As I write this, Cian is in his crib, crying so hard it sounds like torture (for me). I already went in to comfort him once, and he’s trying to settle into his nap. His settling is loud. Quinn keeps popping out of her room, …
Tag: full-time parenting
I love childhood. The watching of it, I mean. I know my last post was all sorts of grumpy and scattered (and apparently typo-filled, from what I just saw. For a former teacher and editor, I’m looking a little rusty), and I still haven’t wrangled …
When you go to to type your own blog’s website into your web browser because it’s Monday, and you usually post on Mondays, but you accidentally type in another, much more popular blog into your browser–and when it takes you a second to realize, as you’re reading this particularly entertaining, well-written blog, that (oh, yeah)–this isn’t your own blog and shouldn’t you be writing a new post, already?–it’s maybe a sign that you’re not really in the blog-writing mood and that maybe you should take today off, perhaps.
So. What you get today is a blog post about how I don’t feel like writing a blog post. Feeling ironic yet?
It’s turned from a radiantly sunny day to a sort of drab, almost-winter-y, overcast, barren-looking sort of day. It’s the sort of day where my daughter asks, “Hey, Mom? Can we not go anywhere today? Can we watch a movie?” but you drag her and her sister on some errands anyway because a) you only have two days a week where you can actually run errands, uninterrupted, with the wee children, and b) they’re just so darned fun to go out with, because they’re so golly-darned good, even when I’m hollering at one to hurry up and get in the car already because there’s traffic in this lot and the other child is squirming in my arms and I’ve just realized that she’s somehow barfed vanilla-flavored milk all over her coat…and, by extension, all over my hair. This is why I usually wear a ponytail.
Also, it’s Christmastime–a lovely span of weeks where a mom makes sure that everyone around her is caught in a swirling mist of delight, peppermint- and balsalm-scented air, dreams of snow and Santa and wise men on a starlight path, while the actual mom in question is trying to write cards and plan food and figure out where the heck she put that sweater she needs to wrap. And when this mom is a stay-at-home parent, who, in reality, has exactly 25 minutes to herself between the hours of seven a.m. and eight p.m., no kidding, because there is absolutely no break where she’s not answering “why?” or changing a diaper, or filling up milk cups or wiping smashed banana out of the dog’s fur, well. It’s all minutiae. But it adds up to one big, hectic to-do list wherein I forget to respond to emails and my friends wonder if I’ve suddenly broken down and moved to Tanzania to study rock-climbing.
So, no post today. I’ve changed out of my jeans into sweats, pulled my hair back (I didn’t have time to dry it this morning, anyway, and it gets all crazy/funky/wavy like this, in case you were wondering), and hunkered down to keep the mechanics of Christmas working so that my family can enjoy the magic of the season, dammit. But I have lots of stuff simmering in the back of my brain to write about–hoo, boy, it’s just itching to come out, if it can fight its way past the shopping lists and checkbook spread sheets and calendars jumping around in my head, so it’s a-coming, people. Just let me find that sweater, first, and I’ll get right back on it.
I realized something yesterday: when you’re the full-time care-giver of small children, you sit a lot. You sit. A lot. I try to do fun activities with the girls when we can. Fun for them, I mean: simple places like the park, farm markets, local …
There’s a farm market on the other side of our town that, like many small, family-owned farms, opens a play area for children every fall. It has a “fun fort” in a would-be greenhouse. It has burlap-sack rides, and corn boxes and animals to feed. …
I was talking to a new acquaintance the other morning. She told me that she’d be the person dropping off her son at preschool, but that his grandmother, who watches him during the day, would be the one to pick him up. She works from home, and I mentioned something about that being a wonderful set-up because of the flexibility.
“Oh, yeah,” she said, nodding fervently. “I love it. It’s perfect. You need something outside of the kids, you know?”
I smiled, and cleared my throat. Quinn fidgeted on my hip, anxious to get down on the ground to crawl, and I was suddenly conscious of the honey she’d smeared on the shoulder of my shirt, now crusty and smelling faintly like old cough syrup, during breakfast that morning. I thought about how, in the two hours Saoirse was at school, I had to run Quinn to her baby gym class, then get to the grocery store to do the week’s shopping before driving back to the school in time to meet SK, praying all the while the milk I just bought didn’t curdle into some mutant form of yogurt in the heat of the car while we’re waiting for her. I remembered the wet towels still sitting in the washing machine and thought about the toys scattered around the living room amid the ever-present dog hair and shoes that seem to appear throughout the house like change spilled from a pocket, the iron still on the board in my bedroom. I worried about rushing home to clean out the pantry, empty out the fridge, unload the groceries, let out the dog, put away the food, prepare lunch, settle an argument over toys, change a diaper, set the table, wash the fruit, all in a half hour. I swallowed hard at the mental image of my to-do list, hoping to tackle at least two of the items on it that afternoon while the girls rested for an hour and a half, knowing that in that time, someone would poop, someone would cry, someone would jump up and down on her bed, someone would beg to be let out of solitary confinement (“Mom? Is it 3 o’clock yet?”). I knew that from the instant I walked in that door a little later, the rest of the day would be like a race to the finish line, only to cross that line and have to fold a bunch of laundry. And I nodded, and agreed with her that yes, yes, we definitely need something outside of the kids.
Yeah. You don’t say.