Not all days are created equal. Some days just want to test your patience and see if you crack.
Honestly, most days with Zoey are really good. Every toddler has their moments when they’re tired or hungry, which is to be expected. You can’t have a perfect little angel all the time and that’s okay because that’s when the learning opportunities happen.
However, some days just spiral out of control quickly and without warning.
I want to share a day I had on Monday July 2, 2018. When writing a blog it’s easy to focus on the fun days and the big moments, but for the sake of realness, I want to write about a day that is just part of the process of raising a toddler.
Monday wasn’t the worst day ever or anything like that. It was just a normal day that took a 2 hour detour.
The day started like a typical Monday for us. I got up when Zoey woke up and changed her pull-up. (We are actually in the middle of potty training right now. I will be writing a blog about that later, so keep an eye out.)
We ate some breakfast and I fed the dogs. After that I changed her clothes, got ready and packed her bag. We have a Monday play date with some of my friends and their kids to make sure the little ones get to play and socialize.
We decided to meet up at a park to let the kids play on the playground. They all had fun as usual. Zoey was really interested in swinging this time. She hasn’t really paid much attention to the swings before, but I think seeing her friend do it made her excited about it.
The whole morning had gone smoothly. We had no had meltdowns, no potty issues, the kids played well together and no one got hurt on the playground. It was just a good, solid Monday morning.
At this point in the story I should mention that we have three dogs. There are two big dogs, Roxie and Tito and one little dog, Kenney. Kenney was full grown when Lisa found him getting ready to run out in traffic at a KFC. We don’t know how old he is, but we’ve had him for 11 years. Tito was a 5 pound puppy I barely saw before he ran in front of my truck around the same time Lisa found Kenney. Roxie was a pound puppy we took home in 2005 just before we got married, which makes her 13. So they are all getting older.
I should also mention that a couple of weeks ago we decided to change their food. We thought, “Wouldn’t it be nice to pay $20 bucks for 50 pounds of dry dog food rather than $45?” What’s the worst that could happen, right?
Fast forward to this particular Monday and I can tell you what’s the worst that can happen…
Zoey and I get home from the park and I put on her backpack and get her out of the car. I carry her up to the door in one arm and unlock the deadbolt with the hand I have free. As soon as I open the door, I smell it…
I can immediately tell something awful has happened while we’ve been gone. I see that Tito’s stomach has gotten upset and he’s pooped in the kitchen. The boy never does anything gentle and he has obviously panicked about using the bathroom in the house and has darted around all over the place. He’s left a trail from the kitchen to the living room.
The last thing I wanted to do when I got home was clean up poop. All I wanted to do was give Zoey a little food and put her down for a nap. However, the day had different plans for me and I had to accept my new, very stinky, reality. I went to the cabinet to get out a new roll of paper towels (guy code states that we must use 200% more paper towels than necessary to clean up a mess.)
As I start to clean up Tito’s mess, Zoey tells me she needs to use the potty, which is great news. However, she’s saying it because I didn’t change her out of her pull up like I normally would have and she’s peed through it. I see a puddle in the living room floor. So I stop cleaning up Tito’s mess and take Zoey to the potty.
Zoey peed a little more in the potty. I figured she just peed enough to go through her pull up and peed some more in the potty, so I’m good to put her in her underwear to resume potty training now that we are back home. Then I go grab a towel and clean up where she peed in the floor.
After that was done I went back to finish cleaning up Tito’s mess. Of course it has sat there since we were at the park so I’m having to spray Lysol all over it to loosen it enough to make any progress. After spraying and scrubbing for a good 20 minutes I finally get it all cleaned up.
Then I decide I need to put Zoey down for her nap. When I go to her room I see that Tito got super sick back there, too. In the kitchen and living room, everything landed on a solid surface. Zoey’s room is carpeted, so that’s great (I say with as much sarcasm I can in a blog post).
Like before, I resign myself to the idea of cleaning even more poop. I get another roll of paper towels and some carpet cleaning spray. I go ahead and bring the whole trash can into her room.
I’m on my knees scrubbing poop when I hear Zoey holler, “Daddy, I need to go potty!” So I stop what I’m doing and rush to get Zoey but I’m too late. She’s already peed on the floor again. This time she peed near my beloved entertainment center. It looks like it’s far enough away from the electronics that I’m safe to run her to the potty before I clean the floor. Again.
I take her back to the potty and she doesn’t pee anymore. I clean her up and grab a towel to take care of the mess in the living room. Of course the pee has traveled and is trying to go under the entertainment center. I push the entertainment center back against the wall and try my best to clean underneath everything.
Once that is settled I go back to Zoey’s room and finish scrubbing her carpet. No matter how much cleaner I use, the poop just won’t come up. So I decide to get out the big guns and head to the closet to get out the MIGHTY STEAM CLEANER OF DESTRUCTION! (To be fair, it’s just a normal steam cleaner but where’s the fun in that?)
It’s rare that we ever get this thing out but desperate times call for desperate measures. I fumble around with this silly contraption and finally figure out where to put the hot water and where the cleaning solution goes. I get everything put back together and start steam cleaning the carpet.
I go over the spots multiple times and I pull the trigger to spray the solution but the spots remain unaffected. I keep trying but it’s just not working. Finally I kneel down and touch the carpet to feel how wet it is. (I’ve been spraying it like crazy so I don’t want it to get over saturated.) IT’S COMPLETELY DRY!
Is my steam cleaner broken? Nope. I leaned down to check the water tank and as I moved it a little bit, I felt it slide into place. I didn’t have it situated perfectly so nothing sprayed out, no matter how much I pulled that trigger. Apparently I was just brushing doo doo into the carpet the whole time.
After that, I turn the steam cleaner back on and every time I pull the trigger I can easily see water and cleaning solution spraying out. I continue cleaning and progress is being made. Then I see Zoey come running in all excited telling me she needs to use the bathroom again. (How is that even possible at this point? She’s already used the bathroom twice since we got home!)
Sure enough, she starts peeing on the carpet in her room. I pick her up and rush her to the bathroom for the third time. Then I get her cleaned up again and grab another towel to clean up yet another mess. I get it as dry as possible and then I resume steam cleaning. Once I finish cleaning Tito’s spots, I go over Zoey’s pee spot, too.
After 2 long hours of cleaning up poop and pee nonstop, I finally have the house back in order. I pour out the dirty water and put the steam cleaner back in the closet. I get Zoey ready for her nap and lay her down. I plop down on the couch and I can finally relax.
Like I said, this wasn’t the worst of days by any means, but those moments can be exhausting. All parents know what it’s like to just want to relax while everything is spiraling out of control around them. All you can do is keep pushing and know this moment will pass.