I loved the emails I got after my last post about life as a parent with anxiety. A lot of you other moms and dads have told me you relate to my stressful days at home with my kids so maybe you can relate to my most recent “Are You Seriously Kidding Me Right Now?” moment.
This moment began when I walked into my bathroom to see my 5-year-old son Sawyer pooping on the potty while holding my iPad. I would prefer he read a magazine and not always use my $500 dollar device to help him poop, but I’m a desperate woman and I do desperate things – most of which will probably come back to bite me someday.
My son, who speaks as if he is from a 1950’s sitcom, sees me walk in the bathroom and he looks up and says “So Mom, I had some poop that got stuck and I couldn’t push it out”. “But don’t worry”, he says as he squints his eyes and moves his index finger back and forth in front of his eyes like windshield wipers, “I just dingle-dangled it back and forth with my finger until I got it to break off.”
Then with same index finger, he goes back to tap, tap, tapping all over my iPad while looking very pleased at himself for “handling” the situation.
I just stood there and stared at him blankly for several seconds, processing all of this. My brain knows that sometimes it has to let me absorb things in bite size pieces instead of feeling the full brunt of it all at once, and I appreciate that.
Once processing was complete and after a major cleansing and wiping of my baby, and a cleaning of my son as well, I put my son in his room for quiet time and a snack.
I came back in an hour later and I see Nutella all over the wall..little swipes of it that look like it was made from a very little finger.
(I know you know where this is going. I was slower to catch on.)
I was so mad and I said “Sawyer, what is your deal? Why did you put Nutella all over your wall?
Sawyer then waves his hands towards me in an “It’s no big deal” manner and says “Don’t worrrrry. It’s not Nutella…its poop!”
(5 more seconds of blank staring/processing.)
I then said, “Sawyer, are you telling me that you have been dingle-dangling in here and then rubbing it all over your wall?”
Then he walks over to the wall and scratches the poop with his finger, then examines his finger very scientifically and says “It’s not that much mom..its just a little bit.”
Despite my disgust, those words would have made me feel a little better except that this wall he was examining was an entirely different wall than the wall I originally noticed. I realized that I had not one, but TWO walls with poop smears all over them.
Sawyer’s twin sister Lulu, who always sneaks up behind me and starts eavesdropping anytime Sawyer is in trouble, peered around my legs and looked up at me through her glasses and whispered “You have to put this in your book and tell all the people”.
(She thinks I am pretty amazing and that my blog is a book I am writing that will have millions of readers. I have yet to deny it. )
It is a good thing that my OCD is limited to checking compulsions only, and not germ related because I don’t even want to know the bacteria and yuck that was all over my child, my iPad and my walls that day.
Fortunately I don’t bat an eyelash at dirt and disgust (which will probably and ironically be what does kill me someday after I spent my life worrying and fearing every single other thing on the planet ) and we got Sawyer, the walls, and my iPad cleaned up again, had a long talk about hygiene, and lived to tell the tale.
And yes once again..this all happened while my husband was gone.
Kids puking, giant spiders, birds flying in from the fireplace, snakes in the yard, wasps, a mouse in the house, tornado warnings, pipes leaking, tubs overflowing, dog running down the street chasing after the neighbors, poop all over the walls…..if its going to happen, you can bet I will be the only adult in the house when it does.
(And yes all of those things have happened to me!)
But its all good now and honestly I can look back at it and laugh. When it comes to “Sawyer Stories”, that is usually the way it works.
If parenting with anxiety makes your day to day life a struggle, check out this article from VeryWell.com for some tips on how to cope.
Hope you all find some laughs in your life this week as well.
Thanks for reading and no worries!