Accidents Happen, Welcome to Toddlerhood

Some nights are just a disaster, or at least, that is how it feels.

Last night, I was starting to shower Baby C and Wes (we don’t have a tub where we are staying) when things fell apart. The showering scenario took a lot of convincing in the first place – C loves showers, Wes not so much.

In just a moment, just a second, C stuck his fingers through the thin slit of the glass shower door and the tile wall and Wes pushed the door open.

I was right there, I was paying attention.

It just was so fast, isn’t every accident that way?

I could have stopped it, I could have prevented it, but I really couldn’t have.

I didn’t see that one coming.

Conrad’s fingers were squeezed so tight between the door and the tile they were forced backwards and turned purple. They were broken, I was convinced in that split second. I quickly pulled him out and cuddle him, running his hand under cold, cold sink water while he wailed and threw himself backwards in my arms. I am still standing next to the shower, managing the finger accident at this moment, when Wes who hates both soap and showers, decides to put soap directly on his head and face, and lean forward so that the shower waterfalls onto his face. Non-kid-friendly soap pours into his open eyes and he starts to scream in pain, rubbing his soapy hands harder into his eyes.

Water is spewing out of the sink and shower, the echoing bathroom is steaming up, and deafening with screams blare from both my children. An overhead vent hums so loud I can’t hear myself think.

This house is so big and all the doors are shut – my husband who was being helpful gathering post-shower pajamas and pouring bottles for the morning, frankly cannot hear a thing. He thinks we are in here having a glorious time playing with the shower squeegee and happily splashing water across the room.

I am trying to get soap out of one child’s eyes, while still comforting the other with three purple fingers. I am hollering for my husband.

When I finally can reach both doors to yell into the hallway for him, kids sopping wet hanging off me, my clothing soaked, he comes running. But at this point, he isn’t on my team. He doesn’t know what happened, all he heard was me screaming at him as if he had done something wrong. He wasn’t here. He was unhelpful, useless, inconsiderate, crummy. That is what he heard as I yelled for his help in desperation.

There were so many fails to this point.

Why was there adult face wash in reach of Wes in the first place? I hadn’t put it there, but again, this wasn’t our house or our shower. Why hadn’t I anticipated Conrad would be curious enough to stick his fingers through the slit of the glass door? I normally anticipate everything danger- to a fault. Why hadn’t I called to my husband in a plea verse what he heard as berating him?

Nights like this just bring me down. Way, way down. I was ready to throw everyone in bed and bury myself under the covers feeling frustrated, alone and sad. My husband was mad at me, I had both my kids get hurt, and it was the very end of a very long day.

After I cleaned up the mess of the shower fiasco, the prior playtime clutter, and the rest of the bedtime routine debris – I climbed into bed with my phone, flipping through pictures of the day. The kids had such a good day – pancakes, playing with cousins, swimming in the pool, going to the playground. It had been a very fun, very long, Sunday until this point.

My husband came in the room and sat at the edge of the bed. I was ready for him to be mad, hurt, annoyed. How could I have let so much go wrong in such a short-period of time? The stress and tension, the accidents, it was all my fault. Right?

“Do you want to talk about it?” He asked in a quiet, understanding voice. “The kids are okay. C had a lot of fun in the shower after you took Wes to get in his pajamas. His fingers look fine. They are both happy, safe and asleep now.”

He reminds me we are a team, these things happen. They are kids. We are out of our element, there is a lot going on. We are in this together. And I am reminded once again that I totally lucked the hell out.

It is often the small things, like this, not the big things, that highlight to me that being a good mom, a good wife, is sometimes not just what I put into these relationships on a normal, calm, happy basis, but how I react to the scenarios that challenge me. There is no huge lesson or novel take-away from this ordinary anarchy of a household with two super rambunctious young boys. Just that some moments are good and some more challenging… that is where we are in this point in our lives, our family. Sometimes it is not about our intentions but our reactions. Nothing new to human-kind, I suppose.

On to the next day of laughs, happiness and I am sure, more accidents.