I love the series "if we were hanging out" because really it's just me pretending to sit across the table from you with a cup of coffee in my hand...chatting like we were actually together.
Motherhood is hard, right? Some days REALLY hard. If you're not a mom yet, don't let this post scare you, I promise not every day is like this.
And if you ARE a mom...you've been there, right?
Well, last Tuesday was one of those days. It wasn't just rough, it was R.O.U.G.H. You feel me?? Sigh.
Do you have your coffee yet? If not, go pour a cup and I'll tell you about it...that way next time your day makes you want to cry, you can know you're not alone. This isn't the only time I've written about the ridiculous chaos that is motherhood.
Let's start the story with a post I had written in 2014 (when Elsabet was two)...so you can get a glimpse of what I'm talking about before diving into what happened this week.
It has to do with a toddler, a sharpie, a kitten + kitty litter, and destroyed homework...all while I was trying to fix dinner.
. . . . . .
Did you read it? Are ya back? Ok great. So...my youngest daughter is wonderful and amazing but super high-energy. And slightly (more than slightly) exhausting.
Our ridiculous day last Tuesday was the last day of Summer break for Laith so he, Elsabet, and I planned to go to the museum...until Elsa threw up.
I snuggled her in a blanket and turned on PBS kids so she could rest while I cleaned up. Shortly after I the kitchen was (finally) clean from all the breakfast and lunch-packing chaos from the other kids who were already in school, Elsabet came up to me saying "I pulled out one of my braids."
Now before you think, "So? Who cares...just braid her hair up again", I've got to tell you that she has extensions. Yes. My FOUR-year-old has extensions. You have my permission to roll your eyes or chuckle. But if you don't have African heritage, it's hard to explain the hair-world to you. It's a thing. Like a HUGE deal.
On Easter, we had a bunch of friends over for brunch (since we don't have family in town, we open our home folks who also don't have family close by). My dear friend Millie, who is a refugee from Sierra Leone told me, "Elsabet needs extensions". I looked at her puzzled, "She DOES?! She's four!" But Millie convinced me I should do it and as I laughed, I told her if she wanted to do it herself, she was welcome to put them in.
So a week later she showed up at my doorstep with a bag full of hair and did.
Don't you just love friends?
Anyway, little Elsabet has had extensions in here and there since April. It takes about six hours to secure them onto her scalp because the kid just won't sit still! All the shows, snacks, games, jokes, more snacks, and anything we can think of, is not enough to distract her from wiggling and wanting to run around.
Sometimes we'll break it up into two days, which is so goofy looking (as you can see by the photo below). I try to not go anywhere when her hair is half done, I just get too many comments. (The non-stop hair comments kill me. People, I'm white. Give me a little grace here...I'm still figuring hair out.)
Look at this photo. I mean, laughter is totally appropriate here. She is SO wiggly that sometimes and refuses to sit still for more than a few minutes so it takes foreeeeeeever. This is real-life, people! Hilarious real life. (eye roll)
What I'm trying to say is the fact that she's pulling out sections of her braids is traumatic for me because I know how long it took to get them in! If you're wondering why we'd put our little girl through that many hours of sitting just for her hair...know that when her hair is done, we don't have to do it for a month or two! And with her beautiful but SUPER tight curls, that is just so major. Picking or brushing her hair each day makes me want to cry because it makes her cry so much.
She pulled some out. You get it.
The day was nutty, but she never acted sick. We decided it was just a "random throw up" and after attempting to lay-low much of the day but seeing she was just fine, we moved on with our afternoon.
Soon, it was their favorite time of day: gymnastics class. Imani was still putting her shoes on when I helped Elsabet into the car and climbed in myself. It was over 90 degrees outside so I quickly turned on the car to get the air conditioning started. We used to live in San Antonio and I remember constantly hearing about kids who died from being left in hot cars so I'm a little paranoid about the idea.
I realized before putting my seatbelt on that I'd forgotten my purse on the counter so I asked Elsa to finish getting her seatbelt on and I'd be right back.
Do you see where this is going??
I was gone for all of 45 seconds when I heard a weird sound and then all the kids yelling my name.
The car was in the garage. As in my 15-passenger van that has a rack and big black ski box on top and hense, doesn't even remotely fit in the garage was partially inside and had slammed against the side of the opening.
We had a carpenter friend over fixing some things and he was right next to my car grabbing a tool when it happened. Jumping partially in, he slammed his foot on the brake, the other leg dangling out of the vehicle.
I quickly hopped in, put the car into Park and realized I'd stopped breathing. Exhale.
I wasn't sure if I should make sure she was ok, yell, explain in detail what she did wrong, cry, be furious, hug her as tight as I possibly could, or what.
I think I did all of the above.
The car is pretty messed up and our freshly painted house will need some fixing. But goodness I'm thankful no one was hurt. And I sure learned my lesson about running back inside...even if just for a second...with the ignition on.
Ben and I always joke that we won't be throwing her an 18th birthday party. Instead, we'll throw ourselves a party to celebrate that we kept her alive 'till adulthood.
We love you, sweet Elsabet. But my love...you sure keep me on my toes! (And make me tired. And make me want to drink wine.)
I know you've had one of "those" days, too. What happened???