It’s 7:15 on Sunday morning. I’ve just sat down on the couch with a newspaper and the first, and therefore most precious, cup of coffee of the day. Cian’s already here in the living room playing, and he abandons his toys when I sit to …
Tag: family life
Two days ago, Quinlan had a fever of 103.5 and was throwing up. She spent the night with me in our bed (David got relegated to…Cian’s bed, I think? Not sure. He’s always the one who gets relegated. All I know is that he helped me change the sheets after Vomit #1, slept through Vomits #2 and 3, and had to take the dog out twice, somewhere around 3 a.m. and 5. So he had to have been close. Though I’m sure he was wishing he were juuuuust a bit further away). Quinlan’s very pulled together when she’s sick, I have to say. She was feverish and miserable, but woke to tell me she had to barf, did her thing into our handy bucket, politely said, “Mom? I’m finished barfing” and lay back down, each time. She’s a funny one, our Mighty.
One day ago, I embarked on a grand journey to finally figure out how to wear my hair naturally. While one might not think that this ranks on the same troublesome level as a feverish barfer, that one has never had her hair go from straight to funky-wavy over the course of three pregnancies and found herself fighting with a straight iron every day to tame the poof into something resembling a society-worthy hairstyle. Those were dark times, people. Dark times, indeed. So after overhearing chit-chat from like-haired women lately, viewing a bunch of salon-based YouTube videos, reading a super helpful four-page-long email from a fellow suddenly-curly friend, and approximately one mortgage payment in hair products later, I spent yesterday trying to “be me.” Being me is hard. Being me is going to take a while to learn. The only person in the house this really positively affects is Quinlan, because I’ve finally figured out how to manage that mop of curls on top of her head. I have a feeling you can feel her relief from here.
Today, David took Saoirse to school while I got ready for the day. Riley the Dog wasn’t following us around like she usually does (you think having kids watch you duck into the bathroom is bad–try having the kids AND the dog staring at you. It’s great. Really), and when I called for her, there was no answer. So I called louder. Then I started to panic–did she get out before Dave shut the garage door? Did she escape during the get-the-kids-ready-to-go confusion? Was she somewhere on that major road by our house–the one with all the traffic? Had she got run over by a school bus? OH MY GAD WHERE WAS RILEY?! It was like a page out of that children’s book Llama Llama Red Pajama–my imagination ran off with the imaginary escapee dog, and I freaked. By the time I found her–she’d been curled up under David’s desk in his office, sound asleep–she was in such a quiet panic that she peed all over herself. Then David walked in the house. Then Riley ran into the kitchen and peed all over that–actually running around with her little puppy bottom dragging along, piddling a lovely frantic arc around the kitchen island. And the table. And the other cabinet. Then I tried to get her outside to bathe her. More pee. Then we tried the upstairs bath. I think she managed to drop yellow puddles on the carpet in Cian’s room and the bathroom floor before I was able to wrestle her into the tub. Frankly, I’m having trouble understanding how one 11-month-old dog can have THAT MUCH PEE IN HER. So I was hollering. David was hollering. Paper towels and cleaning supplies were flying, the poor dog was trying to jump out of the bath tub, the whites of her scared eyes rolling around like crazy, and the kids were at our heels asking what was going on, can we watch Riley get a bath, when is it snack time?
It took six minutes for all of this to happen. It was not quite 8:20 in the morning. So now I sit here, the grown-ups and dog calm and peaceful, with my second born at home, still in her pajamas for the third day in a row, alternately trying to love-strangle that same dog and hit her brother in the eye with a toy lightsaber. My hair, strange and chunky from the overabundance of curling product left over from yesterday, is tucked behind my head into some sort of ponytail/bun/deranged-lady-who-was-found-wandering-down-the-highway hairstyle. It’s gross. I don’t know what to do with it but I am being NATURAL. David’s on a work call, and I’m pretty sure he hasn’t even had a chance to get a shower yet. The house smells like wet dog, apricot shampoo, vinegar and water, and a fall-scented candle because dammit, I’m just going to forge on ahead and pretend that this day is starting off like any other.
Because it is, of course. Because even though the internet tells us to ease into our mornings, to color a few pages in our meditation journals, to write our morning pages and do our yoga and breathe in the fresh air of calm while watching the sunrise with our hands wrapped around a mug of tea, c’mon. Most mornings there’s somebody peeing on the carpet and somebody else hollering for a snack and two people who love each other very, very much squabbling over where to find the last roll of paper towels because OH MY GAD THERE’S MORE PEE OVER HERE.
It’s real life, my friends. And as bright and busy as it is, most days it smells vaguely like urine.
In the past week, we’ve had children crawling into bed with us at 5 a.m. (nightmares), coming back downstairs at nine p.m. (scary wind against windows), sleepwalking at 11 p.m. (accident, wet sheets), among other disruptions. We have discovered dog food crushed into rugs, crayons on …
Saoirse told me the other day over lunch that I should write a book about our family as superheroes. She had it all planned out: the color of our capes, what we would say, how we would interact. She described, in detail, our adventures, and said that we would be called…The Supers. I didn’t have the heart to tell her the story had already been made into an animated kids’ movie that made its creator about a bazillion dollars. Besides, they always need sequels, and her story idea was really pretty good (hear that, Disney/PIXAR? HIRE MY DAUGHTER. We’ll be happy to negotiate wages). But she was so excited while talking about her story, so, so animated (get it? HIRE HER, DISNEY). When I tell you her eyes actually lit up, believe me when I say, her eyes lit up like a Christmas tree on fire. Writers, this is why we write, by the way. And I may have a budding novelist on my hands. Lord help us all.
She smiled across the table that day and asked me if I would write the story. I said to her, “You could write the book! Would you like to write it?”
She looked at me with an expression that was nothing short of incredulousness mixed with teenager-level exasperation, with a little Jack Nicholson-esque raised eyebrow thrown in for good measure.
“Why would I?” she said.
Only the slightest bit miffed, I told her, “Because it was your idea! You could be creative. Use your imagination, and write your own story.”
She barely paused. “Um,” she replied. “Could I draw the pictures?”
Yep, she’s a writer all right. She’s already got the avoidance part down pat.
A few years ago, when Saoirse was a baby and David was travelling for work, I wrote something on Facebook to the effect of “Gosh, I have so much respect for the single parents out there, because this is HARD wah wah if-I-try-to-be-funny-you-won’t-judge-me WHINE.” I …