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Today they broke me; the kids broke me.

It all began with the misguided plan to go to the library before lunch.  Like a total amateur, I announced to Madeline, “We are going to the library this morning!”

If you are new to parenting, you should know that announcing a trip before you are dressed, packed, and walking out the door is moronic.  Boarder-line-masochistic.

9:00am:  ”Let’s go to the library!”

9:05am:  I dress myself while Sam crawls into the bathroom and pulls all of the cleaning products and all of my pads out from underneath the bathroom sink.

9:10am: I clean up Sam’s mess, pick him up, and change him into daytime clothes.

9:20am: I change Sam into his second set of daytime clothes.  (If you are new to parenting you should also know that the quickest way to get your child to use the bathroom is by placing him/her into a fresh diaper.  Forgetting wipes at home and being late for an important meeting also work.  All three are more effective than prune juice.)

9:30am: I find Madeline in the dining room, naked, trying to open a tub of Play-doh by herself.  I dress Madeline and instruct her to put on her shoes while I put on my makeup.

9:36am: I realize that my makeup bag is lost.   I give up on makeup.

9:37am: I look in the mirror for the first time to discover zit-zilla growing between my eyebrows.  I reconsider makeup.  I rummage through a basket of old makeup and find some summer concealer that is 2 shades too dark.  I schmear it all over my face, shove a bunch of bobby pins in my hair, and kiss my dignity goodbye.

9:41am: Madeline wanders into the bathroom, barefoot.  I instruct her – again – to go put on her shoes.  Sam unshelves all the books in the living room.  I leave them on the floor.

9:42am: I notice that it is monsooning outside.  I decide we’re going anyway because I am hard-headed and also sometimes an idiot.  I tell Madeline to take off her shoes and to put on her rain boots instead.

9:43am: Madeline needs socks.  I get socks.  Sam, still sitting atop his pile of books, rips the cover off of Madeline’s Polar Express book.  Madeline yells at him.  Sam starts to cry.  Madeline starts to cry.  I ignore all of them and walk to the kitchen to make Sam a bottle for the increasingly ill-advised trip to the library.

9:45am: I bring Madeline a drink and she stops crying.  Sam sees his bottle in my hand and starts crying harder.

9:50am: I grab the umbrella and walk Madeline to the car.  I have to put down the umbrella to buckle her in, soaking my back.  I go back to get Sam and strap him into the car (more soaking).  I go back a third time for my purse, library bag, coffee, and bottle.  I’ve given up on the umbrella.

10:00am:  I look at the clock, realize it’s required an hour of non-stop work to move the three of us 10 yards from the house to the car.  I realize that I am soaking wet and looking rough.  I think about how, before I had kids, I could have used that hour to shower, put on real makeup, do my hair, have a cup of hot coffee, and walk to my car without incident.  I wonder if people without children know that it takes a shower-less, coffee-less HOUR to move 10 yards.  I wonder if they are thankful for their 30-second walk to the car; 30-seconds in which their cleaning supplies and pads and books are not strewn all over the floor of their houses.  I question my decision to have children.

We arrived.  Because the universe was enjoying its laugh at my expense, I encountered another human being on the way inside.  An unfairly thin ginger woman wearing an appropriate amount of makeup stepped out of her car and looked up to find me standing in the parking lot – zit-zillaed, dirty, and soaking wet – balancing a baby on my hip and yelling at Madeline for swinging her cane around her head in circles.


By the time we got inside it was 10:45 and my entire back side – neck to ankles – was sopping.

We spent an hour in the library where Sam unshelved more books and Madeline said, “Hey, Mom; Hey, Mom; Hey, Mom; Hey, Mom…” every 30 seconds.  It wasn’t until Sam started to happy-squeal that I realized I’d left all the pacifiers in the car.

Sam squealed loudly.
My phone rang loudly.
I checked out.
I owed $5 in fines.
I had no cash.
I drug us all out to the car (you can picture “drug” as literally or figuratively as you want).

I had just pulled out of the parking lot when Madeline said, “Hey, Mom?”

“Yes, dear?” ( Through gritted teeth.)

“I have to go potty.”

And here is my confession:

I said, “Well it’s going to have to wait because we are not getting out of this car until we get home!”  Then I drove to Chick-Fil-A and ordered calories I had no business ordering and spent money I had no business spending and I DID. NOT. CARE.

I stress-ate my fries on the way home – shoveling them into my mouth with one hand without taking my eyes off the road.

Also, I do not plan to leave the house for the rest of the week.  Also, I might have an ulcer.



  • Samantha

    This is my every single day. I hear that! Especially the stress eating. At least I can laugh when I hear someone else’s take on it. :)

    • Angie Pittman

      Kate, I had many days like that. But I can honestly say when they are grown you will MISS those days, too! Everyone who has children have meltdown days and however you choose to deal with them, all other mothers understand and relate to it. I love your unique perspective!

  • Jen

    LOL! I have days like this, and I don’t even have children. :-) Don’t worry. French fries consumed while soaking wet do not have calories.

  • Louise

    Yup – remember swearing I’d never take them ANYWHERE… EVER… AGAIN. But misery has a short memory… hang in there sweetie!

  • Rose Jackson

    and this is why i love you. i had a crazy day too, it started with no sleep the night before and spiraled to my dragging, literally dragging Judah UPSIDE DOWN out of Chick Fil A, also in the rain, with him kicking and screaming, and it took me 15 minutes to get him buckled into his car seat because he is stronger than me. then once he stopped screaming at me he said through his tears, “Mama, I need you to hold me.”

  • Aliesha

    Thanks for the laugh! This sounds like a morning last week when it took us an hour and forty five minutes (!) to get ready to go to the pool!

  • Julie Morris

    Laugh. Wipe tear away from corner of my eye. Sigh. I know. Thank you :)

  • Anonymous

    I don’t tell the kids we’re doing anything fun until about 30 minutes before hand, when it’s time to get them decent looking. ;) I’ve learned about the nagging, and that when plans change I can’t stand their disappointment. :(

  • Mary

    Love it. Thanks for your honesty. Been there-done that-but it’s easy to forget now that mine are a little older.

  • Melody Strayer

    Yes, yes, yes!!! This is ME!

  • Kerry Haley

    Oh Kate, when are you going to write a book?

  • Andrea Odom

    Having a sense of humor helps to keep ones sanity on days like those. (I hope) I have 4 kiddos, the first two being twins, so pretty much my whole parenting life was very much like your story! Except now, that my kiddos are a bit older, and I’m a bit wiser (or tired, yep I think it’s just tired) and so I stay home when I feel that kind of day coming on.

  • cassie

    Oh, Kate! I love you forever and ever! Thank you for making me feel normal. Sometimes when my husband and I have planned a Saturday at the zoo or pool…. you know something that SEEMS simple he asks why in the world we have to get up 3 hrs. early and I just laugh and think…… you sucker!

  • shelby@honeysuckle

    oh man, I’m in for it. I”m already perpetually late and it’s just me I try to get out the door…

    • Kate Conner

      Shelby, you’re going to be the best. (Also, no worries about tardiness because newborns are the best excuse ever! You can be late anywhere and just shrug and say “Baby was napping” or “Had to feed the baby,” and everybody swoons!)

  • Carrie

    Yes!! I TOTALLY understand how 10yards takes 1 hour. Hubby accuses me of “dawdling” when it takes me an hour to get me and the baby and him packed up for the pool and out the door and into the car. Ha! 1 hour is getting ready at break-neck speed, if I was dawdling it would be the next before I made it out the door.

    • Beth

      Getting ready for the POOL in an hour is a miracle! Add to the above: sunscreen, toys, change of clothes (multiple), towels, flotation devices, snacks, water,…

  • Lesley

    Well this just really came at the perfect time. :) Giggle giggle. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jen

    I love this!! It is funny and true. As a mom of 3 kids under the age of 6, I can totally relate. Thanks for making me feel more normal!

  • Jess

    My life in a friggin’ nutshell. :) I feel ya, sista! Somedays I feel so unequipped for this job of mine ;) Thankful for God’s mercies made new each morning! My hubby got a precious peek into one of these days. I blogged about it

  • Anonymous

    Oh, Kate. Kate, Kate, Kate. I only have one child and I have days like this. Thanks for sharing this so I know I’m not the only crazy woman who makes bad decisions and then unapologetically stress-eats Chick-Fil-A in the car while my child is possibly sitting in his dirty diaper (and possibly also eating my fries) because I forgot to bring a clean diaper and a snack-saver. Well done, lady.

  • Anonymous

    Oh Kate… it’s days like this one when I wish we lived just a little bit closer. I’d offer to watch the kids, but I mostly just want to eat fries with you.

  • Christine Trevino

    This is the best post ever. Thank you. I have had such days.

  • Erika Martinez

    Oh how I relate…! Thanks for the laughs, definitely not at your expense.

  • April Weed

    This has so been an exact morning for me! I love how you write it out. I love that you showcase you are stubborn…it makes me feel a little better and real about myself! :) Yes, yes and yes….sometimes all of that is worth the feeling you have later when you get asked, “What did you do today?” We went to the library (insert big smile)! That person will then look at you as if you are a great mom!

  • Crazy after 3in3

    Reading this made me smile. I have 3 children under 3. What you have described is the reason I absolutely cannot arrive at the gym any earlier than 1030 AM. It is also the reason that After I have dropped the children off at the kids area, 8 think to myself. Man maybe I should just sit in the locker room for 2 hours instead of working out. Because though the day has just started I am exhausted:) my drem in life is for handicap parking to be available for mothers of multiple young children and for drivethrough grocery stores to exist in my neighborhood:)

  • aimee m steckowski

    oh my, i have been there and now officially, thankful that i am not the only one. during the times this happened most often, the only decent restaurant in town was a ruby tuesday’s… i will pray feverishly that we only get stationed in towns with a chick-fil-a to ease my stress with waffle fries! :)

  • Natassia Butler

    Oh Kate this is too funny and oh so like me and I only have one child so far… that doesn’t say much about my parenting ability does it LOL Personally I think you sound like superwoman! thank you for sharing with us!!!!

  • Ronda

    Oh boy, this is my life in a nutshell! Love the story, thanks for sharing!

  • Stefanie

    Hilarious….so glad I’m not alone! Love reading your blog (and I don’t really even read blogs, so that’s saying something!).

  • Rebecca Barth

    Fab post, as usual. And the banana milkshakes that are at Chick-Fil-A right now might be able to cure any problem.

  • Mattie

    Oh, Kate. You have a way with words, lady. This made me giggle. Mainly the “Sam saw the bottle and cried harder” part. I’m only a nanny and this rings true to my life. I can’t imagine my own – or two – yet. You’re a wonderful mom. Just wonderful.

  • Hope Lauren

    Thank you for reminding me to cherish my hour to get ready like a normal person before I decide to have children :D It’s the little things