe. Potty training is SO not awesome, isn’t it?

    Go to beverage? 2/3 of a LARGE mug of coffee, filled to the full mark with milk, then chugged like a beer. Shameful.

  4. You are brave. And probably a little crazy. I think you have to be (as a mom) to survive these early years. God bless.

    And the potty training thing. Gah!

    That is all.

  5. Oh my – one activity in a day with one child is all I would ever commit to. Swim class before school with all three children in tow? I bow down to you in humble surrender, you are a far braver woman than I πŸ™‚

    • This day was particularly busy and there was no other way, though my husband and I discussed every alternative at least three times, I think. If every day were like this, I would cry! Or drink even more caffeine. =>

  6. Wow. Last summer, one outing was my max. My baby hated the car. Once, I tried a doctor’s appointment with two alone. Not recommended. We all cried. Enough to scare them in the waiting room. I breathed a sigh if relief for you when your husband arrived.
    Oh, and when we’re ready, I’m getting one of those seats. Brilliance.

  7. Ugh, I used to complain about diapers, but now I might stop. Potty training is scaring me! Good thing I have a ways to go. I can’t believe you did all of this! I took Adriana to the library and UPS store yesterday and I was DONE.

  8. I don’t think I’ll ever potty train my little girl. Never ever. : )

    Hooray for chunky babies!! I love it when a baby’s growth is off the charts because it means a very healthy baby!

    When I am exhausted, I drink hot chocolate. Even if it’s 90 degrees outside. Then I reach for the Diet Dr. Pepper.

    Anyway. You are amazing. I will be calling you when I have my third. You can give tips, right??

    • You know, they tout Diet Dr. Pepper as being so very much like the original. But I just can’t do it. To me, there’s nothing like a frosty, leaded Pepper! Of course, there’s the small matter of calories …

      And hot chocolate? Like you, I can drink it anytime, anywhere. =>

  9. I really don’t think I could do it again. I forgot all of it. All of it. How did you survive. Each stage brings its challenges. Whew. Goodness. Oh my! I need a nap just reading about your day.

  10. Love this post! Isn’t it amazing how the most trivial of things become victories when you’re a parent? I don’t think it ever stops feeling that way, at least I hope it doesn’t.

  11. Lattes. That’s my only answer πŸ™‚
    Those jam packed days wipe the heck out of me…
    But we always survive to tell the story!

  12. Oh, I feel for you with such a crazy day. Sounds like you handled everything so well. I remember when my kids were an infant, 2, 5, and 7 years old, and I felt like a crotchety, sleep-deprived monster. In particular, I remember that pediatrician appts with all four were dreadful. Remembering is enough to give me nightmares. You should feel great at everything you accomplished!

    I try to stick with green or white tea for the caffeine, but I find that nothing beats diet cherry pepsi for energy.

  13. We pull out of the driveway exactly three minutes after swim class starts. – That was me yesterday.

    Reading this post reminded me about how much we do for our children. It is exhausting and you captured it brilliantly.

    My only answer is Starbucks and indulging in some ice cream… at least till the scale tells me otherwise.

  14. Wow! What a day! You are a super mom. Seriously! And the peeing? Wow, that’s a lot of peeing. And it takes a lot of patience when you’re trying to do something or get somewhere and a little one always has to pee! Kudos to you, lady! πŸ™‚

  15. I thought I was tired before reading this, but now I am really tired!! You are one awesome mom! And the starbucks made me think of taking Lollipop to school and stopping by on the way home. Good times!! Miss them… a lot!

  16. I am tired just reading–what a day! We’ve all had those! I potty trained my oldest while commuting an hour each way 3 days/week. It was an adventure on the highway. She learned to trick me early on, and we always pee everywhere we aren’t supposed to, especially in nature. You deserve a pat on the back for taking on potty training right now!!

  17. It’s still mid-morning but after reading this post, I’m exhausted – for you! I think about swim class for my toddler and it tires me just a little to think about all that’s involved (because at this stage, I’d have to go in with her) but to herd 3 kids, swim class AND dr’s office? Wow, that’s supermom territory for sure. One to which I probably will never belong since I think I can only manage an activity a day – and with one child.

    I do enjoy reading about your life with two-now-three kids though; it’s one of the things that drew me to your blog. It’s not just theories, reflections and hope (although those are good too) – it’s about being in the trenches and not just surviving, but emerging with a purple heart or two.

  18. Stacia,

    I’m exhausted and I have to pee. This puzzles me because I have had nothing to drink in hours.

  19. Holy Stacia. Up until this very moment I really thought I wanted three. But now I worry I won’t be able to keep them all straight, because by the end of your post my mind was swirling and I could wasn’t sure who had one what and I thought perhaps that Bun had peed in Giggles shoe and that Lollipop had cried because Giggles had his needles (I’m kidding of course!).

    Hugs to you my friend for doing it all, and with such flare.

  20. Well……the good thing about a day like that is that you probably didn’t have insomnia, right? πŸ™‚

  21. You did it! You totally did it! Isn’t it great to stretch and see how much you are capable of? Days like your day are the ones that make me suspect that maybe I kind of know what I’m doing . . .

    Diet Coke. Diet Coke. Diet Coke. Fountain drinks for $1 at McD’s are a highlight of summer for me.

  22. Whenever someone says “what do stay at home moms *do* all day?”, I’m going to direct them to this post. Good gravy, woman, I’m exhausted just reading this.

  23. I am glad to read that there is a child on earth who actually pees more often than my N. Reading this gives me hope that there are ways to survive (barely) days with three children and actually leave the house. Thanks for paving the way!

  24. You are awesome.
    Someday you’ll look back on this and laugh and sigh and hug those kids and wonder how you did it.

  25. Just have to say – You are amazing. Seriously.

  26. […] Giggles had to pee. Lest he relieve himself in his shoe again, I whisked him away to the bathroom while a friend watched Lollipop and Bun. When we walked […]

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