Just the Day in the Life of the Everyday Mom!
I have to set the stage for a moment this week when one small event sent our home into total chaos for about ten minutes and makes me chuckle just to think about it! But, I have a feeling you’ll be picturing your own scenario very similar to mine pretty quickly! The kids are all ready for bed and clothes are laid out for school, and they have a few minutes to play with their Lego creations before we read the bedtime story (we are currently reading through the Magic Tree House series). I am working at the computer. My husband is playing a game on his phone and watching a ball game on TV – a rare, quiet moment in our home (we have 5 kids between the ages of 4 and 10!). All of a sudden, the kids come bounding up the stairs, declaring one of them has been stung by a bee! No one is crying or screaming at this point, so my husband and I haven’t moved much yet.
Now, my 7-year-old comes to the top of the stairs from the basement, yells, “I was stung by a bee!!” and immediately begins wailing in pain! I spring up from the computer. My husband bounds downstairs to find this bee hanging out in our basement. I realize I have been caught unprepared. You know that moment when you know you must act, and you have a partial idea of what needs to be done, but you aren’t sure what to do?? And panic sets in! The other four kids are going crazy!! They don’t like that one child is getting so much attention from Mom and Dad, and so the game of “The Battle for Mom’s Attention” begins! I’m trying desperately to figure out if my 7-year-old has really been stung or if he just stepped on a Lego and it pinched him (you know how much those little things hurt when you find them with your feet and toes!). I finally see that dreaded white circle with a hole in the middle on his little pinky toe – sure enough, he’s been stung.
Again, panic sets in! I know you can mix something with baking soda to help with stings, but I can’t think of what it is! I seem to remember reenacting my middle school science project of making a volcano explode using baking soda and another ingredient last spring when my daughter was stung three times on Father’s Day, but in the spinning of children asking questions, saying my name over and over, and my 7-year-old screaming bloody murder, I can’t seem to think of anything else! So, I do what every good mom does…put the injury under cold water (it fixes everything right??)! So he’s crying in the bathroom with his foot under the faucet in the tub, and I’m scrambling to read up on how to help stings! Holy cow! Do you know how many ideas there are??? And I didn’t have ANY of the things I was reading available!!! Until I see Windex helps!! So I run and grab the Windex, secretly laughing in my mind because all I can picture is the dad from My Big Fat Greek Wedding and his obsession with Windex, and head for the bathroom to dry off and then spray my son’s toe with Windex!
Then back to the computer because I am just POSITIVE the thing I want has something to do with baking soda! Now mind you, the other four children are still playing their game of get my attention! My head is spinning. My heart is racing. And in frustration I declare spankings for anyone who tries to tell me something about their Legos or ask me a question before I get everything figured out….and there is no way I would even have the time to stop and really follow through! But, I think it did the trick for a good 30 seconds! Whew!! Then I find the secret recipe to help all stings….baking soda and water!!! Ah yes, last time I tried vinegar and the white explosion had followed immediately! Water. So simple. But now, WHERE IN THE WORLD DID I PUT THE BAKING SODA???? Is it in the lazy Susan? Nope! By the washing machine (gotta keep it from smelling!)? Nope! Where can it be???? My husband, like a valiant knight saving the day, finds it under the sink (of course)!! Finally, mom to the rescue!!!!
We quickly whisk my son from the bathroom to the living room, dry off his foot, and drench it in baking soda paste. Relief! He has calmed down. All the children are in awe of this magnificent paste that has saved the day and are excitedly bouncing from chair to couch to couch in all their excitement!! And now, it’s time for bed and everyone is all worked up, mom feels ready to collapse, but we sit down together to read two chapters of Jack and Annie’s adventures in the Wild West. As we are finally getting the kiddos headed to bed and my son cleans the baking soda paste from his foot, I see him smile and declare that he will be sharing this story with all his friends at school tomorrow! Oh yes, boys and their battle wound stories! At that moment, this mom, though 15 minutes before was thrown into a moment of chaos made worse by being completely unprepared for the emergency, had to stop and smile at the thought of my son capturing the attention of all his little first-grade friends as he shared his tale of pain and victory over the sting he encountered while playing with Legos in the basement. Oh yes, my heart was happy!
Why take the time to share this with you? Well, maybe you had some moments of unprepared chaos this week like I did – short moments or events that lasted most of the week. I know I have certainly felt like I was caught unprepared for several days in a row (ok, that was all of last week). But in the chaos of living life as a parent, it is in those moments afterwards that we can often hear the quiet praises from our children. No, they are directed at us with showers of affection and I love you’s. But you can hear it in the safety of your child’s voice as they share that they feel good enough to retell their tale another day. Yes, mom…dad….their praises are sung at us indirectly, but they are singing them constantly!! I hope that when all the chaos pauses that you can hear the thank you and I love you in the thoughts of your child!
Also, I wanted to share, with spring finally here (I think anyway), that you should have a big box of baking soda in a spot you will know where to find it and be prepared to mix it with water when your child gets stung while playing!