Thursday, August 23, 2007

Shiny New Mommy

The bathroom is sparkling and smelling like the fresh scents of lavender and lemon.* I wish it were that easy to make the job of parenting have a sparkly, fresh-smelling outcome every day.

This summer has been busy, requiring the packing of gear and the going to places, and there've also been plenty of days spent at home. These last two weeks of August on the calendar, for instance, are blessedly, heartwarmingly completely blank.

I remember last summer, my first summer as a stay at home mommy. What a shock! Talk about jumping into the pool only to realize the water's cold and full of algae that you didn't notice before and what's more, your swimsuit just went up your crack and -whoops! - you forgot that last week your arms were amputated so there's no way to pull the suit out or really even to swim to the side of the pool and climb out. The thought of your fate enters your mind suddenly and you realize: I am going to die now and this is how it will happen. Huh.

A friend - who has four children - and I were recently talking and she questioned me about what it must be like to have one child. I believe her words were, "it must be fairly low-key, right?" I said that yes, it was, relatively, but that it was still kinda hard. Raising a child is never easy, no matter how many (or few) you have. I have to admit that I felt foolish saying this to a woman who has four separate clothing sizes to keep track of (not counting her own or her husband's), as well as four different grade levels of homework, four sports practices and games, and then dinner for six every night. I felt silly, boob-like, is what I'm saying. I felt like a big loser crybaby because I was like "Waaa, one kid is hard!" when clearly I have it pretty darn easy most of the time.

But, one kid is what I'm used to. My friend's children came one at a time, and so she adjusted to each one by one. Me thinking of one kid and then suddenly thinking of having four children....well, that's not relatable. Unless one has triplets, it happens one at a time so there can be an adjustment period, also known as the "time to get one's meds upped". Ha ha.

But....here's the thing: we are trying to make a baby. And all of this sort of freaks me out because, how am I going to handle two kids? I remember those toddler years, and I worked. How am I going to stay home and deal with a toddler? How??? HOW????

One thing at a time. We may not be able to have a child. Who knows?

What time is it? 6:43 am. I've been awake since 1:55 am because that is when my daughter decided to join us in bed because, for all we can tell, she doesn't like sleeping alone. No nightmares, just doesn't want to be alone. I don't know why the forty kazillion dolls and stuffed animals don't count, but they don't. This doesn't work for me. I can barely sleep with my husband (actual sleeping, I'm not trying to subtlely hint at sexual dysfunction.) If it were up to me? I'd sleep in a grand bedroom in a bed all by myself. Not because I don't love my family, I do. It's just, I need space, and I need QUIET, that's all.

The lesson is given to me over and over again: when I don't have a schedule, life at home with a child falls apart much like a cupcake in the rain: slowly, crumb-by-crumb, irretrievably gone forever.

I noted that this all happened two weeks ago. Since then I posted a chore list on the fridge, and the nighttime schedule next to that. We discussed bedtime and how bedtime is bedtime and not whine-time, cry-time, or stay-with-me-longer-time. I talked about consequences (the worst one to OC being scooping the litterbox) and implement them, and I told her all that I appreciate and I have rewarded her several times since then.

Amazingly....it has worked! Bedtime is now bedtime. There have been no tears. We all sigh with relief. OC is happy, too, by the way.

Thank goodness soon it will be fall. School will take up most of the day and I will schedule the hell out of the rest of it, just to be safe.


* This was two weeks ago. Before the wisdom teeth surgery. This week my bathroom is growing things.

3 comments:

Wendy said...

The only time I find 4 kids hard anymore is when we try to take all of them someplace. Then all hell breaks loose!

Melissa said...

I'm almost positive I couldn't handle more than the two I've got, but I try to remember that everyone handles things differently. For what it's worth, I had the same doubts as you before I had my second baby. I think it's pretty normal to feel that way.

Occidental Girl said...

I think I could handle two kids if there were at least one babysitter involved on a regular basis. I'll have to see if I can work that out.

All of a sudden I see babies everywhere, and I want to pinch (gently) their little chubby cheeks and I wish for my own baby so I can eat their chubby thighs! OC is too old to have chubby thighs, but even if she did she wouldn't let me eat them. You know how there is something about babies that is just so yummy???