Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Trash Collection, Mess Detection, and General Disappointment

Tonight I am exhausted. This day was supposed to be "not that bad": I had very little on the agenda, and a fridge full of leftovers to eat to boot. 

But then, the morning babysitter called off and a few of us traded off moderating the dozen crazies that occupy my downstairs during the ladies Bible study held at my house. The part of the study that I didn't spend downstairs I spent wondering if, as host, it was more appropriate for me to be upstairs hosting the adults or downstairs "hosting" the children. Consequently, I hardly participated.

And then, my darling daughter--beacon of patience and grace--had a total meltdown the minute our study was over because she was starving. I have many friends whose toddlers are picky eaters, or barely eaters, or both. My daughter is neither. She eats nearly everything, and she eats a ton. While we regularly work on this thing called delayed gratification, she is neither a fan nor a believer. Many tears ensued while the ladies chatted and gathered their belongings and her lunch preparation was delayed. Oh that all meals could appear on the table at the snap of my fingers. {"And what would that teach her?" my mind then questions...}

Yet nap time was soon too follow, and unfortunately soon to end. She slept just long enough that letting her whine a while and fall back asleep was clearly not going to happen, and short enough that my nap had barely begun. I hadn't even gotten around to cleaning up lunch. 

Later in the afternoon we ventured out to drop off a meal for a friend with a newborn baby: cuddly, cute and oh-so-bad at sleeping. These conversations remind me that complaining about a ninety minute nap really isn't fair. Especially when my child slept twelve hours last night, straight. 

We continued to venture around town making a few stops for gifts I have been meaning to pick up. Outings have been interesting fact-finding missions as of late, as my daughter has picked up two very important skills in the last week: using a toilet and throwing away trash. Every place we go I quickly scout out the bathroom location and mentally calculate how long it has been since her last successful use of the facilities. While these consistent visits to the restroom keep her from going through two dozen pairs of underwear daily (a laundry reality that I feel like I am still catching up from), she seems to care less about the visits than she does about learning how to flush various models of toilets, how to make various soap dispensers work, and how to scour the bathroom of all pieces of trash and properly dispense them in the conveniently provided can. Never mind that she has likely gathered all sorts of nasty bugs with her newly developed passion for trash collection; the island is cleaner because of it.

For all the minor failures we were meeting throughout the day, the silver lining was that we were nearly 36 hours without an accident: all waking hours had been free of messes--at home, in the car, or on some poor unsuspecting local business owner's floor. And then, less than ten feet from an available toilet, as I sat staring at her waiting for some sign of needing to go (a habit that is formed quite quickly when you clean up endless puddles for days on end), as she rearranged her favorite dog pictures on the nurses' lockers while we waited for a chance to see Curtis...she let loose. 

Some days I feel like I am in a groove: the to-do list gets done, the toddler is happy, and everything just works. Other days, tasks require much more struggle than they should, and the time to accomplish them wanes more quickly than it ought. And on those days, I appreciate moments like this to appreciate the humor, the irony, the reality that my "bad day" really wasn't bad at all--it was just different than I expected. Today my family was clothed and fed; my husband has more work than he needs and we both have jobs we generally enjoy. We are healthy. We are warm. We are blessed.

Tomorrow, perhaps things will turn out like I expect. If not then, maybe the next day.