Usually things run pretty smoothly around here considering, but sometimes I do have the kind of days that moms in paper towel commercials are always having and yesterday into today was definitely one.

For one thing, Friday nights are always tough because I’m exhausted from a long week at work, and the house looks like a tornado blew through it right after ravaging a fruit orchard. Edith’s toys are scattered across every surface, all the floors are sticky, there are discarded dirty tiny pairs of pants and assorted socks everywhere, and the shelves, toys, and books are all covered in mango pulp and mashed banana.

So after Edith goes to bed, I do a quick-and-dirty sweep and clean up the parts of the house I stare at the most, so my annoyance levels are as low as they can be on Saturdays.

I was dreading this labor while giving Edith her bath, and she pooped the tub. This almost never happens, but it’s never a good time for it. While I was hastily cleaning that up, I set her next to the tub on the bathroom floor and she figured as long as she was at it, she’d go ahead and pee everywhere. So, by the time she went to bed and I began my clean fest, I was pretty over it.

Then, this week, Edith’s nanny and I had been attempting to train Edith to take her naps in her bed by herself, whereas previously she took them in the playroom. She had begun to resist them and many days was napping as little as 30 minutes, which really worries me for a baby her age (Mom points out that I never napped), so I thought she needed to nap more intentionally and consistently, where she sleeps at night. But Edith disagreed, and I can’t really control what happens when I’m working, so I think what really happened this week was Edith learned that if she screams long enough, someone will relieve her from the tedium of forced slumber.

At any rate, at midnight, Edith woke up crying. This hasn’t happened in months. She then proceeded to be awake at varying levels of volume for three straight hours. We had multiple types of negotiations throughout this and periods of detente, but Edith wasn’t in the mood for capitulation, so basically, I had an all nighter last night.

Then, immediately upon waking for the day for real, I got my period.

It’s been freezing all week here and today it was especially cold and rainy, so we could not go to the park, but I wasn’t going to make it if we stayed in the house all day. I could not keep my eyes open.

I didn’t really know what to do, so we went to Cabela’s.

Now, obviously I am not a Cabela’s person, but desperate times call for compromises, and the one here has multiple massive dioramas of taxidermied animals that I thought Edith might like to look at. Plus it’s big with high ceilings and I thought it wouldn’t be too congested for me to feel comfortable there? I mean, in retrospect, taking Edith to the mecca of antivaxers and antimaskers probably wasn’t the most cautious move, but I was exhausted and we haven’t left the house in a year and it was an emergency.

It wasn’t too terribly crowded at least, and Edith enjoyed being carried all around and having lots of things to look at. She kept whipping her head around to look at me with a pleased little smile that made me forgive her everything. Lots of other parents had the same idea so we were surrounded by tiny children having meltdowns. I had been wondering where all the parents of under-fives are in these parts during the winter; turns out, they are all at Cabela’s trying to keep their screaming toddlers from launching themselves into the dioramas.

Edith especially liked the aquarium, which I knew she would because it’s a lot like my phone except I was allowing her to look at it as much as she wanted. She had some things to say to the fish, and I let her get down and toddle around a bit.

This was Edith’s first time seeing fish! It was also her first time seeing dead polar bears and elephants and throngs of men in full camo, and hearing Mumford and Sons, so a real day of firsts. And it was my first time going to Cabela’s without being dragged there by an extended relative, so we are both growing.

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