Honestly, I’m so deep in parenting I don’t even realize it sometimes. I have a friend coming in from out of town tomorrow. I don’t have a nanny. I don’t have a house cleaner. My bathroom doesn’t clean itself.
So, that would leave my 18-month old daughter’s morning nap as the obvious time to mop the floors and scrub the sink. And yet, during this “break” (her nap,) I don’t want to spend it cleaning. I want to write my rock and roll memoir, my parenting book and my Mothering blog! I want to dip into my psyche and enjoy the mental stimulation.
So, I ignore the laundry and the dishes in the sink and I write. And then my daughter awakes, and the day unfolds with her older sister and older brother, and then, at 7:30pm I must face the bed I’ve made and lay in it.
At this point my daughter wants to be held but you see, I threw out my back and so the sling is out of the question this week. So, I place my baby on the kitchen counter so she can be with me. She swings her feet around so that they are IN the sink with the soap and dishes.
And I proceed. I’ve undressed her; she’s naked on a towel on the counter because I’ve actually done this before, quite a few times, and I’ve learned that if she’s in her jammies they end up soaked.
I’m loading dishes in the dishwasher, which is as it were, broken; it renders dishes with a film of scum worse then when I put them in; so I’m washing the dishes to completion and loading them into the dishwasher as a place to contain and dry them until I call the Men of Sears to come repair my darling dishwasher, a device I actually consider a friend.
I am temporarily lost in thought as oft happens when doing dishes, and then I look up from my reverie and my daughter has grasped a cup and filled it with water and is now dumping it on the counter. She’s gone too far; I remove the cup rather abruptly and proceed to wash. I’m actually annoyed that she dumped the water and it is in that moment I realize my folly: that I expect her to know that within this scenario of sitting on the counter with her feet in the sink of soapy suds there are actually limits.
I look up from removing the cup and she’s got my sponge in her mouth; oh, the bacteria, please, don’t tell her father! So, what about doing dishes during naptime? I take the sponge out of her hand. I am determined to finish this task. As I rinse the last pan my daughter is over this activity and wants to be in my arms so I hold her on one hip as I place the last dish in the dishrack, having exhausted the storage capacity of the washer.
I turn off the water and exhale; my God motherhood is intense sometimes. It’s at this moment that I feel the warm wetness envelop my shirt and now my skirt. My daughter is naked. She is peeing on me.
Inhale, I am blessed. Three healthy children. I love my husband. My parents are healthy. I am blessed. Exhale.
As our Canadian guide told us during a kayak trip where it rained for eight days, “I love the rain,” you’ve just gotta dress for it.
About Jessica Williams
Jessica Williams created L.O.V.E. Parenting with a series of techniques for effective communication, deepened connection and more joy in parenting and life. Jessica is also the creator of www.UltimateParentingCourse.com with the best of today's progressive parenting experts together in one program. Jessica is a featured expert internationally on both Mothering.com’s Ask An Expert and the upcoming www.KidsInTheHouse.com. Jessica is a regular contributor to Mothering Magazine’s All Things Mothering, LA Parent Magazine, LA Mom Magazine & DailyBuzzMoms. She has been interviewed on television and radio and taught workshops at family wellness centers, schools and doctor’s offices. Her BirthKit has helped women have a transformational & empowering birth. Jessica maintains a private coaching practice in her native Los Angeles where she lives with her husband and their three children. “Truly amazing woman. I love her advice.”—Carrie-Anne Moss. “All you have shared has helped tremendously.”—Lisa Bonet. “I am experiencing nothing short of a miracle thanks to your laser beam approach.” –Andrea Bendewald.