Thursday, March 7, 2013

days like that

There are days when I wear her in the sling from the moment she wakes, till the last dreg of the day when my neck and back insist that they can't take it anymore. But they do, and I go to bed knowing that I'll do it all again tomorrow. I won't get to wash my hair, or even my face. Don't even mention shaving my legs or tidying up my eyebrows. I don't have time to wonder what I used to do with all that time I used to have. I have officially (gasp) let my self go.

There are days when the only way I can bathe is by taking her into the tub with me. Her gaze at my face tells me that she doesn't mind my hairy legs. What used to be awareness of my own body and its needs have faded, and that awareness has shifted towards her and her siblings. It is as though they are extensions of my own self, like the baby sprouts that grow from the tentacles of a spider plant.

Some days I burn the popcorn, and say yes when the older girls ask if they can make "soup". They sprinkle in spices and coffee grounds, add a bit of water, and stir like little wisewomen. These are the days when they seem happiest, when I say yes. Some days I frantically cry NO at the prospect of any additional messes to overwhelm me in my half-assed pursuit of any sense of tidiness or order. With a baby in a sling, I can't tidy anything below my hips, so the floor at day's end is something to be waded through rather than walked upon.

In these last weeks of winter, there are days where they will play outside for over an hour, burying each other, creating slides in the mounds left by the snow plow, following mouse-tracks over the dusting on the crust of hard snow. One day they even saw the mouse jumping in and out of their boot prints, and followed it to its hole in the snow. On those days they come in clamouring for popcorn (preferably not burnt), cheeks rosy and mouths spilling tales of winter adventure.

There are also days where no amount of coercion or bribery will induce them to go outside. These are the days where they climb the furniture, fight, and break things. These are the days where I congratulate myself once again for the fact that I am not a)divorced or b) an alcoholic.

If it's one of those days when my mother comes to help me out, she tries to get a picture of us now and then. I know that these days will be a blur someday; instead of memories I will have a vague sense of how busy I was but without a real recollection of the intensity and reality. These pictures might fool me into thinking that the older girls didn't fight like hell cats, that the baby was happy to be put down, or that I always wore makeup and a smile.

These days, we check our pots of wheatgrass for sprouts, and check the world outside our window for the coming of Spring when we will all be released from this winter of welcoming a new sibling, testing mommy's limits, putting in the hours of cold and snow and chucking wood, and learning what it is to be a family of six. 

Bring it on.


  1. This post made me chuckle, not because it's funny, but because it describes my own home with four littles and I laughed almost in relief to know others are going through those exact same things, I'm not alone...and well because it's a case of laugh or cry in these situations and I'd rather laugh :)

  2. my baby is 4 months old, and I LOVE wearing her but she is a BIG baby. almost 20 lbs, so sadly my baby wearing has decreased due to back ache.. she is 18 weeks and wearing 18 month clothing! my daughter loves playing in the sink too, it seems to be more enjoyable than toys for her. lovely post & pictures.

  3. The sad fact is we wish these days away and at the same time we are acutely aware that they will be gone before we know so we try to remember details so that when one day comes, we will have a vivid recollections but we will not. It's all about the moment and you are in it and doing it and living it.

  4. Beautiful and very real post. Only one thing wrong with it. I'm at the point of looking back on those days through pictures and I from my happy place remember the kids as angels and me looking terrific. You're saying that was staged... oh yes. Now I remember :(

    BUT, I am a)still not divorced and b) still sober ~ We are amazing are we not?

    Blessings, Debbie

  5. Love that picture of your and your littles. So beautiful! We're growing wheatgrass for Eater too! Your's looks fab! xo

  6. Yes, still married and sober...and I'll admit, the intensity of those early days really are becoming a distant memory. Astounding how that happens, how time affects clarity - enhancing it in some instances and blurring its edges in others.

    That photo of you with your girls is incredible!

  7. love this. a lot. plus you're pretty. and sober and married. congrats.

  8. Wow, that's intense. Days like these seem to go on forever and yet, so soon they are gone. The bath photo is stunning; she really doesn't care about hairy legs, untrimmed bangs or bushy eyebrows; she has her mama and that's all that matters. Now having three more to love and cherish on top of Norah--that's an experience I have missed but live vicariously thru you. Thanks so much for sharing.


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