Boil the Carrots


Y’all… sometimes all you can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other. We’re in the thick of harvest and late night homecomings for Harrison. I’m flying solo, doing my best to keep it all together. Some nights it goes great, other nights it doesn’t. Last night fit in the latter category. The whole night felt like a race against the clock and time was winning.

I picked up Caroline and Sailor at 5:20. Caroline was in the best mood and Sailor smelled like death come to life. T-minus 2 hours and 10 minutes until Caroline’s bedtime.

I got home, unloaded the car, the baby, and everything but the kitchen sink. I put Caroline in her booster seat on the porch with me while I watered the plants that looked like they hadn’t had a drink in a fortnight. (Dramatic, much?) T-minus 1 hour and 45 minutes until bedtime.

I put Sailor in the bathtub and scrubbed her down while Caroline was still hanging out in her seat. Thankfully she decided to be cooperative. Who? Both of them. Sailor enjoyed her peanut butter smeared on the side of the tub (yeah, it’s an extra thing to clean, but she stood still) while I scrubbed the literal poop off of her with my bare hands. Caroline decided that then was a great time to learn the “throw the toy and complain about it” game. I got the dog 68% dry, sprayed the tub down with Clorox, and moved on to the next while Sailor went absolutely feral, rubbing her damp hair all over every wall and piece of furniture I own; added all of that to the list of things that I should clean, but won’t for probably another month. T-minus 1 hour and 30 minutes until bedtime.

Everyone had to eat at this point. This is where it all went wrong. Y’all, if you are preparing baby carrots for your infant, please, for the love of all things holy, BOIL THEM. DO NOT ATTEMPT TO STEAM THEM. Those carrots steamed for over an hour and still weren’t soft enough. Anyway, before this realization, into the steamer the carrots went and I got started prepping grown up supper. Caroline played with her toys for a bit and then started getting fussy. I could feel the wheels loosening. I stuck a fork in the carrots… still choke-able. I put her in her highchair to hang out for a while. I stirred the grown up food (a pot of clean-out-the-fridge soup) and began to panic. We were entering meltdown territory. I got out some blueberries and smashed them. I offered one to Caroline. That was apparently the wrong thing to do and I should have known better. The look on her face was one of betrayal. Ok, let’s microwave some peas. Suddenly the screaming stopped. I looked back and she was asleep. Slumped. In her chair. T-minus 30 minutes until bedtime.

The wave had overcome me and at this point, I let it take me where it may. I woke Caroline, gave her the quickest bath of her lifetime while her bottle warmed, and then fed her. She was promptly out. And in bed by bedtime. Somehow, by the grace of God.

After I laid her down, I stood in the kitchen for a few minutes and just stared at nothing. It all felt like a failure. Houston, we’ve had a problem. Everything was a disaster and I failed to even get my daughter fed supper more than a single, offensive blueberry. Standing there, the thought of having a second child sometime in the future felt impossible. The physical mess that was in front of me felt impossible.

But I took it a step at a time and got the kitchen and living room into a semi-decent state. Then I sat down on the couch with a bowl of still-hot soup (thank you, soup, for never, ever cooling off) and looked at a few photos I snapped from earlier in the evening. A few sweet moments of playing with my two-legged and four-legged girls snuck in between peanut butter on the bathtub wall and “oh my gosh why are these carrots STILL hard???” A little nibble of chocolate cake for both of them (they’re both fine, y’all, it was literally a crumb). Lots of laughs. And there, I tried to let my guilt go. Caroline went to bed loved and with a full belly. Did she get a great supper? No, but she had breakfast that Tuesday-night-Taylor decided to prepare ahead of time. The kitchen became livable and the dishes got done. Harrison had supper waiting when he got home. And then it was quiet and I felt blessed that I have this little human and this little home to stress over.

And now, I sit here writing this, smiling to myself, blessed that I get to do it all again today. But I’m also praying that Sailor stays out of whatever nastiness she found herself in yesterday. I’ve had enough bare-handed poop scrubbing for the week.

Post a Comment


Bushel and Peck. Theme by STS.