Lowered expectations 

More sickness. I’ve come to the conclusion that toddlers are made up of germs holding hands. Butters has discovered he can grab his diaper when I change him, which adds a whole new level of poop-flinging fun! As soon as the diaper comes off, his hand goes right to his wiener, so I’ve gotten pretty gun-slinger fast at wiping down his wrinkly little package as I’m taking his diaper off. 

When it comes to dealing with the various disgusting illnesses that we’ve had run through this house, my husband and I handle things quite differently. My husband, god love him, is a fixer. He wants to know what exactly caused this, assign a name to it, and then cure it. I, on the other hand, work in the medical field. I work around diseases and illness all day long and know that sick kids are inevitable (especially when they are around other kids often) and for the most part all you can do is treat the symptoms. Butters is puking? Damn, I will get towels, pedialyte and some peppermint to rub on his tummy. Meanwhile my husband is on Google saying things like “I”be narrowed it down to Listeria or Diptheria” or “it says here to check his capillary refill time”. What caused his vomiting? Who the hell knows. It’s a stomach virus, it will pass, all we can do is buy stock in Lysol wipes and hand soap. 

I always like planning outings to help make the day more interesting when Butters and I are home all day together. The latest was a morning walk to Starbucks. We will sit outside and have a little Butters and Mommy date. It will be glorious! Everyone will think “Oh what an adorable baby! Look at them having breakfast, what a good mom!” 

Of course it didn’t turn out that way. Starbucks is about a mile from my house. Halfway there I realize that Butters has ripped off his pacifier and the clip that is supposed to keep it attached and flung off both socks. They are nowhere to be found. B is playing by putting his mouth on the tray of his stroller and then manages to slam his lip into it, resulting in him scream crying, red faced and snot all over. We arrive to Starbucks harried and disheveled. “Ok we made it! We can do this!” I think to myself. I order a kids whole milk, iced Americano and a bagel. The barista gets my simple order so wrong and keeps asking “do you want whip cream on the kids chocolate milk?” Meanwhile Butters is in his stroller doing his monkey imitations, which sound like high pitch squeeling/grunting while pounding on his chest. Does it look like I want to give this kid sugar with whip cream on top? Do I look insane?! I want plain milk! No frills, just milk in a cup. No I don’t want ice, are you having a stroke?! A cup of fucking milk!!!!!!!!
I manage to keep my rage under the surface and we finally get our drinks and head out to the patio. It’s a nice sunny day, the dog is being good for once and laying down calmly by our table. I set out the squeezy and Cheerios I brought for Butters. He seems only interested in my bagel, so I give him a little piece and he spits it out looking disgusted. I try the squeezy next, which usually he loves. He seems to be gojng for it but has sneakily stored it all in his cheeks and then spits it out of his mouth Animal House style 


I hardly think anyone is looking on adoringly at this point. 

On the trek back home I search in vain for the lost pacifier and socks, (one of the few pairs of socks still intact, we have 17 singles forever waiting to find their sockmates) and find nothing. What the hell happened to these things in the past 20 minutes?! There is still litter here and there so I’m pretty sure someone didn’t pick them up thinking they were trash. At least I didn’t put his spendy new shoes on him this morning. We gained some and lost some with this excursion.

Lost: my pride, a pair of socks, pacifier and clip, and a bit of lip skin in the stroller face smashing mishap

Gained: some fresh air and vitamin D, a little exercise, and a valuable lesson about needing to lower my expectations if I am going to survive motherhood.

Later that week I have another grand idea. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, let’s have a nice dinner outside! Butters can eat and then play at his sand/water table while I have a leisurely dinner.Everything is set up. I’ve got a cold beer and music that isn’t nursery rhymes- yep, this will be great! Such a relaxing beautiful evening!

Two and a half minutes later Butters’ dinner is on the ground after he chucked it without even tasting it. The dog is licking corn off of his legs.

Wyatt throws sand into the water side, on the ground, in his hair and then eats a good handful. Unplugs the drain of the water table (god knows how, I had a hell of a time getting it in there) and then squeals with delight as he windshield wipers the water that is now on the patio. Soaking wet and covered in sand. The dog has sausage and corn on her back. All the sand table toys are thrown out onto the lawn. Butters is playing with a puddle, a soggy leaf and the water table drain plug, having a great ole time. 

Fuck it. I lower my expectations significantly and sit back and enjoy my beer. See? I am very slowly learning!


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