This is a real life true story I wrote almost a decade ago. I had one little baby who was about 18 months old. I was a new mommy just trying to figure it all out. It feels like yesterday. I sent this story to some of my people back then, but found it recently in an old file and thought that I’d post it now as Mother’s Day approaches.
There is so much heartache in the world today. So many to pray for. So many people, communities, countries who need healed in so many ways. Sometimes my heart just needs to sit back and reflect on something simple and silly. (It wasn’t all simple and silly at the time, but it still makes me smile.)
So I couldn’t fall asleep until 1:30am, and my baby awoke at 1:35am. I can’t remember when she finally fell back asleep. She awoke again at 6:00 am yelling loudly for MAMA MAMA. I did not respond, seeing as how I was determined to grab more than 3 hours of shut eye. She began calling DADA DADA, and my darling, groggy husband, who had also awoken in the wee hours of the night due to baby noises, emerged to care for her. Achieving her goal of rousing DADA, my sweet baby went back to crying MAMA MAMA MAMA MAMA. So she ended up in bed with us. My sweet little darling then tried to twist every strand of hair off of my head. By 6:30, we’d had enough. Daddy and Baby disappeared, and I think I heard the sound of early morning cartoons in the distance. I managed to rouse myself from bed to make breakfast at 8 while Daddy groggily rested on the couch, deciding if he needed the morning off. Baby, all the while, is extremely happy.
Later, Baby and I leave to run errands while Daddy sleeps on the couch. In a surge of energy, I decide to tackle two errands simultaneously. I will drop the car off at the oil change place and walk across the street to the grocery store where I need a few basics. When I’m done with my shopping, the car will be done. Voila! I pull out the umbrella stroller I keep in the back, for just these types of spontaneous, genius ideas. Two errands at once. I’m feeling grand as we walk across the street…
At the store, I fold up the stroller and put it underneath the shopping cart so Baby can sit high. She plays with her doll while I pick up a few things—pears, milk, cheese, eggs, bread…Baby joyfully says “bye bye” to everyone we pass in the store. We check out. Baby moves back to the stroller, and the bagger shows me three bags of groceries.
Now, the umbrella stroller has no “understorage” container, so I knew I would have to carry the groceries. I just didn’t realize there would be three bags. But not to be discouraged, I problem solve. The milk moves to the diaper bag. It’s easier to carry it that way anyway. The other little things in the milk bag move to bag #2, and we double bag it. Two grocery bags, a diaper bag, purse, and a stroller–I can handle it. While walking to the crosswalk, I decide to move some delicate things to the small pouch hanging behind the umbrella stroller, so I don’t crush them. I move the pears, the eggs, and the bananas.
A brief moment later, at the street, I have to lift the stroller up on the curb to wait for my “go” signal to cross. I push on the stroller with my knee, right on the back of the pouch where I’ve put the delicate groceries. My foot suddenly feels cold, wet, and a bit gooey. I look down, surprised that an egg has cracked and spilled all over my foot (and the banana bag). Sigh.
Fortunately, I am prepared!
I drop the groceries to the ground and quickly pull from the diaper bag the baby wipes! I also happen to have plastic baggies for dirty diapers, which are now used to hold diaper wipes sopped with clear and yellow egg drippings. (I know, I know….you are thinking “genius!”) I wrap the soppy egg carton in the fruit bag that used to hold pears. Why do pears need a bag anyway? I also move the eggs back to the paper grocery bag.
Now I have put all groceries in one bag, and am also carrying the diaper bag, full of baby-necessities (like wipes), my purse, a gallon of milk, cans of refried beans, a few loose pears, and Baby’s toy purse and baby doll which she no longer wants to carry after having sat in the parking lot for, um, a few minutes while I was…err…busy. Baby and I proceed across the street.
Amused at myself, I hope I don’t look too conspicuous crossing the street in the middle of one of the wealthiest areas of town, what with my foot sticking to the egg goo on my flip flop, my overstuffed diaper bag spilling at the edges and my overfilled grocery bag banging my knee with every step. A nice Lexus waits to turn right so I can finish crossing without being run over. I smile and nod because I really am so appreciative.
Back safely at the oil change place, the man proceeds to tell me I need about $400 worth of “regular maintenance” on my car. I politely tell him we’ve just had the maintenance done. I’m proud I am so polite because the egg is starting to dry on my foot and my patience is growing kind of thin. After managing to leave through the heavy, glass door with my child, stroller, and all of our bags, going home to our apartment on the third floor is practically effortless.
Any energy I’d mustered that morning is totally gone once I get the groceries unloaded and the baby down for a nap. Daddy has gone to work. The egg-sopped flip flops remain at the door. It’s nap time for Mama.
Little did I know that exactly one year to the day of my original writing of this experience, I would give birth to my second baby. To all the moms out there who do their best for the kiddos, gooey flip flops or not, thank you and happy early Mother’s Day!