Lucy reduced me to tears tonight. Or, more appropriately, my inadequacy as a mother reduced me to tears tonight.
Lucy and Sam are almost three months old now. It’s a fantastic age because you can lay them down on a play mat and they can entertain themselves for a good fifteen minutes. Fifteen minutes of quiet time for a mom, especially a mom of twins, can feel like blissful eternity.
I was enjoying one of the aforementioned blissful eternity moments tonight. Mark was grocery shopping and the twins were coo’ing and laughing on the play mat. I decided it was a perfect time to catch up on some emails.
About ten minutes in, Lucy and Sam both got a little restless, but I decided to push it. After all, I was entitled to fifteen minutes of bliss, not ten! So I continued typing away, while Sam and Lucy fussed a bit. Neither of them were crying, they were just a little bit restless. But I was keeping an eye on them (they were less than three feet away) and they looked fine.
About five minutes later, I decided to pick up Lucy (Sam was sleeping). By this point she had calmed down and looked totally content, but I noticed a terrible smell as I picked her up. And then I saw it.
There was a huge pile of vomit behind her head. It was smelly and chunky and truly foul. And then I noticed it was also in her hair. And on her sleepers. And dripping down her neck. Smelly, chunky, foul vomit all over my baby.
And that’s when I lost it.
I knew I had to clean her up, but I couldn’t see through the tears to make my way to her bedroom to get a cloth.
What kind of mother was I? My baby threw up less than three feet away from me and I didn’t even notice! Is this the beginning of a terrible negligent mother trend? What other things am I not going to notice?
Will I notice when Lucy sneaks an extra cookie? Will I notice when Sam draws on the wall? What about when Lucy climbs out of her bedroom window to sneak out to a party or Sam swipes my car keys to go for a joy ride?!?!?
So now not only am I a terrible mother, but I also have delinquent children!
These thoughts are not helping the crying mess that I have become, while still holding a puke-covered Lucy.
Poor Mark chose that particular moment to come home. Once he managed to decipher my blubbering-unfit-mother rant, he took Lucy out of my arms so he could start to clean her up. Then he managed to talk me down from the figurative ledge I was teetering on.
He convinced me that Lucy was going to survive and, once I stopped crying, I would too. “Amy,” he said. “On a bad parent scale, this doesn’t even register.”
And after a few deep breaths, I realized he’s right. It was one little pukey incident… that one incident alone doesn’t qualify me as a terrible mom. After all, Sam and Lucy aren’t even three months old yet. I’m sure there will be plenty more events that will make me question my ability as a mom in the years to come.
… just remind me, a few years from now, to lock Lucy’s bedroom window and hide the car keys from Sam.