Mission Objectives: Dress self and apply appropriate cosmetics. Do something to at least manage hair. Dress child. Grab diaper bag and make it to the bus so we can go to toddler story time at the library. Time allotted: 45 minutes.
I am determined that we are going to get to the library today. E is very social with adults but is starting to get a little shy with kids his own age that he doesn’t already know. A couple rounds of playing in a group will do him good, but in the meantime I have to look halfway presentable. I mean, this totally counts as “going out” in the Mommyverse. And I’m going to actually wear my favorite sweater. I pull my hair back pretty fast, though I still have to stop halfway to stop a game of chase with Kitty.
Now E is at the baby gate, howling. I don’t think it’s so much that he wants to get to me, but that it is totally unfair that I get to go in the room where clearly everything cool on earth must be. Why else would we be keeping him out?! I ask him what he wants, and he says “Go! Mama! Peeease!” I give in, because there’s nothing toxic where he can reach it, and it won’t be long.
I’ve finished one eye. It’s tricky; I use waterproof liquid eyeliner. I want that shit to stay put because otherwise I look like a panda in two hours. I hold my breath to keep the line even – because looking like a mental patient is just as bad as looking like a panda.
It’s a little perilous because E is tugging on my pants.
“What honey?” I look down.
He is holding a box of maxi pads, looking very proud. “Box!” he says, but it sounds more like baahks. “BOOOX!” He peers intently into the open top, reaching in to poke at the pads. He draws one out slowly, staring. “Woooowww,” he says, clearly impressed. I go back to makeup. They’re already all over the floor so there’s no reason to stop him.
I carefully finish the other eye. The liner has to dry before I put on anything else, or it smears and we’re back in Panda Mental Patient territory. E grabs my hand and shoves something at me.
“What?” he demands.
I consider whether I want “tah-pon” to be in his vocabulary and decide against it. I go with the wrapping. “Orange!” I say, “That’s an orange thing! Let’s put it up here!” It goes over the edge of the sink. E decides this is a great game and starts carefully pulling out tampons, one by one, ooh-ing and aah-ing at each one. Seriously, the kid actually says “ooh-ahh.” I look back at the mirror. At some point I opened my eyes too far. Mental patient. Fuuuck.
“Oooh! Wow! WOOOOW! Mama!”
I look down. I don’t know how he got the plunger. I go with my standard disarming technique. “Oh, THANK YOU for finding that! You’re such a good finder!” As I carefully remove the plunger and put it back in the corner. “That spot is not for babies, ok?”
“Kay.” He is busy throwing his ducks into the tub now. I can’t find my everyday lipstick. The same color and brand I have been wearing since college – boring, sure, but it’s that stuff that you paint on that stays put until the next day if you forget to take it off. This is just as crucial as the waterproof eyeliner. I briefly consider wearing my only other lipstick, but even I am lacking the moxie to pull off Russian Red at the library at ten-fifteen in the morning on Thursday. Going without lipstick isn’t an option because I always look pale and sickly without it. I dig through the cupboard and finally find it – apparently at some point I thought it would be a good idea to stick my neutral lip color in with our toothbrushes.
I duck into my room. The odds are 50/50 that E will play happily or that he will bang on the bedroom door and yell. Already had the outfit picked out, so I put it on as quickly as I can. This time he doesn’t fuss – instead he’s using the door to his room to play peekaboo. I hear his little voice chirp “Boo!” every time the door opens. He manages to latch it and starts banging on it and making frustrated little sounds. I go and turn the knob just enough to let him open it. He peeks through the opening and spots me, then scampers away chanting, “Hide! Hide!” He loves to “hide” now, which actually means standing really close to a wall and giggling with anticipation. I give up the idea of making it to the early session and chase him around the house. He has learned to say “again,” which definitely slows things down – every time I find him he yells “‘Gain!”
Of course now he’s hungry again, and I really ought to eat too. Yogurt is quick and easily shared, so we sit down on the floor. It’s just as well that E’s still in nothing but a diaper, because he is very determined to use his spoon. He has the theory down but his execution is still pretty wobbly. He eats a pretty good chunk of it and then stands up and lunges at me, saying “Hug!” and throwing his arms wide. Before I can react he shoves his yogurt-covered face directly into the center of my chest. He is gleeful and hands me his spoon. I clean my shirt.
Getting E dressed gets put off again when I realize that the diaper bag is still in the car – which I don’t have. It takes a while to fill it up because E is tailing me around and if he spots any of the foods I’m packing (WOE BETIDE anyone who doesn’t carry crackers) he will immediately want them, and we’re actually edging towards not catching the second bus. Finally I get him up on the changing table, which Kitty abjectly refuses to vacate. Getting dressed is quieter than usual. E is so tickled that he can reach Kitty that he’s not bothering to fight me. He is very good with his gentle hands, but he also wants to point out kitty’s ears and nose and eyes.
Finally, finally, we are both dressed and have all our things and are heading to the door. I expect a fight because we don’t have time for E to walk the block and a half to the bus stop. “Mommy needs to carry you, bud,” I say as he stamps out the door. But he holds up his arms to be picked up without protest. He is very solemn as I half-jog to the corner but gets excited again when he sees the bus, which is only one stop away.
Actual Time required: 106 minutes. Mission Status: Success!