When my counter looks like this at night, it’s been a really good day. It may just look like a few dishes drying on a towel to you, but to us, a few dishes drying on the counter in the evening means we made it. To get to this point the following successes need to occur:
1. We brought Roozle’s lunchbox home.
2. We brought it in from the car.
3. We opened it.
4. We washed it.
5. And it’s drying, ready for tomorrow.
There are many days when we can accomplish getting it home, but bringing it in from the car? 50/50 chance. If we get to the point of having it clean, we should win a prize.
To those of you without kids, or without my kid, maybe, you may not understand why it’s so hard. It’s just a lunchbox. It’s just a few things to wash. It’s one thing to open.
You have no idea.
We pull into the driveway. We’re home. We’ve made it. No one is crying. YES. I open her door, unbuckle her carseat. She climbs out. YES. We’re on our way inside! No one is crying! She climbs further INTO the car. NO. That’s not the way! She takes her shoes off. OH NO. We’re not going to make it. I try to get her shoes back on, as I lean into the car, my bag swings off my shoulder and gets caught on the door, trapping me. Roozle laughs. She turns all the lights on in the car. I don’t notice. I convince her to climb through the car and I will get her on the other side. She won’t put her shoes on. I get one shoe on and she heads back into the car, now towards the front seats. She tries to convince me that she just needs to show me one more trick. Just one more. She jumps between the seats. Laughs. No one is crying. We’re going to be okay.
MCB is piled high with the rest of our stuff. It looks like we’re coming home from a three week European vacation. I’ve handed off my bag to her so I don’t get trapped again as I realize I am going to need both hands to get Noodle Child out of the car. Will she ever get out of the car? She turns on the lights. They were already on, so really she turned them off, but I don’t realize that and end up turning them back on. You can’t tell because now ALL the doors are open. PLEASE CHILD. WE NEED TO GO INSIDE. At this point, I am telling myself, just pick her up, carry her in, THIS ISN’T WORKING. But I can’t even get to her. We need a smaller car. I tell myself this one a lot. If we had a Mini, I’d be able to reach her without climbing in. I can’t reach her. I never can. HOW DOES SHE MOVE SO FAST. Now her shoes are on. The wrong feet. Perfect. It’s starting to rain.
MCB is starting up the driveway. Now Roozle is starting to cry, “MAMA! DON’T GO WITHOUT US! I NEED TO GO FIRST.” Oh no. Not crying. She’s out of the car. SHE’S OUT OF THE CAR. We close all the doors. All the lights are on. I open them up carefully to reach the lights without letting her sneak back in. We need to keep this child out of the car. She’s OUT OF THE CAR. We can totally do this. MCB lets her go first. We’re almost to the end of the driveway. She’s running. This is good. We’re almost there. And she falls. Bam. Tears. A lot. Screaming. She won’t walk. She won’t move her leg. It’s not even bleeding. Or even red. She’s begging for ice.
We almost made it. We were so close.
I finally carry her inside. I should’ve done this from the beginning. I never should let her squirm away when I first unbuckle her carseat. I need to remember this tomorrow. At least MCB brought in the lunchbox.