Rewind to twenty-one hours ago when my stomach was growling and my head was light. The delicious aroma of lunch was wafting through the air. I’d settled the baby and served the toddler. I’d fed the Bigs. It was my turn.
I took a few bites of my delicious sandwich and my mama warning senses started to tingle. The baby was kicking his legs just a little too energetically and those arms were waving a little frantically. Sure enough, a few seconds later, he began to vocalize the song of his people.
So now I was trying desperately to finish my lunch so that I could quell my queasies. Gabe, our toddler, threw his sippy cup down on the floor defiantly, stared at me, and started screaming. “MO, MO, MO, MO!” He made grabby hands at the sippy.
Cassiel, the baby, turns up his song’s volume to the notch labeled “ear-splitting.” He’s tired, wants a sip of mama milk, and he wants held. I took a few more bites with the speed of an attack shark and get up to take care of Gabriel. I release the buckles of the high chair and pull him up into a hug. A warm wetness spreads across my shirt. Please don’t be urine, please don’t be urine, I mentally whined.
Suddenly my ears picked up the sound of adamant arguing down in the basement. It’s a talent – I can hear dissension from a mile away. I heard “poop” mumble mumble mumble mumble “didn’t flush” mumble mumble mumble “overflowing.” SCREAM SCREAM SCREAM SCREAM, went the baby and the toddler, in chorus and stereo.
I carried the toddler to the changing table, my motions economical and efficiently timed to the screams of the infant. As I finished up covering his tush, the toddler realized it is nap time and began hollering even LOUDER.
Nate came stomping halfway up the stairs. The cacophony of noise is giving me a migraine. “MOM! SAMMI WENT POOP THIS MORNING BUT DIDN’T FLUSH THE TOILET…” Cassiel’s cries get even louder (how is that possible?) because of the tone of his brother’s voice while Sammi is indignantly replying that she forgot. “…AND THEN SHE WENT POOP AGAIN AND DIDN’T FLUSH…” more proclamations from Sammi that she just forgot as I’m heading into the bedroom with the slightly damp Gabriel (definitely not pee, phew) to deposit in his crib with his recently re-filled sippy cup.
Cassiel’s crying got a little more tolerable at this point, due to being in a different room, although the saved image of his sad face was making my heart race. Gabriel began desperately shrieking because he didn’t want a nap and as I was walking back to Cassiel who needs changed and fed and tucked in bed… like, ten minutes ago… “…SO I WENT POOP AND THEN I FLUSHED…”
What did he say?
OH FRACKING HELL.
“…AND NOW THE WATER IS GOING UP AND UP AND UP AND I THINK IT IS OVERFLOWING…”
…OH JULIUS FRANKENSTEIN CAESAR THAT’S THREE POOP LOADS ALL OVER MY FLOOR…
“…IT’S SAMMI’S FAULT!!!”
…OH ME OH MY…
Time stood still, the baby hovering half out of his seat in my arms, the toddler screaming in mid-yell and shaking the crib, the preteen girl frowning about how its not her fault she didn’t remember to flush the toilet (!!!), and the ten year old with wide eyes talking about a poop mother effing fountain in my bathroom.
“IS IT OVERFLOWING NATHANIEL JEFFREY?” I call across the house to my son who races to the bathroom and shrieks, “NO! IT STOPPED AT THE TOP.”
Time starts racing again to catch up and I finished changing the baby and trying to get him fed while shouting back, “DO NOT TOUCH THAT TOILET. I MEAN IT. DO NOT TOUCH THAT TOILET!”
“BUT MOM IT’S GOING TO OVERFLOW!!”
“GET OUT OF THAT BATHROOM RIGHT NOW. IS IT OVERFLOWING OR STOPPED?”
“THEN… GET… OUT!”
Margaret Mother of Godfrey.
That’s your birth control moment of the day.
Don’t call child protective services.
Five minutes later, Gabe was passed out, Cassiel was eating, and the Bigs were folding their laundry. The house was absolutely quiet and serene… except for one mommy who was preparing to check out the toilet situation. She was not serene at all.