Tuesday was the first track meet that was hosted by Alyssa’s school, making it a ‘home’ meet. That meant that we didn’t have travel to watch Alyssa compete.
But it also meant that Tom and Olivia joined us at the track to watch Alyssa run her races and compete in the high jump.
Should I retract that last sentences and say that it meant that Tom could watch Alyssa run her races and compete in the high jump and I got to take Olivia to the bathroom repeatedly?
Because yeah, that’s what happened.
Now, let’s remember that if I’m around, Olivia is going to want me to do things with/for her. I get that.
I’m also reminding myself that this was Tom’s first chance to watch Alyssa compete. He hasn’t been to any other of the other meets because they were pretty far away (forty minutes, and that’s COUNTRY driving!) and he stayed home with Olivia because yeah, she gets bored easily.
So honestly, it was fine. I was a little more annoyed with the whole thing the afternoon of the meet but probably because I’m still trying to figure out how to balance parenting two very different kids.
I know! I’ve been at this for over nine years, you’d think I’d have figured it out.
And yet as Olivia whispered to me that she had to poop (she’d tried to poop ten minutes prior to the latest announcement, only to declare while sitting on the toilet, “Maybe I’ll just try to go when we get home.) I was torn.
Should I have been torn? Of course not. The poor child had to poop. What do you do when someone needs to poop? You take them to the toilet.
Yet, since she’d JUST tried to go I was skeptical of her motives. I thought she was bored and just wanted an excuse to get up and walk. If the destination was the restrooms, so be it.
At the time of her announcement, we were sitting on the bleachers inside the track watching Alyssa and her teammates do the high jump.
Tom suggested that O wait ten more minutes and we’d be at home. She shook her head firmly, insisting that she needed to poop RIGHT NOW.
So, mother of the year that I am, I sighed and left the field, O in tow, heading for the restrooms.
I told her that if she didn’t actually poop this time I was going to be made.
Yeah, I said that. Better start shining up that Mother of the Year trophy.
Much to my dismay (relief? Disgust at the aroma?) she did poop and it was a pretty quick event. I apologized to her as we walked back toward the high jump area, telling her I was sorry I’d made her wait even a few minutes when obviously, she DID have to go.
So yes, it’s a balancing act. I want to be there for Alyssa as she competes and when Tom and Olivia aren’t there, I am. I’m there one hundred percent.
But when Tom and Olivia are there, I need to be present for Olivia too. Just because she isn’t competing doesn’t mean she doesn’t have needs that have to be met too.
Perhaps when they’re 26 and 22, I’ll have figure out how to balance it all.