Friday, June 18, 2010
Takin' Care of Business
The sun is shining with that go-to-the-beach heat, and my kids are sitting watching a Blue's Clues movie. The laundry line is FULL, the washer is on full throttle, catching up on that neverending chore I call Mount Washmore. Dinner is in the slowcooker (All Day Beef Stew, fragrant with cloves, fresh thyme, garlic, red wine...), and lunch is on the boil (macaroni, carrots, chopped spinach...I'm hoping the spinach will blend in with the pesto I plan on adding once all is cooked).
I was up till 2:30 a.m. with Miss Margot who is sick at the moment. But rather than fussing and crying, she was singing. And laughing. And dancing in her crib. For hours. I snuggled her into bed with me (dear husband had deserted to the attic at this point). She was quiet for a moment, little hand reaching into that happy place between my breasts. I started to doze...then her fingers started to wiggle and she said "Ticko ticko ticko...hahahaha!!"
What do you do in a moment like that? No, you do not put a pillow over your child's head or abandon them on a hillside like the ancient Greeks did. You sigh, giggle, kiss that curly head, and surrender to the fact that this night will not include sleep.
So today I'm doing all the things I normally do (and moms, don't stop to consider all you accomplish in a day, seemingly effortlessly...you might collapse in sheer exhaustion!) but I'm also stumbling into doorways and bumping my head on the cupboards. I'm what I call "Stupid Tired". We have a doctor's appointment this afternoon to listen to Margot's chest and to examine Jude's feet and hands which have mysteriously erupted in weird blisters. Hoof and mouth disease? In humans it's called hand-foot-and-mouth disease, but the animal name makes me smile. The alternative is crying and that just won't do.
When it rains, it pours. I won't be napping today, and I'm not assuming I'll sleep tonight (although this baby has to crash sometime...she didn't nap all afternoon yesterday, slept 4 hours last night, and hasn't napped yet today). Somehow, mamas just soldier on, with support from the daddy of the house. I have a wake to attend today, a funeral and a family reunion tomorrow, and somehow have to get into "town" to pick up Daddy's Father's Day gift. Next week is the last week of school; gifts for Jude's teachers and busdrivers, kindergarten graduation crafts and parent celebration, tying up all those loose ends.
I'm not listing the duties of my life to be a martyr, because I really don't think I'm alone. All you women reading this are carrying different but just as many "to-dos" in your heads. We do it on little sleep. We take care of business. We kick ourselves when we see typos in our blogposts (at least I do) because I pride myself on being a good speller and editor...except when I'm posting at 10 o'clock at night (which is the only time I have time). We feel ashamed of the last 20 pounds that just hasn't come off after the last baby. We wonder if it's just a matter of time before we "let ourselves go" out of total exhaustion. We bemoan every grey hair, every hint of a wrinkle. We feel frustrated when we get to work and realise there's chicken poop on our shoes, baby snot on our black shirt, or that a pair of underwear that was static-clinging inside your pant leg has fallen out (if this ever happens to you, walk away quickly and act innocent...even if they're huge ratty maternity undies and you're the only person on staff who's had a baby in the past 5 years)
After next week, I'm stepping off the hamster wheel. I'm putting away all the kids' clothes except the absolute summer necessities to reduce my wash-load. I'm wearing Birks and sundresses every day, without a bra. The only thing on the calendar will be meals and swim lessons at the beach. Chores will involve the most basic: weeding the garden, feeding, clothing, bathing, and cleaning up after my kids, preserving whatever fruit is in season.
I know you don't believe me. I don't really believe me either. The world spins madly on...