When I’m feeling particularly terrible about something, it seems like the best way for me to process it is through writing about it, and sharing it with you so that you can all mock me, silently. So with that in mind, I approach the computer. But I have to say, I’m not really looking forward to this. Usually, I like to pour myself a hefty glass of wine, and over the course of a post, proceed to get just a teensy bit toasted. But I have been fighting a cold now for the last few days, and in order to win the battle, I need to be basically snorting vitamin C and mainlining water. Not to mention that this is the third time I have been sick in six weeks, making it feel as if I have been sick for six weeks. So there you have it. A stone cold sober blog post.
And don’t think for a second that I’m all nonchalant about having been sick for this long. I looked up “symptoms of cancer” last week because I have never been this sick for this long. So of course, of course, I must have cancer. It couldn’t possibly be that each time I get sick I have to keep doing the exact same things I do when I am not sick. That is to say, everything. And usually, the children, who can sense weakness, become much more demanding when I am sick. And they are pretty loud about it, so I basically get bullied into doing whatever it is they want me to do so that they will just be quiet.
Lately, even taking into account the fact that the kids have also been sick for over two weeks now, thereby restricting me to close quarters with them, I feel like I have no idea how to be a mother. To be totally frank, I have never felt really excellent at anything I do, other than possibly shopping. But motherhood is different, because when you aren’t good at it, you can tell, like, immediately. Or at the very least, when your grown child is standing over you with an axe. For me, the results really are almost instant, and lately, they reflect poorly on me. And it isn’t always that my kids behave badly—because for the most part, they are really nice kids—it is that there are more and more moments during the day when I honest-to-the-sweet-invisible-possibly-nonexistent-lord have no fucking idea how to parent.
It doesn’t help that I am an overthinker, overtalker, overprocessor, and, let’s not forget, an over-second-guesser. I probably overeat, too. And I definitely overspend when I am at Buffalo Exchange, but who doesn’t? I mean, the fashion! The deals! The fashion faux pas that the employees so haughtily make! What more could a girl want?
What do other parents do? (I’m really asking a question here, so you can really feel free to answer.) What happens to other families when their kids reach an age/stage where they are on the verge of gaining more independence but still can’t be trusted to do pretty much anything? Or when you, as a parent, are just plain overwhelmed? Don’t get me wrong, Rowan is potty-trained and talking in dissertations, but he still can’t get up on the toilet to poop. And I am still wiping his butt, because yuck. He tries to wipe it, but let’s just say that he seems to think that his mid-back is his butt. So yeah, I wipe. Then there is Luca. Luca is so sharp. His eye actually twinkles with mischief, and he has an astonishingly fine-tuned sense of humor. He isn’t even three years old yet. He knows (pretty much) when he is doing something wrong. I know this because he usually does it while saying in a sing-song voice, “Maaaaaama! Yook (look) what I’m dooooing!” But he will still fall off the back of the couch or stick a plastic coin in his mouth and choke on it. So it isn’t like I’m going to be giving him his own car anytime soon. Or ever.
This leaves me constantly wavering between encouraging their independence and restricting them, making me feel like I’m constantly floundering. It’s unsettling for me, and I know that it’s hard for the kids. All the while I hear my internal critic saying “Consistency is key! Without consistency, you have chaos!” But their constant dependency is wearing me down, man. Rowan thinks that he needs me with him almost all the time. When he gets dressed, he even brings his clothes into whatever room I’m in so that he doesn’t get lonely and “cold.” And then it strikes me that my kids are little! I mean, Rowan is only four and a half years old! He’s been a humanoid for hardly any time at all! And Luca! So tiny! He thinks eating his boogers is a good idea! He doesn’t know! Add to all of this teeter-tottering between two distinct stages the fact that I can’t breathe out of my left nostril and I haven’t slept more than five hours a night for three days, and you have a volcano waiting to erupt.
And can someone tell me why men, when they get sick, just lay around in their bathrobes, taking it easy so that they can get better faster? Is this like, a law? Because it seems like a law. If it is, I’m heading to congress. Nothing makes me crazier when I am sick, than a sick husband. The unfairness of our roles becomes pretty fucking crystal clear.
So there you have two things I need to know the answer to. Please, assist me.
Maybe I’m brain damaged.
All I really want right now is to pull on my jammies, crawl into bed, pull up my crazy quilt, drink some hot tea, and watch reruns of Gilmore Girls. Is that too much to ask? Good God! Sometimes my blog posts read like my diary from the 8th grade. All, “I just don’t know what to do!” and, “I wish someone would just tell me what to do!” and “I wish that Pierre would ask me to the dance!”
But I’m sick. And tired. And sick and tired of being sick and tired. (You knew that was coming.) On the bright side, though, I do have fantastic hair. And really nice skin. At least there’s that. Now if I could just make sure I really don’t have cancer, we’ll be all set.