Some days, I get why all those 1950s moms were hopped up on Valium much of the time. It’s days like that when I really wish I could “Calgon, Take Me Away” right to some deserted desert island complete with a cute cabana boy and lots of those drinks that come in coconuts and sport a wee paper umbrella swizzle stick. Of course, knowing my kids, they would figure out a way to find me. I swear, the umbilical cord may be cut, but you birth a baby and they get a GPS unit more effective than anything Garmin could ever whip off an assembly line. So, thank all that is good that I have a husband who can take over while I lock myself in the bathroom or do some mindless aisle therapy at the nearest shopping realm. (And I’m not even much of a shopper! Of course, my local Target understands motherhood. Have an in-store Starbucks and a magazine rack and the frustrated mamas will come by the van load. Ka-ching.)
I get “hormonal headache episodes” or some such namby-pamby way of explaining that sometimes, I’m a real peach to live with. Not only do I have PMS like some sort of raging horror film star, but my head pounds like there is a bad big-hair 80s cover band in there. Yesterday was a good case in point. By the time I got home from the office, there was no way I was capable to making a coherent decision, let alone dinner. I called my hubby and told him that either he took us out for dinner, or he could figure out what nutritious little feast he could whip up with 5 eggs and some mayonnaise. Keeping in mind that the night before we had had “breakfast for dinner” because the contents of the fridge were basically the same but with more eggs. (Note to self: go to the grocery store today.) So we headed to the neighborhood brewpub and paid someone to feed our kiddos.
We got there and I was trying to get drink orders out of my children before my poor server lost all patience with us and just poured us all bourbons or some such thing. I lean over DS2 who has laryngitis and ask him for the fourth time to repeat what he is saying he would like to drink. He promptly tries to open his complementary box of crayons and instead whacks me in the eye with it. Like that really helps stop an almost migraine in its tracks. Not. I look up at her, tell her he’ll have a water and that I personally recommend birth control. Lots of it.
Don’t get me wrong, I can’t imagine just how devoid my life would be without my kids. But there are times when a harried mama just would like to get up from the table, head out the door, and not come back for a few years, or at least until they are all potty trained. (I actually begged my own mother to give me at least 5 years between needing to monitor my children’s bathroom habits before I have to monitor hers. She didn’t think that was particularly funny. Guess I didn’t get my sense of humor from my mom.)
Babies are so dang cute, but they do make a whole lot of noise and fluids. Both of which they really like sharing – all over you. Then they learn how to turn that noise into something more irritating than high-pitched screaming and parenting starts to take a downturn. Good thing that when they sleep, they revert to that angelic little thing that wrapped you around its finger.
Speaking of adorable sleeping habits, being sick completely erodes that tendency. So DS2 is sick, which means that he has been spending a lot of time in my bed – mostly with me propping him up so he can breath. (I REALLY wish we could give kids cold medicine again. Grrr.) Anyhoo, so at about 3 am, here he came. I pick him up and he wraps himself around my neck like a muffler with fingers. “Scary dream mama, scary dream.” Poor little guy is stuffed up, coughing, and apparently suffering the after-effects of having been chased by demons. So, I attempt to get enough slack to inflate my trachea and stay calm enough to soothe him. I can’t say I was terribly effective in increasing my airway’s space, but I did eventually get him to at least stop shaking. Of course, the coughing and sniffling took about an hour to get calmed down. Let me tell you, I was oh so excited to hear the alarm go off at 5:30. While I did need to prop my eyelids open, at least it allowed me to extricate myself from his boogered fingers without guilt. “Sorry kiddo, gotta hit the gym in hopes of losing the 15 pounds I still have reminding me of the birth of you and your sister. Like the Shar Pei skin and stretch marks weren’t doing the trick.”
So I’m thinking about that woman in California who just had octuplets. Hmm. I don’t want to be a judger, but dear god, what was she thinking? I mean, she already had 6 kids. Of course, maybe after 6 kids she was so sleep deprived that she didn’t really know what she was doing. And can you imagine what her poor body looks like after gestating a litter? That much extra skin and you could car-camp under it. Which would be handy for those spur-of-the-moment camping trips, but not so great for the “let’s get naked and feel good about our bodies” thing.
Yep, having babies really takes a toll on a girl. If it isn’t the dark circles under your eyes or the stretched out skin, its the near insanity you are driven to by all the bickering and socks to fold.
There is just no way to win. You love ’em so much you can’t imagine living without them, but there are days when you just want to run away. I guess I’ll just go take a shower and try to pretend the steamy bathroom (since the fan doesn’t do much more than sound like an airplane taking off) is some exotic locale. ‘Cause if the truth be told, I always have trouble catching the eye of the bartender. I doubt I’d be more successful with a cabana boy – especially if I was wearing a swimming suit.