As a special needs parent I have learned that some days you will rock it and other days you will fail on a grand scale.
See, I have not become a better parent with each child.
My first was so quiet and good that she made parenting seem easy.
My second was completely different but manageable.
My third is, well, he’s Nathan.
He has autism, and he really needs a security detail to monitor him.
And I’m tired.
Nathan loves water. Water is his jam, his boo, his muse if you will. So if you leave him alone in a room, any room with water, you are asking for it.
And that’s just what I did, on a grand scale, a couple of months ago.
It all started with the day from hell.
I second guessed getting up that morning from the minute I opened my eyes.
Something did not feel right about it.
Some may call it a premonition and some may call it the feeling when your son is kicking you repeatedly in your lady business.
Either way, it’s not right.
I managed not to yell loudly enough for my neighbors to hear and got myself into my 6 am shower where I find that my teenager has absconded with all of my toiletries and I must now use what’s within arms reach in the cabinet.
Strawberry Shortcake shampoo.
Fabulous, I will smell like an eight-year-old today.
I make a mental note to seek revenge against my fifteen-year-old daughter and carry on because I have my act together.
That is my new mantra.
On the way to my son’s preschool, he throws everything he can get his hands on at me and laughs when he hits me in the head.
He nailed me with the iPad.
I am a living carnival game to him, I think, but say nothing, because I’m not going to lose it today.
I refuse to be a bad mom!
After drop off, I collect my thoughts, pop a couple of Excedrin, and head to the grocery store to pick up a few items.
When I finished self-checking all of the groceries (shout out to Wal -Mart for making me work for it), I realize that my wallet is missing.
This is where I’d usually panic, but not today, I am sure it’s at home, and when I get back I find it, mysteriously on my eight-year old’s bed.
I will have a chat with her about this when I calm down; I reason because I have my act together.
I am not a bad mother.
Now the kids and I are all at home, and as much as I want a plate of brownies and a Lifetime Movie, I must fold at least some of the five loads of laundry sitting on top of the billiard table we never use.
I recently read that music can improve any state of mind, so I dial up one of my playlists and get into folding the towels.
Just kidding, I’ll never get into folding anything, but my 80’s playlist was on, and all was right for about five minutes.
When I heard my daughter screaming I knew it had happened…. again.
“Mom! Mom! MOMMMMMM!!!!!!! HELLLLLLPPPPPP!!!!
It was the toilet by the kitchen.
This would make the fourth time Nathan had clogged it with a toy giraffe, article of clothing or an entire roll of toilet paper.
I calmly walked toward the bathroom, carrying the freshly folded towels to clean up any mess.
I have my act together; I tell myself. This happens to everyone; I say out loud.
It’s fine. No big deal.
When I am about to go psycho I talk to myself out loud.
I could still hear my playlist; Jon Bon Jovi was singing about Livin on a Prayer. I could do this. I too could live on a prayer.
Until I looked in the bathroom.
There was my half naked son smiling at me so proud of what he had done.
What we had wanted him to do for so long all by himself. He pooped in the potty.
The potty that he had clogged.
Then the potty overflowed. What I saw was a bathroom floor flooded with sewage and a giant turd on the edge of the toilet seat.
Oh my gosh. I had to get to work drying up the water-fast. I knew the drill.
I calmly asked my daughter to take Nathan into the other room so that I could get to it. I stayed pretty calm throughout the cleanup and did not curse one single time -out loud.
Then, just as I was finishing, I hear the toilet flush again.
What the hell?
It was Nathan.
Somehow he had gotten back into the bathroom and flushed it.
He laughed at me as the water started rising once again.
About that time I hear the song.
The piano at the beginning. I recognized it right away.
Oh, Lord no.
Bonnie Tyler is singing to me.
That haunting voice…
Now the giant log was getting caught up in the new flow of water, and I was afraid it would make contact so after yelling at my daughter to get her brother I asked her to get me the spaghetti strainer.
She asked if that was what we were having for dinner because she wanted sloppy joes.
I explained to her that we were not negotiating dinner right now and that I was literally in a shit storm and needed the strainer.
And swore off spaghetti after she saw me attempting to corral the fecal matter into the vessel that drains her noodles.
There was Bonnie again.
But now the water was coming so fast that I had to drop the strainer and try to cut the water line off.
It was as if Old Faithful had erupted from inside the toilet! I managed to turn the water off but not before a good two inches of sewage made it into my bathroom for the second time.
I was on my hands and knees, covered in gunk, desperately trying to dry up any “water” that had made its way under my daughter’s cabinet when I found myself face to face with my fiercest adversary of the day.
My son’s giant turd.
Every now and then I fall apart….
Damn you, Bonnie Tyler!
That is when I lost it!
I mean lost it!
Nobody should ever have to come that close to actual crap!
Somehow I had made it through every obstacle that day with dignity, yet there I was covered in crap, wet from the sewage, ugly crying like a baby, sitting next to the toilet on the bathroom floor.
Every now and then I fall apart.
Me too, Bonnie. Me too.
And that’s how you fail people.