Tuesday, March 10, 2009

This Heavenly Morning

This morning was one of those mornings. You know - the kind of morning you think should be illegal and you can't believe God is watching placidly from above? The kind of morning that you believe, rather, that God is laughing slyly from above? One of those mornings.

It didn't start out badly. We all woke up in good moods, Justin got off to work early, the girls and I were dressed, fed, and ready to go, only a few minutes late. It's picture day at Mia's preschool, so we chose a brand new, turquoise and white polka-dotted dress for her to wear. She sat almost still while I attempted piggy-tails, and ended up looking really cute if I do say so myself.

I told her all about picture day, and she seemed...well, not excited exactly, but not upset either. She seemed normal. Like picture day is no big deal. And it's not, really, but with Mia you never can tell if she'll balk at a normal activity, so I wanted to prepare her.

The girls were loaded in the car, and we'd backed out of the garage, when Mia suddenly remembered her baby doll. The baby doll I'd promised she could take in the car with her. The baby doll that is firmly by her side at all times these days.

It was too late to stop the car, unlock the house, and search for the doll, so I promised that I'd bring it when I picked her up after lunch. This was not an acceptable response. She melted down into a snotty, sobbing, kicking fit before we'd reached the end of our block. She wouldn't be calmed down, no matter how hard I tried. But really, how hard can you try when you're safely driving your vehicle?

I just turned up the music and hoped it would end before she started ripping her piggy-tails out. Thankfully, it never came to that. She was more sad than mad, so eventually she was only crying about needing a kleenex for her dripping face.

When we were almost to the building, her calm demeanor shattered again when she shouted "I need to GOOOO!!!" and started crying hysterically again. At this point, I remembered that we'd forgotten to go to the bathroom after she woke up this morning. She needed to GOOOO, as in, she needed to release 14 hours of pee, and if she didn't GOOOO soon, her beautiful dress for picture day would be not so beautiful after all.

I stomped on the gas. Forget what I said earlier about driving safely. My only concern was that she not pee before we could make it to the restroom.

Mia's face was mottled red and tear stained when I got her out of the car. Perfect for picture day.

With Lauren on my left hip, Mia's lunch bag and school supplies on my left shoulder, I hauled Mia from the car-seat and onto my right hip, hurrying as much as I could. I waddle-ran through the parking lot, and finally had to give up carrying both girls. Mia was slipping.

As I tried to put her down to walk, she clamped her legs around my middle, tightened her hold on my neck, and cried harder. "Hold you mama! Hold you!"

At the same time, Lauren was having a grand time on my other side trying to scale my stomach and chest, propelling herself on to the top my shoulder. You would have sworn there was a pack of wild dogs at my feet, by the way my girls were trying to climb my body. Not an easy task, for I am not a curvaceous mama. Picture two round piglets vying for the highest spot on an upright chopstick, and this was what we looked like as we crossed the parking lot.

And don't forget the wind is gusting at about 34 mph. Therefore, I am blinded my my hair.

We stumbled into the building, drawing pitying glances from the receptionist. Finally, I peeled Mia from my body, and got a better grip on Lauren. We set off for the stairwell. We, meaning Lauren and I. Mia would not budge from the place I'd stood her. She cried and reached out for me, but I couldn't move her. Nor could I carry her any longer. My chopstick-back was worn out.

Somehow, I convinced her into the elevator instead of the stairwell, where she continued her attempts to climb my leg. When the doors opened, again she was glued to the ground. I dragged her unwilling body across the threshold, and we were met by the director of the preschool program. She offered to help, so I handed Lauren to her and carried Mia into the classroom.

By this time, Lauren began to worry that the nice lady was stealing her, so she started crying too. I expected this to happen - the poor girl is forehead-deep in separation anxiety right now - but I had to get Mia to a bathroom, and fast. I ran us across the hall, sat Mia on the potty, and she cried into my lap while relieving herself. Then she got a long hug in mama's safe arms while I tried to calm her down. I could hear Lauren screaming in the other room, but...one thing at a time.

Meltdowns are infrequent for Mia at this age, but when they happen, there's not much rhyme or reason. It's just a disaster, in her mind, and they take a while to recover from. So I helped her to recover. We washed her face, fixed her hair, and talked about silly stuff.

When I got back to Lauren, she couldn't catch her breath for crying so hard. Tears ran down her cheeks and she squeezed her fists at me, falling into my arms as soon as I was within reaching distance.

I like feeling needed, but...seriously?! This was the most needing I've encountered so far. Two girls needing every ounce of me at the same time.

It was tough.

I'm sure God was laughing at my attempts to re-gain control of my babies. As if I have ever had it to begin with.

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