Ok, I’m about to sound like a whiner. What I really want to do is punch the wall. Scratch that. Because then I have to youtube how to patch a wall, and then find time to run up to home depot and buy supplies which means wrestling both kids out the door one more time than I absolutely need to in a day and then basically all out forcing joel to sit in the cart while ruth, in the meantime, asks over and over again for me to buy anything nearby within eye-shot that looks remotely kid-oriented and joel screams his head off to get out of the cart while everyone looks at me like I’m a sadistic monster mother as I struggle up and down the aisles trying to find it all. nope, not gonna do that. What I’m gonna do instead is just piss and moan like an impotent jerk and then take it up the tailpipe (liar, liar, anyone?)
I was going to get to it all. my sourdough starter, ripe for the bread-making, sitting on the dining room table above the heat vent, getting nice and puffed. The wet towels under the dining room table leftover from bath time seeping water molecules down into the hardwood floor. The pile of coats and boots left by the front door from when we came inside after our walk. the laundry downstairs in the washer, fermenting all afternoon, waiting to be remembered and gotten to, tossed into the dryer finally. The dinner dishes, piled and un-rinsed, food hardening and crusting over, becoming multi-colored cement for me to chisel off if I didn’t at least steep everything in water. If I was feeling really ambitious, the duplos that joel compulsively dumps out all over the living floor every time he sees that they have been put into the bag (the nerve). Perhaps ruth’s room which every few hours becomes impassible if someone (me) is not consistently putting the toys that they both drag out over and over again away. Maybe some reading. Maybe a blog post. If I was really ambitious, if I really had the time, I could even stand back from things for a moment and think about the direction my life is going in, about the educational route I want to take with the kids, about things I want to learn and look into for my own interest. That is a true luxury these days. Having time to think past this moment, or the next day with the kids. perspective.
But I was tired. And I fell asleep with joel kicking me in the butt and pulling my hair out at the roots, and didn’t wake up until 8 hours later, a nice healthy length of sleep for an adult. But a two-year old? No. they are supposed to sleep 10 at a minimum, 11-12 hours is probably better. Just tell that to joel.
He’s heat-sensing. So, when my body leaves his side, his body senses it and alerts him. Alarms go off and wake him up so that he can come out and find me, desperately making tea at the stove, trying to feed the dog and let her out as quietly as I can. Hoping, hoping, hoping he’ll go back to sleep. Mistake his sister’s warmth for mine. Snuggle back down. Go to sleep, for god’s sake!
That’s when I get pushed so close to the brink of insanity that I can feel the yawning expanse of it beneath me. I’m standing right at the edge and by a thread, a mere thread, I’m hanging on, keeping my balance.
“joel,” I tell him stupidly, as though he knows what the hell I mean or has any inkling that he is about to make his mom crazy, “this is mommy’s time. You should be sleeping. It’s too early to get up.” Oh, yeah. I say it. It’s stupid, but venting the words helps diffuse a tiny fraction of the inner explosiveness I feel inside me like steam in a kettle.
I abandon the computer, which is a bastard in the morning anyways to try and get to work, and instead settle on the chair in the living room, joel on my lap, asking for milk, tossing and turning, asking for tea and cereal, while I read my book, awkwardly, because he keeps hitting it, knocking it from my hand, accidentally crushing my belly with his big chunky self, searching for a comfy spot. Yeah, that’s right, I have no personal space or freedom.
It’s funny. Because even as I type this feeling so angry and overwhelmed, I know that one day I might look back on my words and scold myself for not enjoying more the time when my kids did love and need me so completely and simply and when they were small enough to be cradled in my lap. As crazy as it sounds, I know that one day, I might wish to have this time back. Crazy.
Well, he finally did fall back asleep, uncharacteristically. And, even more uncharacteristically, I was able to put him back into bed with his sleeping sister and walk away and type this post. An hour to myself per day? That’s about the most I can hope for. Miles, miles, miles…and what am I going to do with you in a few months? I must be insane to be adding to this insanity. Must be.