If you were unsure about having kids, let me tell you a story of what it’s like to have a three and a half year old and a five month old.
A couple of days ago, after I was finished with work, I went downstairs to start dinner. Chicken tacos were on the menu, and I put a few chicken breasts in my Instant Pot to get those going. When it came time to shred the chicken, I pulled each one out individually to do so.
Meanwhile, R was keeping herself busy and E was in one of those sit-and-stand toys in the kitchen, keeping herself occupied. R kept asking for “yellow cheese,” which really just means she wanted the Kraft singles that were in the fridge. I told her to wait, dinner would be done soon, but she got into the fridge anyway to grab her cheese.
Fine. Whatever. It’s not worth the fight.
She was on her third slice when she asked if she could go potty – because, no matter how often I tell her she doesn’t need permission, she always has to have my blessing before she uses it. I sent her away, telling her to go ahead and go potty. By then, E started crying, wanting out of her toy. I kept talking to try to distract her until I could finish with the chicken.
R came back into the kitchen a couple of minutes later, asking me about the potty. Then she said cheese. Specifically, it came out, “Cheese potty.” I knew immediately where this was going, yet I still found myself asking…
“What about the cheese and the potty? Did you throw your cheese into the toilet?”
No response from R. I set down my fork and my knife and headed around the corner to the bathroom, which is when E got really upset and wouldn’t calm down. Sure enough, there was the slice of cheese sitting at the top of the water. I sighed. “Why is your cheese in the potty?” I asked.
All R could do was ask me to get it out.
I explained that I couldn’t and tried to flush it, and the toilet was clogged. E was crying so hard that I knew I would need to come back to it in a minute, so I went back to the kitchen to grab her, and she had pooped – and it had gone halfway up her back. (No wonder she was crying!) I panicked for a minute, then went back to the toilet to quickly unclog it.
Then, I went back to clean up E a little so I could pick her up to take her upstairs for a change. R, upon realizing that her cheese was gone forever, began sobbing about the fact that the toilet had essentially eaten the cheese that she had intended to eat herself. There were tears. So, so many tears.
I got E cleaned up, gave her a bath, and put her down for a nap while R continued to be upset about cheese. “Cheese gone, Mom?” Yes, honey; the cheese is gone forever. That’s what happens when we throw it into the toilet.
Chaos. And this was an easy day.
So, just in case you were wondering, this is what parenthood is like.