May 19, 2009

Of toddlers and tubs

Tonight I'm feeling pretty grateful for my mom.

When I had a complete emotional breakdown last Wednesday, she arranged her life, booked a flight, and pledged to come help me, baby or no baby, for ten days.

She made life as smooth and wonderful as possible for my kids while we were in the hospital for Lexi's birth. Among other things, she handled a toddler with separation anxiety and a seven-year-old with the pukes.

Just today, she did all my laundry and dishes, took Tyler and Gavin to the preschool field trip, picked up Zachary from school, let me rest, and made dinner.

And then, as if her status wasn't unbelievably high, she proved herself as the mother of the year.

I was running a bath for Gavin and stepped out of the bathroom just long enough to tell my mom that Garry had called. In addition to his baseball coach meeting this evening, he had been summoned to work to deal with an emergency and would likely be late. I told her, "I'm glad you're here," thinking of how she could help with bathing and bedding down my four children.

Then I returned to the bathroom and experienced a parenting first.

Gavin had climbed into the tub...and pooped. Actually, it looked like about five people had pooped in that water. It was everywhere. The stench was overwhelming, as was the image of Gavin happily playing with all of his bath toys, obviously oblivious to the sewage floating around him.

I gagged and moaned, "Oh no!"

With Lexi in her arms, Granny came in to assess the situation, the nature of which she correctly guessed without a visual. I pulled Gavin out of the tub and turned on the fan. She let the water start to drain. And then we both backed away and started laughing. And gagging. But mostly laughing.

My stomach, still very prone to nausea, was rolling. As I hid in another room, I heard water sloshing around. A toilet flushed. My mom emerged from the bathroom taking deep breaths, and then she asked for cleaning supplies.

"You know why I'm going to clean this up for you, right?" she asked, rag in hand.
"Because you are a saint?" I said.
"No. Because someday, you just might have to clean up after me!"

We both roared with laughter, and the giggles didn't stop for a long time. (Neither did the smell, but even that made us laugh.)

So thanks, Mom, for being great. And hilarious. And one very talented tub-scrubber. I owe you one {million}.
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