I cried twice today.
Before I type on, it must be noted that, with two toddlers, there are a lot of teardrops in my house (including my own). Today, the watery eyes belonged to me.
Not because of the poop in my bed at 7:15 a.m. Yes, smeared poo. Yes, my bed. And not because of the ridiculous amount of cash I spent at the mall, although I will admit that both events (the poo and the money dropped) did make me want to scream. Or punch someone. Or both.
But I didn't. Instead, I cried. Twice. And for once, the tears were happy.
You should first know that 7:15 a.m. is sleeping in at my house. I don't set an alarm, because two small angels-disguised-as-children typically wake me up. I should've taken the late wake-up call as sign Number One that something was terribly wrong.
Instead, when the sideways pillow view of my 2-year old's sweet face was the first thing I saw this morning, I melted.
"Momma. Hi..." she said. It was so lovely. "I wanna cuddle," she said.
"Well, climb in," I said in a near-whisper, barely awake.
I pulled her up. She had all her stuff. Her pink-and-green silky blanket, commonly known as "pink." Her soft kitty. Her "baby." And a few small items in each palm.
Suddenly, it was just mommy, her giant pile of goods, and baby girl, all curled in. I knew at this moment, we'd be late for preschool. 4-year old darling boy wasn't even awake yet. And I was in no hurry, cuddling with a precious toddler, who smelled so sweet. Her hair so soft. Her voice so adorable. Her little "mmmm's" touching my soul every time I squeezed her so tight.
It was a perfect moment. And moms know that these perfect moments come. And they go. Just like the wind. Or just like the precise moment baby girl turned and said, "momma, there's poop on my 'pink' and on my finger."
Still half-asleep, I didn't believe it to be poop. Afterall, I couldn't smell poop in her pull-up. But then, we were underneath piles of covers and in-between piles of "stuff."
"Honey, it's probably just dirt," I reassured.
"No, momma. It's po-IH-op (poop in 3 syllable toddler-speak, with a high-pitched spike in the 2nd syllable)," she said so quietly.
I smelled. Sure enough........
I ripped the covers back. Discovered a smear of it on my (white) sheets. A mess of brown all over her bottom. No pull-up. No pajama bottoms. What?
I know you're thinking this is when I cried. But it's not.
I'm assuming at this point she went in her pull-up and ripped it off in her downstairs room. Then, she came upstairs and crawled in bed, just one big poopy mess.
We cleaned it all up, woke big brother, and told him the story because he LOVES stories. He laughed. I laughed. Sweet girl even laughed. Then he got up to go potty, and when he did, he suddenly screamed, "Mmmooommmmm, you're a LLLLIIIIAAAARRRR!"
We ran to the bathroom, and he pointed to the toddler potty. The three of us stood over it, and we stared quietly with full concentration, full attention, eyes so wide... at the turd and toilet paper left in the bowl by baby girl.
"You lied because you said she went in her pull-up, and she did NOT poop in her pull-up," he so firmly stated. "She went in the potty!!!!!!!!! All by herself!!!!!!!!!!!!"
He was right. I was wrong. And right then, we celebrated! We danced. We jumped up and down. We screamed, "yayyyyyy!!" We ate Oreos for breakfast.
And I cried. Happy tears. Because after all these months, all this torture, all this beating into her head that she has to "put it in the potty," she did just that. All alone. On a Wednesday morning in April. I can't believe I'm about to say this, but it was one of the most satisfying moments I've had yet as a mother.
A short time later, I wanted to cry at how late we were for preschool. But I was too excited.
It wasn't until later that morning, at the mall of all places, the tears came pouring out for a second time this day. I'm certain the ladies at the Gap must've thought I was mental. Truly, they kept staring. Even from the corner, I caught them eyeing me, and when I spotted them watching, they would quickly look away. I could tell by their faces, they thought I was the nut-case customer. And frankly, I was beginning to feel like the crazy lady in the crazy corner. But I honestly couldn't stop the blubbering.
Here's why. 4-year old weighed-in at his recent doctor's check-up at nearly fifty pounds, his height in the 90-something-th percentile. Nothing fits him anymore, and that's why I was at the mall. So I strolled into BabyGap, just like I always have. But after browsing the darling choices, I realized that none of them would fit my son anymore. None. No more toddler clothes. No more "BabyGappers," as he called the shorts and jammies from his favorite store. Suddenly, he was a big kid. As in, GapKids. As in, a size extra-small or 5 from the big-kid store. The store next to BabyGap. Size 5T just doesn't fit anymore.
It hit me like a ton of bricks. That he was getting bigger, and it was happening right before my eyes, yet I didn't even realize it and had barely stopped to notice.
And I couldn't stop crying.
I finally got my nutty act together, and I told the lady that, gosh, it was just so upsetting to me that my first-born, precious baby doesn't fit into BabyGap clothes anymore! She smiled, but she did so cautiously, as I'm confident she was ready to call the proper authorities at any moment to come carry me off.
She never had to do that. Instead, she took my credit card and rang up the pile of big-boy clothes I'd chosen, as I wiped away my tears.
Happy tears. That we'd reached another turning point, another milestone. Kinda like baby girl's poop in the potty. But this moment, it was a stream of tears, along with a slight grin, that my baby boy, my first child, was doing exactly what he was supposed to do: he was growing up.