With hubby off doing Army stuff today, I took an unexpected day off work to play house spouse/ stay-at-home Mommy. I’ve been working crazy hours lately, plus surviving a 3+ hour round-trip commute. A day off from the stress of a “real” job sounded too good to be true. After all, this whole house spouse thing is kind of a piece of cake, right?
This morning I slept in until almost 9am. Do you have any idea how wonderful that was? I am so used to dying at the sound of my 4:30am alarm, rushing around to get out the door, driving through traffic just to sit on a bus for an hour and a half….Sleeping in was a slice of heaven!
Our maid comes at 9, so it didn’t leave me enough time to shower. Small price to pay for the sleep, though. I jumped into some trendy little sweats, a cute t-shirt, tossed my hair into a pony and way ready for the day.
Then I remembered the whole Mommy part of my duties. I skipped up to the nursery to find a happy ginger haired baby smiled and gurgling to me from his crib. He was so easy for me! I had him up and dressed in no time so we were cheerful and ready to welcome the maid.
It bothered me a little that I didn’t know any Romanian to speak to her. It bothered me a little more to realize this woman has been cleaning my house for months and I don’t even know her name. Keep in mind, she’s a live-in-maid. True, she works during the day. And true, I never see her, but still….Hubby would have handled it better.
She seemed to know the drill, though, so I let her do her thing while I fed the wee one. He loved everything I gave him! He signed for more and we giggled over breakfast. We played together for a bit and I thought, “Man, this really is the best job, ever!” He was doing so well that I found time to multi-task. I uploaded a new client gallery, created a slideshow, and took care of a few other things for my photography business. I even found time to do some Christmas shopping online!
If every day was is easy then I truly have no idea why all my house-wife friends are always flooding FB with moan after moan about why it’s so hard to be a stay-at-home Mommy. I mean, common! I work a “real” job. I know what “real” work is. And this was nothing more than a play day.
By 1030 the wee one was ready for a nap. Too easy, right? He took his first round of milk like a champ while we snuggled and rocked. But then he signed for more. Figuring he’d just sleep better with an ever fuller tummy, I made him another. I thought it a tad odd that he kept squirming about, but I figured he was trying to avoid nap time. Then he started signing for the potty. No way was I going to let him pull that on one me. It was nap time and I was sticking to a schedule.
Then the face wrinkled a little more. The baby grunts came. He started turning red….You know the rest.
We rushed to the potty and I tried to MacGyver the diaper out from under him as I helped him onto the seat. No easy feat with all the snaps on his cloth diaper and cover. I failed. And I was too late anyway. Poo flung everywhere. All over him. And me. And the potty. And the potty seat. All of which the maid had just cleaned.
I could handle it.
I picked him up off the potty. I grabbed everything I could find to get the poo off. I finished off a roll of toilet paper, and used two different cloth diapers but I was finally seeing the light.
And then I noticed the wee one hadn’t finished business. It looked like just pee, so I figured, too late to stop him now. It couldn’t be that bad, right?
Wrong. Lake Bailey started lapping up towards our feet. The wee one was so proud that he was peeing standing up. I cried to see the clean floors our maid had just washed puddling around me. Clearly, that second 8 oz of milk was a mistake.
So, I threw little man into the tub with some water to keep him contained while I finished cleaning off the toilet. It took everything in me not to gag but I got every last fleck of sticky, smelly, clumpy-yet-runny toddler poo off the bathroom floor.
Then I saw Erik. Splashing about in lake mud. How had I not realized just how much of the poo had stuck to him? The kid was literally playing in a brown river of poo water. I panicked. I drained the tub. I scrubbed him down. We started a bath all over again. All the work my maid had done in this bathroom was officially pointless.
I realized I’d need more diapers soon (since I’d used so many to clean the mess) so I threw a load of diapers in for a rinse.
Now bear in mind, I love my cloth diapers but I never actually wash them. It’s one of the million special things that just magically happen while Mommy works. I’ve told B on so many occasions, “It’s so easy. As long as you make sure he poos in the toilet there’s no dunking needed.” Easier said than done. After starting the load of diapers, I gagged to see little brown turds slap against the glass of my washer. I realized that a) I’d forgotten to rinse off the poosplosion that just happened from the diaper before I threw it in and b) the same thing had obviously happened to hubby with several of the diapers in the ready-to-be-washed stash. Gross.
I walked away, bit my tounge, and finally got the little one ready for nap. Thank God he’s sleeping now.
Two hours ago, when I was miraculously rested and playing and giggling at baby signs and watching my house get cleaned I would have told you that house spouse is the easiest job in the world.
Now, it’s not even noon, I haven’t showered, I don’t know enough Romanian to say, “Please don’t run water and don’t come into my bedroom so I can wash up”, I’m exhausted, and I still stink like poo. Oh, and for all the times I’d told hubby, “Don’t let the maid wash the dishes, she needs to focus on bigger chores and you are more than capable of washing dishes”…well, I’m pooped (literally) and even as I write this she’s washing my dishes. I don’t have the energy to even try to stop her, let alone to actually wash them myself.
So, allow me to eat my humble pie. I take it back. House spouse is by no means the easiest job in the world. Give me angry bosses. Give me back my 3+hour commute. Give me all the stress that comes with managing logistics for US Army Headquarters-Europe. Give me anything but poopslosions and un-showered frump days. House Spouse is absolutely, unequivocally, without a doubt NOT the easiest job in the world.