Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Nobody ever tells you that the "multitasking" part of motherhood involves looking like circus sideshow in public

This is what my life has become.

On Mondays and Wednesdays, Jason has school after work, so he's not home until around 7:15 or so. So on those days, I take care of the inmates, i.e., Zeke and the dog. We get up, I put Zeke in the stroller and put the leash on Max and take them for a walk. I get Zeke dressed, I get myself dressed, I feed Max, I take Zeke to school. In the afternoons, same thing. I pick up Zeke from school, and then take him and the dog for a walk when we get home.

The problem with the afternoon walk is that by then, Zeke is awake and not as interested in sitting in the stroller, particularly after sitting in traffic in the car for half an hour. So I'll let him walk/run along with me to take the dog out, even though this makes the process infinitely more lengthy and unpredictable, given his propensity to stop and look at a random plant for minutes at a time, or to run back and forth on a particular patch of sidewalk because there's a utility cover and he likes the noise it makes when he runs over it.

Yesterday on our walk, Zeke decided he wanted to bring his construction truck. He likes to push it while he walks or runs (usually runs).
The truck can be used as a rocker, but it also comes off the rocker and can roll on the floor.

Off we went. Initially everything was fine. I walked with the dog on the leash, and Zeke ran beside us, pushing his truck. A couple of times he pushed the truck off the sidewalk into the bushes, but that just gave him an opportunity to say "uh-oh" before righting himself and continuing on. Too cute.

After a while, it was time to turn around and go home, and I could see that Zeke was getting unusually frustrated when he had a hard time changing directions or pushing the truck through the grass or something. This means one of two things: he's tired, or he's hungry.

So I made the sign for "eat" and asked, "Zekey, are you hungry?"He made the sign back to me, indicating that he was, in fact, hungry. So I said, "OK, then, let's turn around and go home."

Apparently, he wanted to eat and continue pushing his truck at the same time, because he started fussing. So I turned the truck around and told him to push it back home. He responded by collapsing on the ground and crying. I tried to get him to sit on the truck so I could push him with my foot, but he refused. I picked him up, and he did the whole screaming, arching the back thing that toddlers do.

Meanwhile, the dog had pooped, and being a responsible dog owner, I picked it up in a plastic bag. So I was carrying a bag of dog shit as all of this happened.

I tried to carry Zeke and push the truck along with my foot, but it was too much to manage while also holding the dog's leash (it's one of those retractable leashes, so the handle is this big plastic mechanism rather than just a cloth loop that I could put over my arm). Zeke calmed down a little bit, so I put him back down and persuaded him to push his truck towards home.

Except that he was still aggravated, so he took off pushing the truck at full speed without looking where he was going. He ran into the back of the poor dog, and then fell from the impact, hitting his head on the handle of the back of the truck before falling on the ground.

He was pissed off rather than hurt, but I knew trying to get him to push or ride the truck was a lost cause at this point.

And that is how I ended up walking through the neighborhood with Zeke in one arm and the truck under the other, all while still maneuvering the dog's leash and holding a bag of dog shit.

I really need to get a job.


  1. Yah, you do. But also, now I realize this is why women who are mothers can juggle such an extraordinary amount of work crap and not get all flustered.

  2. i kept waiting to scroll down and read "then the bag of dog poo exploded" and never did...so really you've got that going for you....bwahhahaha

  3. Lisa -- very true. And to my credit, I wasn't flustered, just happy when we finally got home and I could put everything down.

    Elizabeth -- Heee! you're right, I need to learn to be grateful for the little things. :)

  4. I think you handled that beautifully! Don't freak out here, but sometimes your descriptions of Zeke remind me of how The Actor was when he was little.

    It's probably just the boy in them...(and you know The Actor is my favorite, right? Just don't tell the other two.)