What happens after you die? Where do you go?
Some say you leave your body and find yourself in a completely new dimension of either unimaginable joy or unimaginable sorrow. If you’re a parent then you know these two worlds coexist and have joint custody over your soul. You spend weekdays in purgatory and every other weekend and holidays in absolute rapture.
But if you’re the parent if a toddler than don’t even bother unpacking your overnight bag. You’ll be making an emotional trek between those two competing realities on a day-to-day, minute-to-minute basis. Welcome to the roller coaster. It’s too late to get off now so buckle up and enjoy the ride.
I get up at 6:00 am every morning, not because I’m a morning person or because I have some super awesome routine for super successful women, but because I literally take two hours to get ready. Insert a high energy toddler into the mix and suddenly I need an extra 45 minutes to account for unforeseen tantrums and general baby hi-jinks.
At 6:00 am the alarm goes off. I roll over, hit snooze, scream into the pillow and try to fit 72 hours of restful sleep into the next ten minutes. Hey, a girl can dream. A part of my soul dies and I scroll through my Facebook feed as a coping mechanism.
It’s 6:10 and the alarm goes off again. I run through a mental checklist of legitimate-ish reasons to call in sick. I try to convince my husband to get up and shower first so I can stay in bed. Until he reminds me that he is off today because he’s having a $2,500 root canal finished. Oh right! That’s why I need to go to work. So I can pay for shit like $2,500 root canals.
By 6:30 I’m in the shower, basically lucid dreaming, while I wash my hair three times in a row because I wasn’t conscious for the first two. When I come-to I realize I just washed my face with shampoo and used the conditioner as body wash. Why did I stay up so late watching Hill House last night?
Its 7:00 am now and who knows how long I’ve been sitting on the edge of the bed, in my towel, staring at the wall. If only there existed a product that was stronger than coffee but less illegal than cocaine. By now I am already on my second bowl of coffee and my Google search history is filled with things like:
1. Can you mix caffeine pills into coffee?
2. How to get pee out of chiffon
3. How to make wine in the Instant Pot
By 7:30 I’ve manage to throw on my five-minute-face and achieve “good enough” flat iron curls in my hair. I get the baby up and we engage in our routine morning UFC match on the change table. If the two bowls of coffee weren’t enough to wake me all the way up, the roundhouse kick my son just delivered to my trachea sure did the trick. I decide its pajama day at daycare because I. Just. Can’t. Even. If I’m being honest, every day is pajama day because I hate getting him dressed in the morning. #workingmomhack
It’s now 7:45 and I feed the baby breakfast, which really means I’m feeding the dog breakfast. At least I don’t have to scrub the bowl of Quick Oates up off the floor because our Aussie is all over that like a fat kid on cake.
By this time it’s almost 8:00 and I am running around in tizzy, mumbling expletives under my breath, wondering where all my time went and frantically looking for my phone which is in my hand. The car is loaded and all that’s left are the two of us. We did it! I actually just pulled this off! Wait a minute… why is it so quiet? Where’s Finn? I come into the kitchen to find he has vomited all over the floor, crawled through it, and is currently finger painting with it on the cupboards.
I am no longer of this world. I am writing to you from the beyond. My son has killed me.
In 8 minutes I manage to wash him, change him, take a temperature reading, text my boss that I might be late, re-pack a tender tummy friendly lunch and sanitize the kitchen – all without getting a single drop of puke on my dress. I’ll wait for your applause.
I finally get him off to daycare and I hit the highway to work, only to get stuck behind a train. But I make it on time. I found a rift in the time/space continuum and somehow defied the natural laws of the physical world. Again, cue applause.
I spend the next eight hours serving the financial needs of the general public and collecting on delinquent loans. The latter is basically dealing with bigger, louder, less intelligent toddlers.
Fast forward to 6:00 pm and I have somehow survived the day. I sit for a minute in the garage, in total silence, taking a deep cleansing breath and digesting the minutes of the day. I just need these few moments of quiet to be alone with my thoughts before I step into the house and into the chaos of our evening routine.
But when I do, the most beautiful thing happens. My weary soul steps out of purgatory and into paradise. My baby boy is waiting and watching for me out the window. When I walk through that door his face lights up and that toothy grin spreads from ear to ear. He breathes fast in excited anticipation and begins to squeal. As I walk towards him with outstretched arms he lets go of the coffee table he was clutching for support and drops to his knees. He crawls fast and furious towards my legs, pulls himself up and reaches for me. His giggles fall all around me like confetti. He wraps his tiny arms around my neck, buries his face into mine with a sloppy kiss and bounces in my arms with glee. I smile back at him and rub my nose against his. He lets out a belly laugh so deep it radiates from his kneecaps and illuminates every corner of my heart.
He brought me back to life, and I died all over again.
But this time, I woke up in heaven.
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