It’s that time again, time for:
‘You know you’re a mom of a toddler and a baby when…’
1) When you have a hard time talking, because baby’s fingers are shoved in your mouth. It’s hard to focus when you’re trying to block out the image of where his fingers have been last - usually trying to pull the hair on the dog’s butt.
2) When you check yourself in the mirror and you know your hair is going to look limp and ignored and your freckles are having baby freckles everywhere and the bags under your eyes could hold the groceries you still need to get but you get the added bonus of having both shoulders wet with teething-baby drool, sweet potato puree, AND sparkly finger paint. Fun!
3) When you get excited for your husband to come home, not because you’re happy to see him, but because it means you can hand off the little monsters to him and finally start the dishes you haven’t done all day AND FINISH THEM AT THE SAME TIME.
Ahhh, the previously unappreciated joy of beginning a mundane task and finishing it at the same time.
4) When you find yourself explaining away the mess to your husband by saying, look, my first priority is, are they safe, healthy and clean? Do they feel loved? THEN I clean. Because you feel guilty. Because you ALWAYS FEEL GUILTY ABOUT SOMETHING.
And he doesn’t care because the first game of the NFL season starts tonight. And men can’t put more than one thought in their head at one time. Linear. Like a train. One train of thought.
Something else I haven’t had for about 9 months now. One thought.
Ahhh, the previously unappreciated joy of having just ONE thought in my head at one time.
Having two young kids is like juggling two sociopathic brother-gerbils with a death wish. You. Cannot. Take. Your. Eyes. Off. Them. For. One. Second.
One of them WILL eat the other in a fit of sibling rage. Or your nose.
And now you have to also cook for them, bath them, do the laundry, make the appointments, (take them to the appointments) do the groceries, (plan the week’s lunch and supper menu) (MAKE breakfast, lunch and supper) pay the bills, (make a budget) call the recycling company to see why they haven’t picked anything up in two weeks, run that errand for your friend, because, you’re not ‘working’ and have lots of time, right?
Organize their baby photos, make sure they have clothes appropriate for the weather because they GROW LIKE WEEDS, get their snacks they’re hungry again but baby can’t eat wheat or berries or eggs, or, he can, but just not the WHITE part of the egg, only the YOLK (I think) and oh, and make sure you’re having FUN and ENJOYING EVERY PRECIOUS MINUTE! Ok?
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh I am slowly going crazy….
People change after they have kids. I knew that. No one told me I would slowly lose MYSELF, at least for awhile. I’m a reader, a writer, a gardener, someone who loves yoga, a good joke and a dumb action flick with no story line. I’ve read one book this summer, gone to three yoga classes, written one short story, my garden is down to a couple dying pepper plants and some basil, and I haven’t seen a movie in a year.
I can write this now because I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. They’re both getting a little more independent. Ellie’s ‘school’ started last week and I’ll get a couple days a week with a few hours in it with just Benji and I. Soon Benji will be at one of those ‘school’ things too and you know what I’m going to do?
I could sleep. God knows I need it. I haven’t slept past 5am (or for more than 3 hours at a time) since before Benji was born.
I could eat. (Surprisingly NOT Ethopian skinny despite the fact I never know when I’m going to get a full meal in. COULD BE the plates of pie and cupcakes I eat on the fly…)
I could close all the curtains and binge-watch all the movies I’ve missed while eating bowls of cheezies.
I could putter in the garden, weed, plant, water, enjoy what little vegetation survived Benji’s arrival.
I could catch a yoga class, go to the library with a latte, sit down and just read whatever I want for HOURS by myself.
And I will probably do one, or all these things as soon as the chance presents itself.
I know what I’ll be doing for sure. Missing them like a mamma bear misses her cubs. Because they may be yowly, screetchy, no-napping little monster-bear-cubs, but they’re MY little monsters and life is just weird when they're not around. Weirder than before.