We had daycare tryouts today. And when I say “we”, it isn’t conscious, except for when I’m thinking about. Like now. But now is after I typed it. And going back and deleting it wouldn’t fairly subject you to my brain melting at 11:12 p.m. which is what time it is as everyone in the house is sleeping and my mind is debriefing itself.

It’s like that bucket we keep in the half-bath, the one with Biz detergent and cold water for placing the Major Blowout Clothes, be that of poop or pee or throw-up. No shortage of freely flowing orifices in this residence. Not even the dogs, who managed to unzip The Beloved’s backpack and eat two large Hershey’s Special Dark chocolate bars. THE ONES THAT WERE FOR AFTER-THE-KIDS-HAVE-GONE-TO-SLEEP-MAKE-IN-THE-TOASTER-OVEN-SMORES.

But back to the bucket. Seems every other day the clothes in it get rinsed out and tossed into the washing machine. And then we rinse out the yeasty smelling water from the bucket and start over. And that’s what writing is sometimes like for me, this changing out of the water in my head.

But back to the daycare. We gave a dry run today. Half day. The general target was to be out of the house by 7:00 a.m. And when I say “general target”, I mean like how it seems nowadays where every kid in the everybody-plays-fair-for-fun or whatever league makes the team because as long as the parent pays some registration fee the kid never has to try out for anything and never learns a healthy dose of rejection since they got a trophy just for showing up and when they graduate from college they can’t figure out why their new employer doesn’t worship them for getting to work at 8 a.m. And so despite rising at 5:30, we still didn’t get out of the house until 7:40 because it’s hard to anticipate Birdie having a stubborn air bubble that doesn’t want to release or Bruiser having a bowel movement that squirts out the top of his diaper onto his outfit and then he smiles at you because Hey Mom, Wasn’t That Awesome?

But back to tryouts. We wanted to see how we’d do getting ourselves dressed for work, babies fed and dressed, diaper bag and bottles packed and how long it would take to do all that while I’m still not due back at work full-time and they’re still pretty forgiving of me working part-days. Well, that, and we wanted to see how the RJBs would respond to a completely different daytime routine rather than going cold-turkey. Oh, and we wanted to see how much time it would take to do all that, and to do it in one trip, factoring in the time for maybe putting dogs in the car instead of babies, or forgetting to close the garage door, or bringing the bag of leftovers instead of the bag of bottles.

But back to thinking we’d be kicked out before we even started. Have I mentioned Birdie and Bruiser have reflux? What, what’s that? Oh, only a thousand times? Well make it a thousand and one. It is generally agreed, once exposed to the explosions, that people underestimate their reflux. Oh, I warned the daycare workers this morning, assured them that whatever they were about to experience was their normal. But I don’t think they got it. It wasn’t until 10 a.m. when I called to check in with the kids that upon being asked “How are Bruiser and Birdie doing?”, one of the ladies responded with “Oh…they’re o.k.” but with the inflection of defeat that translated to “Holy shit these kids throw up more than that kid from that horror movie back in the 80s.” So with a nervous laugh I say “That didn’t sound convincing.” And she says “Well, Bruiser just threw up A LOT. He didn’t keep anything down at all and we’re kind of concerned.” “No,” I assure her, “really, that is his normal and it can happen a couple times a day. He’s on medication, and the doctor says he is fine. That he’ll grow out of it.” “Oh, ok,” she says, “it’s just a lot.” I hadn’t told them about using a towel for a burp cloth, but I needed them to let me drop them off, you know?

And so at 2 p.m., the Beloved and I went to pick them up and as we pulled up THE OWNER WAS WAITING ON THE PORCH. Granted, it may have been coincidental, but I don’t know. We walk up to her, tails between our legs, but doing our best to appear normal. Small talk ensues. I burst into how it’s normal for them to spew the way they do. She tells me that yes, the daycare worker called her concerned. And then she says…”I have some bad news. They can’t start when I told you they could.”




We sat there as still as those mimes that hang out in front of Cafe Du Monde in the French Quarter, Silence, for what seemed like a slice of forever. And then she said “the family with the twins that was moving in June is not moving until July 21 now so those two spots aren’t open until then.” And then we took a breath of air.

We talked a bit more and then went in to get the RJBs and as the door closed behind us, the Beloved turned to ask “Are you sure we aren’t having to wait because Bruiser threw up today?” “No, no, no,” she said, “We’ve had far worse.”

And as we buckled them into the car, I searched their belongings to make sure there was no trophy.