"I'm Not Sure What Mom Was Doing"

About three hours after the cleaner left my house, I found myself on hands and knees re-mopping the kitchen floor. That’s actually not too weird because I have four children under the age of 8. This time, though, it wasn’t their fault. While I was sweeping and mopping, I observed that beer and blood smell a lot alike and that our kitchen floor slopes ever so slightly to the north. I could tell because most of the beer and blood seemed to be flowing that way under the refrigerator where I will never clean it up.

I was very thankful that my older children were glued to their Nintendo wii-motes and that the baby was asleep, so I had space in my head to realize these important things. In fact, I had been looking forward to that very hour since 7:30 in the morning when our busy day of preparing for a camping trip had begun. Our preparations required a trip to Costco. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to Costco with 4 kids under 8, but I can assure you that it sucks. It sucks a little more when right before you go to Costco, you spend 90 minutes in a tiny medical examination room so that two of your kids can fight over the iPhone while the other two get check-ups and shots.  Actually, I felt so bad for my kids that I finally caved and took them to McDonald’s to get Happy Meals and run amok in the sewer tubes considered a “Playland.”

We got home and unloaded our Costco haul, and the big fun for me then was walking from room to room like it was Christmas seeing all the work my once-a-month cleaner had done while we were out. I got everything put away, fed the baby, and made the big kids do “Quiet Play Time” (which is mostly me yelling down the stairs, “BE QUIET,” while they play) so that I could pack all the clothes for our trip. Finally, I put the baby down for a nap, took a shower to get the PlayLand off me, and gave the kids their screen time. With everyone occupied, I thought, “I’m going to get some salsa and some chips and sit down.” This was a big deal because in spite of my frequent, heavy revelations regarding the realitites of Stay-at-Home-Mom-dom and my dissatisfaction with it, I also feel constantly guilty and like I need to be 100% productive all the time to justify my existence. But, I’m trying to practice valuing the work I do, and decided, “I just worked for 8 hours straight; I’m gonna have me a little happy hour.” When I thought, “happy hour” I did not mean that I would have a drink. I have a very strict personal policy of never cracking anything open until I know my husband is on his way home. BUT, while looking for the stupid salsa, I knocked a beer down from the top shelf right down on to the top of my foot (a beer I was looking forward to having later that night to celebrate surviving the back-to-school picnic at the park that would happen in a couple hours).

While staring down the sticky mess, I saw that my foot was bleeding into the beer puddle. I dithered for a minute. You know how that is? You look at how ridiculous the problem is, and you just don’t know what to do first? Well, I wrapped a kitchen towel around my foot to go to the bathroom and try to see the damage. I badly, but not stitches badly, cut my middle toe and had some other surface nicks. For a second, I was sad it wasn’t worse, because if it had been then I could have called my husband to come home or a friend to come over to watch my kids while I spent a forced 4-6 hour break at the ER waiting for stitches. But, no, I’d just have to go back to the kitchen with my bandaged, owie toe and clean beer, blood, and a million sticky pieces of glass off the floor that a professional house cleaner whom I PAID had JUST cleaned.

One of my sons came upstairs and caught me in the bathroom bleeding into the sink. I told him what happened and asked if he could please go tell the other kids to stay out of the kitchen until I got it all fixed. When he got downstairs, I could just hear him say: “I don’t know what Mom was doing, but she dropped her beer on her foot and is bleeding.” I imagined for a second that maybe they’d come up to give me kisses and check on me, but they didn’t. So, I went back to the kitchen, inhaled about ½ a bag of those chocolate, coconut covered almonds from Costco and got to mopping.


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