Modern Parent
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Modern Parent

“So, You’re Here To Wipe My Butt.”

A look into the wild, wild west of raising a toddler.

My eyes popped open and went straight to the wall. 5:00 am was projected onto the wall in neon blue. No alarm. Why was I up? It was spring break; why wouldn’t my body allow me even a few extra minutes to sleep-in. I closed my eyes. “Please go back to sleep,” I repeated over and over in my head. I had barely drifted black to sleep when my eyes popped open again — Neon blue lights. 5:30 am was projected on the wall. Beep. Beep. Beep. There was my husband’s obnoxious alarm. I heard him stir, and much to my surprise, he immediately reached out and muted the alarm. He usually did the alarm-snooze-longer alarm-snooze-even longer alarm-snooze routine every morning. But the universe was smiling on me, and there was still time for me to believe I could sleep in!

I heard him shuffle around and sit up on the side of the bed. I heard him sigh, as I peered into the darkness, my back to him, I wondered if his soul was tired too. Just when I was about to ask him, I heard it. Thump. Step. Step. Step. Step. The pitter-patter of little feet headed straight for my door. I closed my eyes tight and cursed my motherly energy, which inevitably woos sleeping children to my bosom with each sleeping breath. And in an instant, there he was, nose to my nose, hot breath in my face, tapping me gently — my toddler.

“Mommy?” he whispered.

Did he not see his dad sitting on the edge of the opposite side of the bed, I wondered. Didn’t he know that my feet, my soul, and my will to mother were tired? I closed my eyes tighter.

“Mommy!” he said more aggressively this time. He was clearly interrupting my ability to fake my death at this point.

My mom guilt started to kick in. I knew I had to open my eyes. I knew I had to get up and make his cup of milk, not daring to mix the green cup with the red lid, or I’d have hell to pay. Was the green lid clean? Would I be paying hell in the next 30 seconds? Before I could decide, there was an interruption from the angels.

“Hey,” My husband called out into the darkness, “come here.”

I breathed, just realizing I had been holding my breath and was running out of oxygen. My toddler took off toward his dad’s kingly voice. I could hear his tiny feet paddling across the carpet.

“I need to use the potty,” he whined. He was still having trouble making the n sound. And typically, I would repeat back “need” when he said “meed,” and at that moment, I caught myself almost blowing my cover and correcting him. I gave myself a mental high five for not making a sound as I held my eyelids shut in the darkness.

I could make out the sound of my husband slowly standing up from the bed and whisking my toddler into the bathroom. I heard the toilet seat opening and then the rustle of pajamas and pull-up as my toddler made it on to the potty.

“I meeeeeeeeed privacy,” he screeched in his toddler high-pitched demanding voice. I knew that voice well, as he usually hurled his daily demands my way before dawn, throughout the day, and even as he drifted off to sleep at night, barely clinging to consciousness.

“Excuse me,” my husband replied. He sounded indignant at the thought something so small could be so aggressive.

“I SAID I MEEEEEED PRIVACY!” my toddler yelled.

I almost giggled at this point because I could only imagine the look on my husband’s face as he decided to pick his battle and backed out of the bathroom.

“And close the door!” the tiny tyrant demanded as his father stood looming in the open door.

My husband snorted and pulled the door closed. As he stood outside the bathroom door, his combination of amusement and annoyance was almost palpable. I wanted to open my eyes. I did. But somehow, my tired soul wouldn’t let me. In my disgruntled imagination, this played out with my husband and child skipping to the kitchen hand in hand, for milk served in a green sippy cup, with a green lid and disappearing into some happy father-son oblivion that didn’t require me waking till noon. But alas, those were just my shallow dreams as a shrill toddler voice pierced through my delusional day-dream.

“Daddy, wipe my butt!!!” he exclaimed.

My husband cracked the door.

“Are you done, big man?” my husband asked, not moving his feet.

“I meed you to wipe my butt,” our toddler replied dryly.

“Is there toilet paper?” He moved into the bathroom, and I assume he was checking the roll. “Yep!” He answered his own question.

“Wipe my butt, please,” I could hear my toddler’s impatience growing. I silently prayed that the man would just wipe his dang butt. There was still hope for my sippy cup laden dreams.

“Buddy, does mommy usually wipe your butt?” my husband asked him wearily.

“Wipe my butt! Wipe my butt! Wipe my butt!” my toddler began chanting.

I could feel the laughter rising from my belly. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be able to hold it in.

“Bud, you’re going to wake every…..” my husband started.

“WIPE. MY. BUTT!” my toddler started to whine.

I could hear my husband leaving the bathroom, and then I felt him place both hands on either of my shoulders. He shook me gently.

“Babe….” he whispered as he shook me again.

I fluttered my eyes a couple of times, gently waking from my fake sleep. The light from the bathroom was blaring into the room, so I could see his panicked face clearly.

“Are we wiping this boy’s butt?” he asked in a gentle voice.

“We are,” I responded.

“We’re wiping his butt?” He asked rhetorically.

I smiled up at him; well, it wasn’t really a smile, more of a grimace. In a huff, he returned to the bathroom, and I could hear the triumph in our toddler’s voice.

“So…..” the pause was almost dramatic, “you’re here to wipe my butt.”

My Toddler- 1.
My Husband-0.

Raquel Phillips is a writer, digital creator, CPT, certified group fitness instructor, and entrepreneur. She is a wife and mother of 6 amazing children. She resides in Virginia Beach, VA.

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Raquel Phillips

Raquel Phillips

Raquel Phillips is a writer, digital creator, CPT, and group fitness instructor. She is a wife, and mother of 6 children. She resides in Virginia Beach, VA.

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