So I’m all dolled up in the Longest Sheital Ever (henceforth referred to as LSE), for the second night seder with my kids. I wrangled them to take a nap, and now the time has come to wake them up from it. I hear a thud. One has fallen. Off my bed, the only place forcing three kids this age to take a nap two hours before bedtime actually works. He comes stumbling in teary and I kiss the noggin. We gotta get the other two!
They will NOT wake up. New meaning to “dead to the world.” I actually start freaking a little, but use the opportunity to dress them easily without a fuss. One gets his complete outfit, including socks and tzit-tzis, before he even blinks a little.
Then the Great Shoe War of 2017. I purposely let my kids pick their shoes on Amazon.com. So they would wear them! Because I have bought so many Shabbos shoes that refuse to be worn, and I thought if they pick them, we’ll be smooth sailing. But wrong. The cute little loafers have the nerve to come with DOTS – rubber dots to keep the back of the shoes nice when driving. Because five-year-olds drive. My five-year-old HATES the dots, which blasted Amazon did not show in their photos. I hide his tennis shoes while he’s sleeping so the dot loafers are the only option.
Which results in the War. I’m rushing everyone to leave, and the tiny kid refuses to wear the bright blue shoes he chose because they’re a half-size too big, because that’s what happens when you order shoes on Amazon two days before yontif. But he’s cool with riding in the stroller in socks, and at this point so am I. He’s not cool with going potty before we leave, which I hope will be okay since he’s used to sleeping dry through the night and he’s basically still asleep.
Dot loafer drama continues with the older one while the other two kids wait in the stroller with our overnight bag and all the wine and grape juice we’re bringing. LSE (wig) is making me sweat, along with the screaming of the kid who can’t find his tennis shoes. Should I give in and show him where they are? Nahhh, I paid good money for those loafers, and he needs to wear them!! But he doesn’t. I give him two choices – option a – dot loafers, option b – barefoot. Of course he chooses option c – scream and yell and hit mommy and throw things until the neighbors call the police. Which thank G-d they didn’t. (I don’t think.)
I keep doing 1-2-3 Magic (laughing at myself now for all the things I try), the latest in the line of parenting techniques for my strongest-willed most sensitive boy, giving him accumulating minutes of timeouts as he screams bloody murder all the way down Strathmore.
Did I mention I’m pushing over 200 pounds of stroller because the biggest one sprained his ankle a few weeks back and I’m scared to make him walk too much.
Screaming One racks up 25 minutes of time-out time, which at first I say will be time he has to sit away from the seder, but then I renege because I don’t want to embarrass him in front of our hosts and I really don’t want the fight when we get there and Hello I want my son at the seder. “I’m changing my mind. You’ll get your timeout another time. You can come to the table. I don’t want to embarrass you.”
“I’m not coming!”
“Okay, if you want to embarrass yourself, that’s fine.” I can’t help being a little snarky. At least I haven’t lost my cool.
Everything’s fine by the time we get there, except I’m schvitzing (sweating) like an ox (do they sweat?) in all 26 inches of my LSE, and I sit down to give the Not-Screaming-Anymore-One some love since he really needs it most and the tiny one says he wet his pants. We haven’t been at the seder 5 minutes and I’m on pants number two, which thank G-d I had the sense and forethought to pack.
Phew! Everything is going GREAT! The seder is lovely, the people are wonderful, the krain (horseradish) is kicking in the best way possible, my kids are behaving nicely alternating between sitting nicely at the table and playing nicely with their friends. Nicely! And I’m just getting to enjoy being a Jewish mommy. Until the third cup. I pour the third cup, when one says, “Ewwee it stinks! He pooed!” Which means, his pants. Not his diaper, because I ban diapers stubbornly on my potty training mission. And not his underwear, because he already wet those and I didn’t have the sense or forethought to pack extras of those. Only pants. Ohhhhhhh no. This may be bad. My baby clearly can’t handle two cups of grape juice and all that gefilte fish.
LSE flies in the wind as I rush, praying it’s not true, to examine the dirt. It’s true. And there’s something about the smell of grape juice disaster. Ewe! He’s playing with Lego like nothing happened. “Baby, we gotta change you.” He’s playing with Lego like I don’t exist, like he’s a deaf child with no one else in the room. “Babe,” I’m trying to be subtle and quiet and not let anyone know that my son probably has disaster alllllll down his leg and this amounts to a mommy crisis: “Babe, honey, love, darling. We gotta go to the bathroom. I need to change you. Now.” Lego. Like happy oblivious clean tush Lego. So much oblivion that I look into the pants to make sure the smell equals disaster. “Pick the toy you want to take to the bathroom, because we’re going, now!” Urgent disaster.
“Hmmm….” he finally answers in the cutest way, “I’ll take this one!” I scoop him up under the arms, held out like a stinky baby bomb and we rush to the bathroom. Third cup waiting. They continue the seder and ask no questions, thank G-d.
And we’re in there, and now LSE has become MASE (Most Annoying Sheital Ever) because as I bend down and look down to clean this disaster, it’s just in my face. I WILL CUT YOU, LSE! GET OUT OF MY WAY, OR I SWEAR I WILL CUT YOU AS SOON AS THE CLOCK STRIKES HALF PAST HAVDALAH TOMORROW. The last thing you need when dealing with a grape juice blowout without containment of undies or diaper is a THOUSAND DOLLAR WIG IN YOUR FACE BLOCKING THE VIEW AND GETTING CLOSE TO THE POO!
The cutie is playing and singing, “Ninjaaaago, Ninjaaaaaaago, Ninjaaaaaaago.”
I hereby bless all mothers who have wipies in their bathrooms. Thank you, Dear Hostess, for having wipies in your bathroom! I am sorry for what we left in your trashcan. I tried to flush most of it with tissues. And the pants, the sweet seer-sucking pants, they should have gone into the trash too, but I would never do that to a friend. So they went to my stroller for the next 18 hours or so, because for my grossed-out non-Jewish readers, we can’t do laundry on Pesach!
Deep breath. He’s clean still singing the Ninjago song, enamored by this tiny Lego man, and I take three more deep breaths and flush. And he sings, “Bye bye poooooooooooo!” in that sweetie voice, and it’s all worth everything, even the darn wig. I burst out laughing and he hugs me and basically yanks my sheital off and I get that much closer to cutting it into my dream lob and we return to our seder like Happy Heroes.
I earned that Third Cup. And the Fourth.
For everyone who was worried about me after my Erev Pesach Self Pity post, we’re good. Life is beautiful again, and all my shoe-less, pants-less Loves are snoring in their beds where they belong. Except the Dot-Loafer-Refuser just woke up and is scavenging for potato chips, gotta go!