Bill flew to Germany last week leaving me with the two babies.
Problem is, they both need 24/7 care. But there’s TWO of them. And ONE of me. You can see my math problem.
Ellie got sick right before he left. Then I got sick (of course). So the whole house is sick and it’s just me trying to keep us all together.
My goals as a mom are usually to be as present as I can, to be patient and kind and to always look past the small annoyances and settle into the bigger picture. It’s happier there, and it's more logical.
Why waste time being mad about a dirty house? Or that the garbages don’t take themselves out? Or that Ellie is a one-person tornado that whirls around flinging toys, food, and juice wherever she roams? Or that you can’t, can’t CAN’T get a three year old to understand she needs to be quiet so you can get the baby to sleep?
Trying to get her to understand if she's quiet and I can put Benji to sleep and THEN I can play with her…just totally taxed her toddler brain. “I want mommy NOW. Put Benji down NOW. WAHHHHHHHHH.” She was locked up tight in NOW mode and no amount of patient reasoning was going to get through to her.
The thing is, there was no way I was getting through this week without running low on patience, and kindness, and empathy. The one night I coughed all night and Benji was up at 5am (because the coughing) and stayed up and Ellie got up early at 6am (and stayed up) and we had first time-out at EIGHT AM.
And I looked at the clock at 10am and realized I’d already been awake for 5 hours, fed her two meals, him two meals, numerous snacks for her, the one person eating machine, had two time-out’s for throwing things AND I had yet to finish my breakfast.
And I thought…these two little blessings are going to drive me completely and utterly bonkers.
Well Bill’s home now and Ellie’s been outside with him all morning washing their cars. (I know. Adorable).
ANYHOO: I learned three important lessons this week:
- You can put a three year old to bed anytime - they can’t tell what time it is yet.
- Baby goes to bed when baby wants and never one second before
- Bill cleans. Bill cleans A LOT.
And even though most of the time I would agree I do the lions share of the parenting, Bill does execute some pretty crucial roles in this family. When he gets home from work he’s a play-mate for Ellie. He’s a housekeeper after she goes to bed. He’s the garbage-taker-outer twice a week, he’s the counter-scrubber and the weekend laundry starter.
He’s the man whose idiosyncrasies built up over two decades of living by himself drive me bananas. (I’LL PUT MY SHOES WHERE I STINKING WANT TO, YOU OCD FREAK).
He’s also the man I like sitting next to on the couch and watching Amazing Race with. And the man who makes my little girl’s eyes light up. He’s the man my baby boy grins at when he sees him, and the man who sleepily pats my shoulder in support as I get up with Ben for his midnight feeding.
When he isn’t pinching pennies he’s adventurous and fun. When he isn’t working 22 hours a day he’s spontaneous and really interesting.
He's very...dependable. He thinks about supper HOURS before it’s time to EAT supper.
This is amazing to me.
It seems absence DOES make the heart grow fonder. But, maybe I would feel fonder-ish if I wasn’t so depleted. So, although traveling is good maybe I don’t want him going too far, too often, for a few more years.
As we like to gush to each other (very romantically), You’re a good egg Bill, and I’ll keep you around a little longer.