There have been a few really yucky moments in my short career as a mother. For example,
We were somewhere in rural Illinois, along one of the highways, stopped at a what could have been any gas station in rural America. For being only the 1st of December, it was already bitterly cold, and my husband was outside, shivering, filling the van with gas. I was inside the gas station, inside the grungy bathroom. As you can expect, the bathroom was large enough for only one toilet, which sat facing a small, graying sink. The tiles on the floor were white, and chipped and uneven. It was the bathroom we’ve all used while traveling, because we had no choice. Only I wasn’t in there alone.
My sweet baby girl, just a year old, sat on that dirty floor looking up at me. My son, two and a half, stood by the door, twisting the door knob, luckily not quite far enough, not just yet. I shook my head and took a mental picture, labeling it my mental archives with the caption, “best mother ever.”
These are the moments as a mother that I wasn’t prepared for. The moments where there is no good solution, and you just do what you have to do. I couldn’t believe I had my little girl sitting on that terrible floor and yet, what were my alternatives? Leave the kids out in the freezing car? Allow them to wander the gas station alone as I use the bathroom? Or, take them in there with me…
It only took my son about 2 minutes to figure out how to open the door, which added a whole new element of fun to what was already a hilarious situation. Soon the door was swinging open and shut as he ran in and out. I’m there, trying to dig toilet paper scraps out of my baby’s mouth while frantically attempting my hands washed and get out of there.
Which I did. And we got back into the car and a few hours later pulled into our own driveway.
I don’t know why these few moments I spent in a dingy bathroom in a Illinois gas station on our return trip from Thanksgiving have stuck with me so completely. I guess in some ways they just really and honestly capture what motherhood really is: a total loss of bathroom privacy, loss of personal space, a loss of warm food, quiet time, and a spotless house. All those things, gone. And let in their place, two (soon three) little human beings so wonderfully unpredictable and vibrant that I’d happily take all the yucky moments again, as well as the millions yucky unpleasant moments yet to come.
Got any yucky mommy moments to share? I’d love to hear them!