I am thrilled to have Katie Saunders guest posting on the blog today!!
Katie Saunders designs custom brand visuals and crafts compelling positioning for creative businesses and entrepreneurs at The Branding Zoo. She also teaches creative entrepreneurs how to cultivate their brands and make the most of their DIY efforts. When she’s not knee-deep in client projects and consulting, she is practicing the art of toddler negotiation and boo-boo kissing while stress binging on Krispy Kremes and cosmopolitans.
And now, a few words from Katie….
Shutdown Mode Waits for No One
Maybe my children sense my giddiness for the quickly approaching post-bedtime freedom. Maybe they are tired from a long day but are regretfully too young for a wind-down glass of wine. Or maybe they just resent being clean. For whatever reason, bath time for us usually begins innocently enough – full of smiles and requests for bubbles and more toys – but it almost always ends in sibling arguments, threats and meltdowns. Why can’t bath and bedtime be early in the day when I still have a full cup of mommy patience left and when the flashes of my “nice mom” side actually have a chance to show?
You see, I want to love bath and bedtime. Both Pinterest and mom guilt tell me that I should be melting my own wax for DIY bath crayons so that we can make messes and memories together each night before reading, snuggling and singing. All before I watch their angelic little eyelids close for the night.
In reality, though, I’m usually a stressed-out, exhausted bag of bones who is on my last legs after work, school pickup, homework and cooking dinner with one hand while holding a cranky toddler in the other. Thank God for Elmo videos and Kidz Bop music. They are the only things that keep my two children and I from being in tears by the time my husband gets home. So when bath time finally arrives, sweet freedom is so close I can taste it.
On this particular evening, I managed to get dinner on the table at a reasonable hour, and I even prepared something that pleased both of my children’s persnickety palates without coming from a drive-thru. And by “pleased,” I simply mean it wasn’t fed to the dogs or met with tears. On this day, I was feeling confident in my mom skills and blessed by these little mongrels that had me laughing through dinner.
I got the girls in the tub, and I was enjoying a smug feeling of accomplishment when they were playing happily together. All of the toys were dumped in the water; the scene was loud and messy and happy. Nobody was fighting over the same toy or drinking dirty bath water. And so, I took this peaceful moment as an opportunity to throw their clothes in the laundry hamper.
When I returned 0.5 seconds later, I saw it: the recognizable expression of relief and pride on my youngest daughter’s face.
Nothing stops a smug mom in her tracks like a floating turd.
Thankful that my over-dramatic older daughter hadn’t seen it yet, I tried to quickly shuffle her out of the tub. But in true diva fashion, she screamed and practically broke her ankle jumping out of the tub, collapsing into a puddle of wet, lanky legs onto the floor. The dimple-smiled culprit let out a belly laugh and looked satisfied that all of the toys were now hers.
I painstakingly slapped one tainted toy after another out of her hands to keep them from her mouth as I tried to pluck her out of the tub. But before I could get a good hold on her slippery little thigh rolls, I watched in horror as she picked up said turd like it was her favorite lovey. I blame my slow reaction time on the shutdown process my body begins every night around 7:00pm in preparation for glorious bedtime – the moment when I take back ownership of my own schedule and the midget tyrants fall asleep.
So I did what any reasonable woman would do.
I held a dripping, giggling, poop-smeared toddler away from my body like she was a venomous snake and yelled for my husband to come quick and save us all. Shutdown mode waits for no one, so hubby’s arrival was my much-needed cue to head downstairs for a wind-down bath of my own – sans turd.