So. I got good and riled up as I was leaving daycare this morning, tears even, and I was going to write this awesome angry/sad heaving, little pieces of kleenex stuck in your eyebrows kind of post for you. But after a trip through the Dunkies drive through for a supersized portion of "My Feelings" for breakfast, I am feeling a bit better and a little silly for all the sobbing I did in my car in the daycare parking lot.
It started out like any other day. I got dressed from the pile of clothes in my closet. I got Wesley dressed. Ryan got Charlie dressed and gave him breakfast (blueberries and toast). We filled bottles. We remembered Blue Bear (Charlie's daytime Phent proxy). We remembered Wesley's swaddling blanket and the "personal item that smells like me" that his teacher hopes will comfort him enough that he won't spend the day screaming and rending his garment (I sent in my pillowcase. They asked for a shirt that I had slept in, but that really grossed me out). Ryan left for work. I loaded the boys into the car. We left. We sang songs, we pointed out trucks and buses and flags and horses. We got gas, we played with the windshield wipers, we talked about Wesley's baptism this weekend and Charlie's baptism two years ago.
We took Wesley to his classroom. I put away the bottles, the lunchbox, the blanket, the pillowcase. I took Wesley out of his car seat. Blowout. His teacher "I think he has some poop on him." "Oh look at that. It must have happened in the car. Sorry." "Don't worry, I'll change him." "Oh, thank you, that would be great." Take Charlie to his room, settle him in for pretzels and apple juice. Put away his jacket, Blue Bear. Walk to the front.
"Wesley had a potty accident and he doesn't have any extra clothes." the front desk lady says. "I know, I'm going to go look for something in my car."
Look in the car. Charlie's shorts, Charlie's pants, wet diaper, baby blanket, size N diaper, fast food cup, fast food bag, toddler swimsuit, my sweater, my hat, Charlie's hat, pacifier, toy truck. At last, Wesley's sweatshirt! Search trunk for a pair of pants, shorts, onezie, anything. More junk, more shame, tears, MESSY CAR, MESSY LIFE, NO EXTRA CLOTHES FOR THE BABY, FAIL FAIL FAIL, shame spiral, tears, self-chastisement for tears, stiff upper lip. Skulk back into Wesley's classroom holding sweatshirt. Find him sitting happily in Exersaucer wearing a borrowed onezie. Offer sweatshirt. Receive Look of Condemnation from teacher. "It's OK, we have extra clothes." FAIL FAIL FAIL. Leave before the tears. Leave before the tears. Run/walk to car. Cry. Bang steering wheel. Scream "I'M DOING THE BEST I CAN." Wonder if professionally dressed dad outside heard me.
Drive to donut place. Continue "I'm doing the best I can. I'm doing the best I can. I'm doing the best I can." Order two donuts because why the eff not? Pull up to trashcan, clean out car as much as possible. Cry some more. Wonder if this feeling of being totally out of control and never being good enough for anyone will ever go away. Doubt it. Remember that I've been averaging about five hours of sleep a night since September. Decide to drink some coffee before calling Dr. Advisor and quitting right there on the access road to the highway. Eat donut. Feel slightly better.
Then I got angry. Because of everything Wesley and Charlie need at daycare, forgetting clothes is of the least consequence. He has to have bottles, his blanket, his pillowcase. Charlie has to have Blue Bear. They have extra clothes there. It would be better if he had clothes in his cubby, but since they insist on changing him every time he spits up it is difficult to maintain a supply. I AM doing the best I can. So what if everyone else's best includes name-brand diapers, cute little multi-piece outfits for their infants, a week's worth of extra clothes in the cubby, feeding instructions in painstaking detail taped to their diaper bags. I dress Wesley in simple clothes because I know they have a lot of babies to take care of and there's no reason for them to be doing up three sets of snaps every time they change him. I give them basic feeding instructions because I know they have to develop their own rhythm with him, that he responds differently to different caregivers and as long as he is getting enough to eat it doesn't matter how many ounces he eats before he burps.
My kids are happy and healthy and clean. They learn about current events, we eat dinner together as a family every night, Charlie knows how to care for his sapling, he can point out the roots of the weeds I pull in the back yard. He his helpful and courteous. He is curious and bright. Wesley is a happy baby. He smiles, he coos, he is trying to roll over. Charlie is his hero.
And once we all start getting some sleep, we'll be unstoppable.