If My Life Were a Children’s Book.

Friday

If you want to get a haircut, you ask your Mother-In-Law to come watch the kids.

If your Mother-in-Law comes to watch the kids, your youngest is sure to ham it up and play especially sick.

If your youngest hams it up and plays especially sick, she will tell you he didn’t get off the couch all morning.

If she tells you he didn’t get off the couch all morning, you will take his temperature and decide he needs to go to the doctor – before the weekend.

If you decide he needs to go to the doctor, you will take him in – despite the impending “Wintry Mix” and possible ice storms.

If you take him in, he will miraculously become healed in the Sick Waiting Room.

If he miraculously becomes healed in the Sick Waiting Room, he will have to touch, rub, and become one with all the surfaces.

If he becomes one with all the surfaces, you will become very anxious.

If you become very anxious, he will become further energized by your anxiety.

If he becomes further energized by your anxiety, he will begin jumping and screaming maniacally.

Jumping at doctor's office while

If he begins jumping and screaming maniacally, he will attract the attention of the other children in the Sick Waiting Room.

If he attracts the attention of the other children in the Sick Waiting Room, they will begin to play together.

If they begin to play together, your anxiety will triple.

If your anxiety triples, they will amp up their game to running around a column while rubbing their hands, cheeks, and possibly tongues around it like they were seeing how many germs it takes to reach the center of a column.

If they amp up their game to seeing how many germs it takes to reach the center of a column, you will begin listening to their Grandmother’s phone call to try and ascertain what they’re in for.

If you try and ascertain what they’re in for, you will learn that their sister is currently being observed to see if she needs to go back to the hospital for her raging and incurable stomach virus.

If you learn that their sister is currently being observed to see if she needs to go back to the hospital for her raging and incurable stomach virus, your anxiety will give you a facial tic so extreme that the kids in the Well Waiting Room will think you’re winking at them.

If you get facial tic so extreme that the kids in the Well Waiting Room think you’re winking at them, you will try to mitigate the future germ damage to your household by restraining your toddler.

If you try to mitigate the future germ damage to your household by restraining your toddler, his wiggling and fighting will make the seconds tick by so slowly that you are convinced the best course of action for your ongoing sanity is to get up and leave.

If you become convinced the best course of action for your ongoing sanity is to get up and leave, right before you do, you will get called back (after one hour and fifteen minutes of Sick Waiting Room Seventh Layer of Hell.)

If you finally get called back, you will, in a fit of anxiety-induced-word-vomit, tell your doctor of all of your trials in the waiting room.

If you tell your doctor of all of your trials in the waiting room, you will follow up by asking her if she happens to have any dissolvable anxiety pills on her.

If you follow up by asking her if she happens to have any dissolvable anxiety pills on her, your toddler will once again be energized by your admittance of the A word, and will yell, “All Aboard!!”, because, you see, he is the Train Conductor.

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If your toddler plays Train Conductor with the stirrups, you will stop to tweet the moment, during which your toddler will seize the opportunity to find a well-hidden stray cup of water left by another child.

If your toddler finds a well-hidden stray cup of water, you will nearly break your nose (again) trying to tackle him before it reaches his lips.

At this point, you will begin praying for quick and painless deaths for each of your family members, as it is clear that all of your days are severely numbered.

Later Friday

After a nap (because after that visit there was no way you were doing anything else before naptime), you go to the pharmacy to fill your son’s prescription.

If you go to the pharmacy to fill your son’s prescription, the pharmacist will sympathize with you and tell you that she, too, has been sick for a week – with a really difficult strain of strep throat – and will cough, right before she mixes your son’s antibiotic.

If she coughs into your son’s antibiotic, you will again begin praying for quick and painless deaths for all of you – and maybe a slightly painful one for her.

Saturday

Your husband has to go to the doctor and gets two shots and a prescription.

Sunday

You and your daughter fall to illness.

Tuesday, Too Late to Go To The Doctor

Your illness worsens, now including a fever.

Wednesday

Your illness most definitely needs a doctor, but the entire city is shut down for the snowstorm that you’ve wanted all year long, so you tough it out and eagerly look forward to the distraction of a beautiful, thick white snow.

If you look forward to a snow, it will not come. And you will wait for eight hours, blowing your nose on every soft disposable surface in your house, not daring to leave due to impending doom, while it rains.

If you wait for eight hours while it rains, you will watch the wall-to-wall snow news all day long in hopes of an encouraging word about when you will get snow, but all you will see are thousands of happy snowstormees who live ever-so-slightly north of you.

If you see happy snowstormees, you will become not happy. But you will still wait, while it rains.

It gets dark, and it rains.

It gets darker, and your power goes out.

Then it starts snowing.

The children will hurry out in their snow gear, eager to make snowmen and snow angels and snow cream. Meanwhile, you hold the flashlight and jog in place on the porch so as to not let your feverish chills overtake you.

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You get maybe a quarter inch of snow. That will melt by morning.

Meanwhile, you continue to be inundated by everyone else’s amazing snowstorm dreams, while your own dreams are delirious because…fever.

Thursday

If you didn’t get the snowstorm you so hoped for, you will look at the bright side – that you can finally go to the doctor.

If you finally go to the doctor, the exhaustion from the week will overcome you and you will accidentally cry.

If you accidentally cry, your doctor will offer you antidepressants.

If your doctor offers you antidepressants, you will consider asking him for dissolvable anxiety pills for the next Pediatrician’s visit, and then wonder if he could instead prescribe you a trip to Fiji

While you’re wondering if your doctor can prescribe you a trip to Fiji, one of your kids gets all cozy and places their lips near a surface, almost assuredly picking up a new germ.

If your kid picks up a new germ, the cycle starts all over again.

And by the time it’s done, it’s most likely time for you to get another haircut.

Superheroes on the Run.

Ali has been running with me since last summer, and she’s shown a surprising amount of proficiency at it, along with enjoying it most of the time (that may be due to the fact that we usually run to the candy store, but no matter. We all run for chocolate, am I right?)

A couple of months ago I got the idea that it would be fun to run a race with her. Maybe she’d like the Color Run – what kid doesn’t want to throw paint everywhere?

Oh yeah – my kid.

“I don’t mind running with you, Mommy, but I don’t really want to get all messy.”

Fair enough.

So the next logical conclusion was to run in the Superhero 5K – it’s part of the Mercedes Marathon Weekend, so we would get to run the day before Chris ran his first marathon. It seemed right – nay, familyish – to all run in the same weekend.

(Except Noah. Who made it quite clear that he had no interest in running with anyone for any reason.)

So we signed up and, since it was a Superhero race, began modifying our Lego Movie Halloween costumes into running clothes.

(Because I did not wear leggings as pants to my Church’s trunk and treat. Nobody wants to see that much trunk to get their treat.)

I also felt a little weird putting makeup on for a race, but WyldStyle is not the type of girl that would leave her hot pink lipstick behind just because she might do a little running.

Plus, those freckles weren’t going to paint themselves.

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The whole family got up early for the race (seriously – we had to wake Ali and Noah up at around seven A.M. – they had no idea people woke up at that time of day), and then Chris and a sleepy Noah dropped us off a block away in the very windy, cold, and flirting-with-rain morning.

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(It was 42 degrees, for those Northerners who would like to mock us.)

We hurried to the Boutwell Auditorium to warm up before the race, where a photographer found us and told us to pose like superheroes245453_185443168_XLarge

Apparently Ali’s superhero needs to pee. Or is a superhero ballerina. Or both.

Within minutes, we heard the call to the starting line. We headed outside and were once again met with the wind. As we jumped in place to stay warm, it began to rain.

Ali looked at me with her giant, frightened eyes and said, “Why is it RAINING, Mommy??

As if there’s a good answer to that question.

Being that I am not enough of a homeschool Mom to go into The Water Cycle three minutes before a race begins, I promised her it would quit soon, prayed that I was right, and got back to my jumping in place.

It turned out that I was indeed right, and the droplets ended soon after. It was still the coldest Ali had ever run in, so there were occasional complaints about breathing in the cold air.

And the frigid breeze.

And the wet roads.

She also wanted to hold my hand while running as much as possible.

But yet, somehow, every time she saw a photographer, she smiled, looked straight at them, and quit holding my hand or looking like she was being tortured with frigidity.

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She’s a natural-born racer.

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Or at least a perfect poser.

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Chris and Noah situated themselves strategically at Railroad Park, where they would see us pass by twice. My Mom met them there to cheer Ali on in her first race.

Although Chris did not go to the trouble of rekindling his role as Lord Business, Noah was absolutely Emmet.

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They finally spotted us, and Ali continued her trend of looking like the happiest person on the race course.

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Like seriously – you can hardly tell that she’s begging me to let her walk right at that moment.

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Noah cheered for us coming and going,

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then immediately left the scene to go slide down his favorite hills.

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Ali and I proceeded onward, walking some and running most, her asking me to count down the hundredths of the miles until the end of the race.

But the last stretch made it all worth it for her – they were watching for bib numbers and called her name from the loudspeaker, then we received our medals and they made a huge deal over her doing so well, and THEN we even got free blue Powerade.

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I’m pretty sure the blue Powerade was the tide turner, and maybe the fact that we were done running.

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But whatever it was, she was thrilled, had forgotten all of her complaints, and informed me that she wanted to do another race in three weeks.

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…and then we went to the coffee shop for Strawberry Cake.

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Because all Superheroes need to be recharged, whether they ran or not.

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That afternoon, I had a mini-parent-panic attack when I realized that we left twelve minutes before the awards ceremony, that Ali’s time would have qualified her to place second in her age group in last year’s race times, and that they did not mail trophies.

If my personal racing newbie status disqualified my daughter from getting a trophy AND hearing her name called out at an awards ceremony, the Parent Guilt would never leave me.

I refreshed the race times page like a stalker as I heaped shame upon myself for not fully reading the race material.

Finally, the results posted.

And it was with a huge amount of relief that I saw my daughter was one place away from getting a trophy.

Ali Race Stats

I heaped huge congratulations onto Ali for her fourth place finish, and onto myself for not robbing my daughter of a trophy.

And all was right in the world.

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Why I Quit Bathing My Kids.

My friends of the Daily Child Bather Variety (which thankfully are rare) cannot understand people like me.

They’re still in denial that the facts prove that most people are indeed like me but since I’m open and vocal about my anti-bathing stance, I must take the brunt of their shock.

But here’s a little story to illustrate why, exactly, I only bathe my children twice a week.

Maybe this kind of thing doesn’t happen to the daily bathers. And if so, they should count their blessings and shut up.

But they do happen to me.

It was a Thursday afternoon, perhaps yesterday, directly before naptime.

The timing is important, because all mothers know that “directly before naptime” means “I seriously cannot wait to have you in bed so that I can have a moment to reclaim my thoughts without anyone saying ‘heymommyheymommyheymommyheymommy’ while I’m simply trying to think one tiny sentence fragment of my own.”

(Cherish every moment, sweetheart. They go by so fast.)

But thanks to a frantic week, we were off schedule, and I was aware that my children stanketh more than usual.

(“Bath Nights” are Saturday nights and Tuesday nights. You do the math.)

So I had no choice. Pre-naptime baths absolutely had to happen.

I began running the bath and called the children from their blissful play.

“Everybody get naked and go tee-tee!”

Noah was first to whiningly reach me. As he was hopping off the toilet, he was still saying “I gotta go potty!”

“Do you need to poop?”

“No, silly! I just tee teed!”

“Then get in the tub.”

The washing began – along with the shock and awe over the fact that this bath, like all baths, requires me to spray your head, scrub your head, and rinse your head.

(WHY is that always such a surprise?? I will never understand.)

I finished Noah’s head and relegated him to the back of the tub. Then I began detangling Ali’s hair.

It’s unreal, her hair. At least ten feet long, thick, fine, and prone to extreme knots worthy of their own TLC freak show.

(I took her to a random salon at her birthday and requested that they put a deep conditioning detangling treatment on it. The salon manager didn’t believe me that she needed it, but agreed to it anyway. The treatment itself created a matted knot so big that it took her and another stylist over thirty minutes to get it out, all while the she shot me dirty, accusing looks while repeating that she’d never seen anything like it, clearly implicating me in a conspiracy to torture her.)

(Needless to say the treatment has not been any sort of long-term help.)

Back to the bath.

I was two and a half days into removing her tangles when Noah screamed, “I neeeeed to poooooop!”

Of course you do. Because you only poop once a week and of course it would be during this small window of rare bathing that your urges urgently interrupt.

But hey – it’s better than the alternative.

“Get out of the tub and poop, then.”

<Splash> <Splosh> <SHplop> <SHplop>

He tracked his giant pond-sized footprints across the bathroom floor.

He sat behind us, straining and turning purple, filling the room with the most unclean sound effects and aromas.

I considered the air particles for a second – should I just give up this bathing process all together?

“I’m doooone!!! I NEEEED YOU TO WIIIIIIPE MEEEE!”

I’m right here dude. No need to broadcast.

So I rinsed the masses of conditioner off my hands and headed over to wipe a butt.

Mommy's Hands

He leaned over, holding my legs as I sent a piece of unlucky toilet paper journeying through his buttcheeks.

“My hands are all wet from my bath – not from the potty.”, he told me.

“I’m aware of that fact. But thanks for the reassurances.”

I wiped him extra thoroughly since he was headed back into a liquid germ-sharing situation with his sister, then flushed and returned to my detangling of the lion’s mane.

I didn’t notice the fact that his once-a-week poo was so massive that it had clogged the toilet. Or that the commode innards had also gotten stuck in the air and the water was continuing the run.

(One would assume such fortune could only happen once in a lifetime. But here it was, happening again, in the very same bathroom that was now brand new because of the last time it happened.)

I was unaware. Until I heard the sound of Victoria Falls rushing from the toilet.

I jumped up, splattering conditioner onto every surface, all while screaming “NONONONONO STOPSTOPSTOPSTOP!!!!”, sloshed through the quickly forming lake, and began frantically turning the knob on the back of the toilet.

The falls kept falling until the very last quarter turn. By then, the River of PooWater was nearing Ali’s bedroom.

I snatched up their towels and started mopping, while children, who are the ultimate Captain Obviouses, began saying things like,

“There’s water in the floor, Mommy!”

and,

“The toilet is overflowing!”

and,

“It’s comin’ over this way!”

I am not a yeller.

But in a moment of extreme PTSD – complete with flashbacks of living with the last toilet flood damage for 184 days – I yelled.

“Be quiet! Everyone – be quiet!”

Because apparently sopping up water demands silence. At least for Mommies who cannot tune out children.

It took both of their towels and a third fresh one from the linen closet to soak up all the PooWater, leaving me with extraordinarily unclean-feeling feet.

But it’s not like I could wash them off in the bathtub. Or track across my bedroom carpet to the other bathtub.

So I just went back, once more, to my job of detangling.

Mommy's Feet

After everyone was [as clean as they could get in that room] and deposited in their respective bedrooms wearing fresh towels, I carried the sadly abused towels downstairs, using as few fingers as possible and praying that they weren’t wet enough to drip. I opened up the washing machine, ready to fling them in from afar…only to discover that I’d completely forgotten about the last load of laundry the day before.

And this,

All of This,

is why my children are, as of today, required to become hipsters.

I took a few pictures of the perpetrator so that I could remember what cleanliness looks like. To cherish the moment.

Noah Clean

Because he will be allowed bathe again when he’s twenty-one.