If you're looking for pretty pictures, you won't find any today. I didn't have my camera available when I fell down and got drenched.
Sometimes I wish I could be more like this guy. Sleeping like a dog, sitting like a turtle, walking swiftly like a pigeon, and...oh, some other animal simile.
But I'm going to have to do a lot of deep breathing to dispel stress. Sometimes I wonder if it's a character flaw that I have days where it's hard to surrender.
To the fact that, moments after bathing (when I haven't bathed in a week), I have sweat and/or spit up running down between by breasts and pooling in my navel.
To the fact that my children NEVER flush the toilet after they poo.
To the fact that, most mornings, I wake up to a sink full of dishes, even though I washed dishes all day and thought they were 'done' before I headed up to bed at 10:30 with the baby in my arms.
To the fact that, as much as I feel a deep and physical need for time alone with my thoughts, the baby only wants ME from the moment she wakes up (at 6:00 a.m.) till the moment she goes to sleep for the night (at 10:30 p.m.). Nature hates a vacuum, as do children: when my older kids see that Norah is napping and my arms are empty, they are quick to fill the space with their demands for food, stories, cuddles, and bum-wipes.
Yesterday I failed to surrender, and instead, cursed loud and long. I had spent the morning juggling the baby and all the little tasks I needed to complete to prepare for Violet's Kindergarten Graduation. I painted a dozen tiny peg dolls to resemble her classmates, because they were MY Junior Kindergarten students and I wanted a little something to give them as they move on to Grade One. I ironed dresses for the two older girls (because any 'special' occasion demands a clean, ironed dress...at least that's what they tell me). I packed the diaper bag, timed Norah's nap so that she'd be well rested by the time we had to leave. I waited till the last minute to cut up the watermelon I was going to bring with me.
I strapped on my wedge sandals (because sometimes I feel like being fancy), and wobbled my way down our uneven walkway, baby on hip and watermelon, peg dolls, camera, and keys in hand. I forgot about that hole that hasn't been filled. Can you see where this is going?
I stepped in the hole, and fell hard on one knee, launching the peg dolls and watermelon everywhere. Of course the container opened. Of course I tore a hole in my new jeans, as well as in my knee. The bright side is, I didn't drop the baby! I cursed, long and loud, with my dad as the helpless witness to all this craziness. He let me rant, and got the baby buckled in while I stomped back into the house.
I cut up more watermelon, called the school to ask the secretary to assure Violet that I WOULD be there with her dress, bandaged my knee, and headed back out. I didn't change my shoes, either. I just walked more carefully.
Then last night I remembered at 6:30 p.m. that today is Pizza Lunch at Jude's school. I know lunch days are a nice break for most parents. For me, they mean recreating gluten and dairy free versions of whatever the special lunch is. So I packed the kids into the van to head to the grocery store for supplies, as the sky clouded over ominously.
The heavens unleashed a fury of rain just as we arrived in town, so I dropped the kids as close to the grocery store door as possible. As I parked the van, I saw them running out into the rain and jumping in the huge puddles that were blooming on the crosswalk. I ran around to get the baby out, only to find that the door on her side was locked. By this time I was DRENCHED. An old man in the car beside me took the time to roll down his window to say, "Don't get wet, eh??" with an old-man chuckle. He's lucky he rolled his window back up quickly. The baby was screaming her head off, I couldn't get the door to unlock, and meanwhile my kids were being traffic hazards with their puddle-jumping death wish.
The baby started gasping as the rain pounded down on our heads. I ran across the parking lot and into the refreshing cool of the air conditioned store. Of course, we were all soaking wet now, and everyone was whining that they were cold as I tried to keep my very wet baby warm by wrapping the very wet sling around her.
My very nice neighbour was in line ahead of us, and he dashed out to the van to bring it close to the door for me. That was the best moment of the whole day: when Jude looked out and shouted, "MOM! Someone is stealing the van!!" I laughed so hard I cried, but you couldn't see the tears because my face was so wet.
By 7:30, the kids hadn't really had supper (popcorn doesn't count, does it?) so while they changed into dry pajamas I made hot buttered toast and heated up a can of baked beans. I let them watch a movie, and even made them ice cream sundaes, because they were such good sports about being dragged out into a deluge.
Daddy got home just in time to put everyone to bed at 9 p.m.
This morning I have to drive to Renfrew with the three girls to pick up five hens. All morning I've been asking myself, why do I add to my already full plate like this? I have bouts of optimistic energy where I convince myself that it won't be that much work. Then I go out to check the chicks and realise they haven't been fed and watered since the last time I managed to check on them two days ago.
I carry down another basket of laundry (didn't I just fold and put away the laundry 8 hours ago? and weren't my kids sleeping for the past 8 hours?), wash last night's dishes, and get the stress out of my system by writing it all out here.
Thanks for listening. Breathe in, breathe out.