If there is one thing I've learned from my children - all TWO of them, which obviously makes me an expert now - it's this:
Do NOT turn your back. Even for a second.
You have to use the restroom? Too bad. You can hold it, darn it. Hold it like your life depends on it. Hold it until you're pretty sure your bladder has exploded and then, hold it a little longer.
A knock at the door? If you can't answer it with both children twined around your legs, let them knock. And knock. And ring the doorbell a few hundred times. So what if the door is four steps away from the kids... if they're behind you, you're in trouble.
Your contact fell out? Forget it. Walk around like a cyclops for a while. The accompanying migraine won't be nearly as painful as what happens when your back is turned.
You need to make an important call? I scoff at important calls. What's an important call if the house is falling down around you? You think I'm exaggerating, but that is quite literally what will happen.
The toilet is plugged/garbage disposal is regurgitating/vacuum exploded/dishwasher is spraying all over the kitchen? Well, then it might not matter...
To be a mom, you must first develop super powers. I knew this from a young age - as I was fairly certain my mom had eyes in the back of her head as well as ESP. She had "the stare" - the one that made it physically impossible to lie? You open your mouth with the most well-thought out fabrication and in your most poised and reticent attitude completely and totally break down into a giant ball of sniveling sobs asking for her supreme forgiveness. If all of that's not a super power, I don't know what is.
I've come to the conclusion that my powers are stunted. I don't know how this happened, nor how it could have been prevented, but the stark and startling truth of the matter is this:
I will never have eyes in the back of my head. I will never stare down a lie. I will never smell trouble before I hear it. Somehow, my super mom genes are faulty.
And this is where our tutorial for today starts. Because when you have faulty super mom genes, you deal with situations such as the couch incident. Or the hair debacle. Or 50 thousand soggy messes. Or this:
The latest and greatest in a long run of "why you should never close your eyes when your children have theirs open".
I shall begin with a story. Ahem. I'm slightly ashamed to admit that I am not bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning. I am the exact opposite. You know, dull, bleary eyed and flat, straggly tailed. My children are early risers. Like upwards of 5 AM, sometimes before kind of risers. Which makes me want to tear my hair out, among other things. Most times, I'll grab them some sort of snack to appease them and crawl back into bed for a while as they finish eating at the kitchen table. Most mornings, they will gallop enthusiastically back into my bedroom where I will pull my bedraggled head up enough to hand them my phone on a very low volume in order to appease them for a few minutes more. It's horrible, I know, and I should be flogged. Or worse.
That's just the backstory. Here's where it gets good.
Mr and bug were on an overnight father/son camp-out for church - bug's first. mini and I had some fun girl time together.
The morning dawned and in my stupor I seemed to hear some ominous thudding noises that appeared to be quite disturbing in nature, which I quickly dismissed due to the fact that I was ASLEEP. mini came bouncing into my room not long after, smiling and happy, leading me to believe that nothing at all was amiss. I pulled her into bed with me and we chatted and played with my phone until the front door opened and I heard mr scream.
It's a sound I don't hear often. It made my blood run cold.
I jumped out of bed, and (as quickly as was possible due to my diminished capacities that I like to call "morning brain" - very similar to "mom brain, actually, and horrible when you have both together - and the fact that I had to blindly grope about for my glasses) hobbled down the stairs, when I was met with a truly horrific sight.
It doesn't sound horrifying to you? What if I told you that this was an entire carton of eggs. Strewn about my living room. My carpeted living room. The carpeted living room that is in the front of my house. Which is the first thing anyone sees when the door is opened.
Fortunately (?) only three of them were broken. The rest lay gently scattered, like small white boats on a sea of WHITE CARPET NOW FULL OF YELLOW EGG MESS.
And so, I present to you, How to Salvage Off-White Carpet (or "What to Do When Your Two Year Old Gets A Hold of a Carton of Eggs - Besides PANIC"):
1. Allow yourself a moment - yes, just one precious moment - of unadulterated hysteria. Possible options include, but are not limited to: pulling of hair, gnashing of teeth, intense guttural mumblings that are indiscernible, pounding the floor with fists or other body parts, and just general flailing about.
2. Compose yourself to the best of your ability. Be forewarned: this may involve gritting your teeth to an almost painful level.
3. Allow your seething husband time away. In fact, just relegate him to the garage for the time being. And send your four year old with him.
(note: it's perfectly acceptable to require him to first assist from a distance by collecting all of your needed supplies. To begin with, you will need:
a bucket with lukewarm - not hot - water. Unless you want scrambled eggs. Then sure, make it hot. Why not.
about 300 rags. Plus or minus. Probably plus.
carpet stain remover. Try Resolve. It won't work, but for the purposes of this tutorial, go ahead and try it.
a plastic grocery bag. Or ten.
Patience. See if he can collect that anywhere. You're going to need it.)
4. Insist upon having the offending two year old help with clean up.
5. Repack the eggs that escaped unscathed. Do not, under any circumstances let your two year old help with this step.
6. And if you do, tally up your broken eggs yet again, plus two.
7. Use a hand towel or large dish towel to scoop up the slimy egg innards. Do not, I repeat, DO NOT attempt to reuse this rag or any of the following rags. Don't try to wash it out. Don't try to rinse and wring. Don't be frugal with rags, here. Trust me.
8. Insist upon having the offending two year old cease and DESIST in helping. Instead, insist upon having the offending two year old sit on a stool next to the carpet, watch you work and THINK ABOUT WHAT THEY'VE DONE.
9. Spray the large egg drops with copious amounts of Resolve. Then spray all of the little egg droplets. Then realize you may as well spray the entire living room, since your carpet looks like a bad attempt at yellow polka dots.
10. Run out of Resolve.
11. Start "blotting" - as it says on the back of the bottle.
12. Screw blotting. Start scrubbing. Scrub like there's no tomorrow. Put your back into it!
13. Scrub every stinking spot on that carpet. Sit back, sweating. Swear a little, but under your breath. That's just what you need, a two year old repeating "THAT" in church.
14. Text your mom some photos. Just for kicks.
15. Take your mom's advice about using bleach. Send your wandering four year old - who has snuck back in the house for the express purpose of reminding you how much naughtier his sister is than him - for hubby to fetch the rest of the "ingredients."
16. Get hubby to fill a bucket with about a gallon of water and a cup of bleach. Except, when there's no empty bucket to be found, he will use an empty cookie jar.
17. Force your 2 year old, who is now talking and singing to the egg stains while scrubbing them with a baby wipe, to sit back down.
18. Ask your 4 year old, who is lecturing your 2 year old on the proper way to behave and reminding you that he has never done anything this naughty, what the heck he's talking about.
19. Run through a mental list of the atrocities that began exactly 2 years ago and have not ceased since. Be surprisingly grateful that you've documented the worst for public view on the internet. Someday... oh, someday...
20. Pull yourself together, man! On with the work! Scrub, scrub! Scrub as you've never before scrubbed!
21. Once you've used a rag, toss it in the plastic bag. This will make for "easy" clean up later. Haha.
22. Swear a little more.
23. Research "how to get egg stains out of..." on google.
24. Call for your husband to fetch more "ingredients." Begrudgingly accept that he has gone temporarily deaf.
25. Fill the darn bucket, er, COOKIE JAR with a gallon of water and a cup of white vinegar BY YOURSELF, for heaven's sake. Where's the help when you need it???
26. Take a clean rag and... oh, you know what to do.
27. Don't even try to stop your crazed 2 year old with the baby wipes.
28. Send your husband to your mom's house to pick up some ammonia. Who the heck has ammonia sitting around?
29. Take a break and make the kids lunch. Because if you don't feed them they'll starve. And although you'd like strangle one of them, you don't actually want them to die.
30. Send the kids to "quiet time" - which shall henceforth and forever be known as "that time you are supposed to be quiet so mommy will not go completely, stark-raving MAD but in actuality is the opposite of quiet in every possible way but at least you are in your room time".
31. Mix the ammonia with water. Get a new rag. Go on. Get on with it.
32. Run out of rags.
33. Buy new carpet.
So now you know. I hope this will be helpful to some poor sap, who like me, lacks mommy super powers to such an extent that this type of tutorial seems to be a regular occurrence.
And now you also know why my advice to all new or soon to be parents is NOT "enjoy every minute, they grow so fast!" or "sleep when they sleep, you'll need it!" or "reinforce good behavior and give them lots of smiles and encouragement!" or "Kisses and Hugs are the best medicine" or some such foolishness. It is simply this:
Never - NEVER - turn your back. Not even to sleep.
* all photos courtesy of my phone, hence not awesome quality.
** you know I love my kids, right? Hubby too.
*** Ooo, PS. This is actually helpful. If you ever have to scrub a stain out of carpet, it's a good idea to let the area mostly dry, then mix a few teaspoonfuls of liquid fabric softener with a cup of water, then scrub that into the area. It'll prevent it from getting stiff and prickly.
****No, we didn't REALLY buy new carpet. But someday... Someday.