It’s been three months with my daughter around. I arrived at homeostasis, which translates that most days I don’t want to crawl into a hole from exhaustion, rather crawl into the same hole with a bag of chocolate hoping no one can find me. Hyperbole aside, things are fine, even good, and I say that with a cold that my daughter and I share.
There are certain aspects to this new normal I concluded. Pacifiers and mobiles are the ultimate peacekeeper, as well as shoddy forts. I drape a blanket over his small table and two chairs, and my a-little-over-two-year-old son behaves as though I’ve erected the Taj Mahal, allowing me enough time to feed Warrior Queen. I learned there is no conceivable way to manage two children so young in public without wearing one of them. I also have come to understand that toddlers have a sense of humor that is mostly not funny, and involves stains or disinfectant in most instances. But, the most prevalent aspect when reflecting on my new normal is the precarious Cat in the Hat style balancing game.
(I long to be this cat…)
(Usually, I’m this one hoping to land in a kiddie pool of dark chocolate…with nuts.)
It isn’t an exaggeration to say that my current balanced life consists of at least one of the three of us unhappy at all times…with a generous coating of mom guilt.
I manage to complete one priority a day, praising my superior executive functioning capability once I finish. If I am exceptionally lucky and the Earth tilts off its axis, two or three priorities can be accomplished. Incidentally, bills and house cleaning don’t come close to making the list. I clear maybe twenty minutes of true, uninterrupted time to myself during a typical weekday, and Mr. Clean can go screw with his friends Clorox and Pine Sol.
It’s hard to accept that I can’t do EVERYTHING, even if I had some notion of the full expanse of what everything entails. I don’t like that someone is unhappy at all times. I don’t like that often that someone is me. I have to say, however, that I almost combust with love during unexpected, yet surprisingly frequent moments. One of the most recent happened when retrieving my son from his quiet time this past week; I was dreading this rare occasion when he is inconsolably upset, awakening suddenly and wailing. This particular disposition usually amounts to a couple of hours of frazzled caretaking that I pray my daughter sleeps through, though she never does. But, on this occasion my son through sobbing gasps wanted me to tend to his unraveling sister first. Her well being was more important to my little man than his need for Mommy cuddles and snuggles. There are so many moments when I worry because my two seem to be perpetually waiting, and I feel all the more guilty when they wait as I attend to one of my needs…like eating…or using the restroom…or maybe something more frivolous still. However, when I am witness to evidence that my son’s world is that we are all in this together, maybe, just maybe it will be okay after all.