It was just a normal evening at Mini Ball
It's Thursday night and we are off to our new (and only) activity. My 5 and 3 year old boys have begun participating in mini-ball, for aspiring little basketball players. I'm happy to give it a go because a) it's cheap and b) it's getting us out of the house for sour hour, when the boys just seem to ramp up and want to run wild around the house, and when our 12 week old baby girl needs feeding, cuddling or is battling to get that last nap of the day (which they never take in their cot... why?) So basketball seems ideal. Run free, little wild men, while I rock a pram and chat to my dear friend whose kids do the same program. Boom. Winner.
Tonight was going fine - we were a couple of minutes late but no big deal, I'm cool about it. As I leave the house I think, 'No need to bring the big baby bag with all the things, it's just 30 minutes, all I need is a nappy change, wipes and a muslin cloth.' We get to basketball and because we're a couple of minutes late and the baby will need a feed soon anyway I decide not to bring the pram, thinking 'she'll just be in my arms feeding, I'll just hold her, no worries.'
Walking into the stadium with baby still half in a swaddle-up wrap (with one leg out for the car seat) I'm so casual, I even manage a quick quip to the Mum who opens the door for us; "another nap interruped... haha" like I haven't just been manically researching baby sleep routines for the last 48 hours and stressing over the fact that my third born is being dragged from pillar to post. We sit down, I recruit my friends' older daughters to take my boys to their respective training areas and get into feeding bubs. All is well and I'm nailing this mum-of-3 gig. Sorted. Watch what happens next.
1) While breastfeeding I engage in a game of catch with my 3 year old, who has lost interest in the formal training. No biggie, I think. It's a really light little ball and I can just catch with one hand and get little man to do all the running around. It's a rare moment of 1-on-1 with my middle man (simultaneous breastfeeding doesn't count, we'll call that one-on-one). All this sportiness was obviously a bit vigorous for my little feeder who must have taken in a fair amount of air and hence proceeds to vomit all down herself. All good, wipe it off. She'll have a damp t-shirt but who cares? I'm a mum of 3! You've gotta do worse than that to an item of clothing to warrant a change in my world.
2) Next my 5 year old comes in for a pit stop. Thinking that the woman sitting next to me is our family friend he starts running his hands up her back and under her hair to get her attention, while looking around asking "Where are Madi and Sophie?". The woman looks bewildered and looks at me while I quickly say; "Buddy, I think you think that's Sarah. It's not. Hands to yourself please!" Josh takes two or three more explanations to finally tune in and stop running his hands all over a strange woman's body and look at her long enough to sharply realise she is a complete stranger. Awks.
3) Somewhere in this process Tess has managed a more convincing attempt at the vomiting which I haven't noticed until my 3 year old comes back to me and, looking at my crotch, says "Mummy, did you do a wee in your pants?" This while I'm trying to make friends with the Mum my son has just finally ceased touching all over. I belatedly realise I have a lap full of hot vomit and apply aforementioned cloth to the area. Still breezily smiling, I just roll my eyes to my new 'friend' and keep going. Might be time to actually burp the baby though. As I'm doing this my background mental calculator pings and I realise it's been 3 hours since a nappy change. This is beyond the tolerance level of my poor old cloth nappies so I quickly lay down the burp cloth on the bench seat and proceed to find Armageddon in my baby girl's pants. Ok. We'll take this chance to whip off the vomit shirt (luckily another layer underneath) and freshen up the nappy situation. On it. All good. Once this is sorted I hand her off to my actual friend (maybe some of the vomit and poo will go on someone else!) and try to encourage my boys to re-engage with the basketball session. Oh but they both have snot trains chuffing cheerfully down their top lips so, grimacing, I re-purpose the burp cloth slash nappy change table as a handkerchief, setting a mental reminder to burn it when I get home.
4) We resume the training session for another 3.2 seconds, just long enough for my two budding NBA stars to run headlong into each other. I glance up just in time to see Toby's face hit the stadium floor. Blood.
Vomit, Poo, Snot and finally, blood.
I retreat, humbled, and take my sweaty, snotty, moist and bleeding children home, having learned three important lessons. Always, always bring the bag with all the things, never, never leave the pram in the car and if you ever think to yourself that you're nailing the mum-of-three gig, instantly open your arms and crotch because a lapful of vomit-poo-snot-blood is bound to be coming your way any second.