Sometimes You Just Need a Sticker

I contemplated quite a bit about writing and sharing this. I struggle regularly with wanting things to be perfect so the thought of writing this and having it serve as a reminder of the not-so-great days seems backwards. But, in the spirit of transparency, here it is. You know I like to keep it real and I certainly don’t want my blog “scrapbook” to be made up of smoke and mirrors.

Lately, I feel like my days are being designed by some sort of gamemaker…like The Hunger Games, Parent edition. These days at home with a toddler and a newborn are HARD. So, so, so hard. Between entertaining, breastfeeding, cooking, breastfeeding, cleaning, breastfeeding (are you seeing a theme?!), and trying to get children to sleep, I feel like I am being stretched to my limit. I know I signed up for this, I know I wanted this, and I love it (I REALLY do), but I never understood the magnitude of it all. I was a teacher, I wrangled 30+ children daily into decent learning habits. WHY IS THIS SO HARD?! Thank goodness for Costco and their bulk vodka. Seriously.

 As if the day-to-day isn’t tough enough with a 2 year old and a 2 month old, last week our A/C decided to kick the bucket in the midst of a heat wave…on a 120 degree day (Happy Father’s Day!). The inside of our house quickly reached 99 degrees. Yuck. Thankfully David’s parents live right down the street so we packed our bags and headed there until it was safe to go back home.

 This is what I want to remember. While Dave was at work, I packed the kiddos up and we went to Target to grab a few things. Plus, it’s mommy’s happy place so I figured some wandering could be good for the tired soul. Turns out this was nobody’s happy place that day. First, Alex woke up and started crying. A slow whimper gradually increased to a loud baby wail. Eh, I can handle that. Babies cry. Fast forward as the domino effect was in full swing and Caitlin was SCREAMING. I still have no clue why. I was trying to get to the front of the store to getthehellouttathere and pulled over repeatedly to ask if she needed kisses or hugs and get to the bottom of it. She just screamed at me more.

 Yep, I actually took a picture of the beginning of the meltdown. I am all about documenting the “bad” days. One day I know it’ll be funny!

On my last attempt to console her, I broke down down crying with them. I couldn’t help it. I was hot and tired. My mommy brain was fried and just couldn’t do its job anymore. Right there in the middle of Target, my shopping equivalent of Disneyland, were all 3 of us crying together. Robinson family cry sesh. Excellent.

 To my (then) surprise, the world didn’t end. In fact, a Target employee came over as I thought to myself “ugh, crap”  and she calmly asked Caitlin if she would like a sticker. Not enough to stop the waterworks, but enough to calm her down and she sniffled her way through saying “uh huh.” The sweet woman left for a minute and came back with a sticker and told me “My sister has kids a similar age. I knew the look on your face and thought I could try and help.” I had stopped crying and pulled myself together but that got it started all over again. No judgement. No harsh words about controlling my kids. No dirty looks. Just love and help. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t cry in the car for a few minutes before leaving the parking lot. I did, however, leave reminded that even when we’re in the thick of it, in the hardest of the hard seasons of parenting, there are positive people out there even when you would least expect it.

For now I’m continuing to work on not worrying so much about parenthood perfection. We’re back in our air conditioned house, Mickey Mouse is babysitting my toddler, and my babies love one another. I call it a win.

 Take that, Gamemaker.


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