Some nights, I want to run screaming from my house. It usually starts with mornings where I want to yell, “EVERYBODY STOP TOUCHING ME!”
First thing in the morning, I change two diapers. If you start shit about how my three year-old should not be in diapers anymore, I will cut you. If your three year-old was/is potty trained by three years and three weeks, then commence feeling superior to me in 3, 2, 1…
After I change these two diapers, I want to sit and have my coffee. I love coffee. My children’s smiling faces are wonderful to wake up to. Almost as terrific as coffee, but not quite. If Pringles wakes up before Viva, she will happily cruise/crawl around the living room while I sip. Once Viva is up, though. Forget it. She won’t let me sit alone.
“Mommy, I want to sit with you.” Just a few hours ago, it was “Mommy, I want to snuggle with you.” I just spent all night with one child attached to my right breast and the other child’s face nestled into the nape of my neck. Just twenty minutes of nobody touching me would be grand. But my oldest has to sit with me, and within seconds, the baby toddles over wanting to be included.
I’m an attachment parent. That means I breastfeed, hold my children when they want, co-sleep with them, and practice gentle parenting. In my imagination, I scream, yell, kick the dog, and throw shit. In life, I am patient and peaceful.
Except I do this one thing where I take a deep breath and let it out with a loud “Huhhhhh”. It’s a breathy sound that doesn’t vibrate the larynx. The reason I know I make this sound is because my three year-old imitates it perfectly.
I described the trial of dressing my daughter in a previous post. She of “no bones” fame. Brushing her teeth and having her hair done are equally frustrating. By the time she is diapered, dressed, fed, brushed, ponytailed, and shod, I practically shove her out the door, knowing I’m going to have to answer at least three questions on the way to the car.
Once she’s at school, I rush to get Pringles home before she nods off. If she sleeps for even five minutes in the car, she awakes as though she slept for three hours and skips her nap. The baby nap is my time during the day. If I want to nap with her, I do. I figure that when I go back to work in August, I won’t miss doing chores or projects. I’ll miss taking naps with my baby. Something that I will never get to do again in my life.
I haven’t been very successful with crib training. Attachment parenting means I don’t let her cry for long periods just to teach her to be alone. So her naps are alternating stints in the crib and sleeping in my arms at my breast. Where’s the cover of Time Magazine when you need it?
In the evenings, Pringles is clingy. I want so much to have dinner ready when Odie gets home with Viva at 6:20 or so. Pringles is sleepy for a nap at 5 or 5:30, so the timing seems perfect, but as soon as I nurse her to sleep and lay her in her crib, she wakes up and screams like she’s been betrayed. In fact, I don’t even get her down. She wakes up as soon as I lean forward toward the crib mattress. Our crib has had more use as an outlet cover than a sleeping place.
By the time I get dinner made, my left bicep is aching from holding Pringles. I’m dripping with sweat and the house is hot. My landlord just said “no” to my request to swap a hanging light fixture in the living room with a ceiling fan. She also determined my idea to change one of the windows in the front room into a place for an air conditioner was too expensive. Here comes another miserably hot summer.
When Viva and Odie get home after school, I spend the evening getting Pringles away from Viva’s stuff. She only wants the toys her older sister is playing with. The gap between what a three year-old can play with and what an eleven month-old can is frustrating. Viva’s toys often have many small parts that need close monitoring.
“NOOOOO! Mom! She’s trying to get my ________!”
I find myself dodging my husband’s attempted embraces, because he always wants to hug me when I’m in the middle of something. Sometimes I have one kid grabbing each leg and Odie is all “Come here, you. Give me some lovin’.” And I want to reply, “GET THE FUCK OFF OF ME, ALL OF YOU!”
I never really identified with the show “Big Love.” But polygamy makes sense to me now. Sure, I’d want to make sure my husband didn’t choose a sneaky Borderline like Nikki who would spend all of our money, but at least when I was exhausted from breastfeeding, toddler tantrums, dishes, laundry, and cooking, he’d have the young slutty one to give him some lovin’.