Distracted for less than a minute by the baby, I hear crunching and crashing sounds from the kitchen. Rushing to the noise, I stop just before stepping in an entire box of cereal that Charlie spilled all over the freshly mopped floor. This is typical, so instead of getting mad, I jet to the garage to retrieve the vacuum.
First, I put the baby in his chair; he is not safe unsupervised with his three older brothers, ages: 5, 3, and 2. As I walk back into the house, vacuum in hand, I see Charlie jumping on the cereal crunching it between his bare toes while Scott begins to eat it. He’s not eating it with his hands. He’s on his hands and knees, licking up the cereal from the ground.
I release a small chuckle, because really, what can I do? These scenes happen daily. They wear me out, but I do my best not to let them ruin my day. If I let the craziness weigh me down, I will be buried before breakfast is over.
The mess is finally cleaned up; the baby is still happy in his chair. Phew. I need to sit to regain my composure before moving on, but first, Charlie’s hands need to be washed.
As we walk into the bathroom to wash his sticky hands, our feet are greeted with a giant puddle. Fighting back frustration, I try to stay positive: it can’t be pee. Please, don’t be pee. As I begin to slip on the wet tile, the smell hits me. It’s pee! Breathing deeply at this point, I calmly scan the bathroom for damages: pee on the floor, the toilet, the stool, what!? Even the walls?
My anger and patience battle the inevitable outcome: Mommy Breakdown. No longer can I focus on my response as Charlie falls into the pee and starts crawling on the urine drenched floor. The decision to keep calm is no longer mine; I feel the control slipping away ever so quickly. “Charlie, get up! Scott, did you pee all over the bathroom?” I yell while avoiding falling in the puddle as I wrangle Charlie’s urine soaked body.
In an instant, everything falls apart. Charlie continues screaming and kicking at me. We literally slip and slide in Scott’s pee while I try to pick him up. All day long I fought back tears, but I can’t hold back anymore.
The flood gates open, unleashing a week’s worth of trauma in one sitting. My whole body lets loose and falls to the ground. I feel the pee soak through my clothes and cover my legs as I hold Scott and Charlie who are both crying at this point.
Then something amazing and hilarious happens, my oldest son, William, who is 5 at the time, gets on his knees and starts praying for me. Loudly! I have no words. I want to laugh and cry more at the same time, but mostly, my heart fills with joy. My son at 5 years old knows to seek God in a time of need.
There’s so much to say about this crazy moment in my life. The hours, days, even weeks can feel long and daunting, but there is always a positive. When covered in pee and balling your eyes out, you might not see it, but when you look back, there is always something good about the day. Stay positive. It can be hard, but remember, this is only a season.
In a few years, I won’t be walking into pee soaked bathrooms or holding crying babies anymore; I will be conquering new seasons, searching for the positives at every pass. Every day I remind myself that this is just a season of life: a hard but amazingly rewarding, fun, and crazy season that I will miss one day. Do your best to relish in the positives of this season you are in. They are there.