It started like any ordinary day.
And that’s the thing – these days, most days were just that – ordinary. Sure, some moments stuck out for better or for worse, but they were mostly spent in the monotony of keeping her kid safe, clothed, fed, occupied.
As she lied in bed, she could hear her son happily babbling over the baby monitor. He rarely woke up in a bad mood. She got up and started her usual routine of making the bed, getting dressed, dragging a brush through her hair, and then she went to go get her son.
As soon as she opened his bedroom door, the stale odor of his poopy diaper floated out to greet her. And then she could see, under her smiling, blond baby boy, that his crib sheet was quite soiled.
First things first, she thought, Diaper change, then strip the bed, then laundry.
As it turned out, the leak was so bad that this kid, who normally only got two baths a week, needed a quick one from the waist down. He was delighted. She was already exhausted.
She got all the dirty things in a pile, shoved them in the washer, threw in some extra OxyClean, and got the boy downstairs for breakfast and to move on with the day. And not a moment too soon, because being pregnant with baby number two meant that breakfast needed to come asap in order to stave off the dizzy spells. And all that bending over for the sheets and bath weren’t doing her any favors, either.
Breakfast was uneventful, but since the pre-breakfast cleanup took so long, she decided to just stay home and play inside between breakfast and lunch. Hopefully they could get to the water features after lunch and before nap.
When the washer was done, both mom and son trekked back upstairs to transfer everything to the dryer.
The toddler had run off to play somewhere and mom opened the washer to discover that the poop stains had gotten worse, not better. Upon frustrated inspection, she found that matter from the leaked diaper had stayed inside the pajamas and had been let loose inside the washer to wreak further havoc. Everything would now have to be hand-treated and rewashed.
Just as she was silently swearing to herself, there was a loud crash. It sounded like breaking glass, but it also didn’t register. What the hell could he have gotten into? was her immediate thought as she turned to find him.
He was in his room, looking stunned and standing next to a floor lamp that was now entirely on the floor. Glass was everywhere. Both were barefoot.
She burst into tears.
He burst into tears.
She tiptoed across the carpet, picked him up, tiptoed back across the glass minefield and immediately went downstairs, leaving everything just where it was. Poop stains and broken glass.
Feeling completely overwhelmed, she called her husband at work and a fresh round of tears choked her words as she tried to explain what had happened and that she needed him to come home.
Please help. I can’t do this.
A mercifully short 15 minutes later, her husband was upstairs being amazing by cleaning up the mess.
It looks like a crime scene up here! he called down the stairs.
He explained that he looked up the proper way to clean up mercury, because he didn’t want to stir up all the yucky particles.
Oh, fuck! The actual bulb broke, too?! I thought it was just the glass of the lamp. I didn’t even look. Good thing we got out of there and I didn’t even try to clean up. Ugh.
He cleaned. Mom and son had lunch. They didn’t make it to the water features that day. Instead, they played in the kiddie pool in their yard. Not knowing the changed plans, the son had fun just the same. Right in time for a nap, the dad had the room all clean. No glass, new sheets. Like nothing had ever happened.
The dad (thankyouthankyouthankyou) went back to work and the mom spent the quiet nap time working the stains out of the load of laundry by hand. As if the stains were demons and the sheets were motherhood.
She washed the load again. This time, the stains came out.
Like nothing had ever happened.