Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Teeter Totter

The day started at 5:20 am. We all went downstairs and I fed the children breakfast. Folded two loads and started another load of laundry while they ate. Henry choked and threw up. Abby almost threw up because Henry threw up. Clean it all up. Got them their rounds of food. Got them cleaned up. Cleaned up the kitchen. Made Abby's lunch. The kids started playing in the playroom and I decided I’d eat my breakfast in front of the national news, on the couch. “I”, I thought to myself, “have already done quite a bit and it’s only 7:08 am. An interview was on that I really want to see.” My tired and already accomplished buns hit the couch and the “mom-is-doing-something-for-herself-and-no-one-else” alarm sounded.

In come the brigades. Abby enters into family room (from the playroom on the other side of the kitchen) riding the plastic toy bike for which she is two years too big. She’s singing the Baby Bumble Bee song. REALLY LOUDLY. Henry comes in with a drool-covered belly (pajamas have already been removed because of the aforementioned vomit) and poop-filled diaper. He sees that I’m eating and immediately starts his “give me food” grunt that persists until he gets some. But I’m eating a peanut butter sandwich and he can’t eat peanut butter yet. So he stands there, escalating. More drool. Lovely, I think, I can’t even sit and eat my breakfast in peace.

So I move into the kitchen, with my dear, sweet, LOUD children three steps behind. I think maybe if I stand in the kitchen, looking like I’m doing something productive, the parade of noise and smell will stop and I can watch the Today Show Exclusive interview from the kitchen counter.

Henry is now in a full-fledged bawl, assuring me with the drip of each crocodile tear that he will whittle away to nothing if I don’t immediately feed him. (Did I mention that I JUST finished feeding him? And that’s he’s 16 months old and weighs almost 30 pounds?) Abby's Bumble Bee song has reached a crescendo that I didn’t know existed and at this point, Matt Lauer and Larry Craig could be singing the Bumble Bee song, too, as I cannot hear a word that either man speaks about Larry’s Minneapolis bathroom debacle. I can’t do one small thing for myself without interruption. But I can only blame myself for this frustration.

As a mother of small children, I teeter on the edge of forgetting and remembering. Forgetting that it isn’t about me and remembering that it IS all about them. Forgetting about and loosing myself and remembering that I cannot be a good mommy if I’m not a grounded, fulfilled woman. Remembering that 7:08 am on a weekday is not the right time to carve out me-time. Forgetting my frustrations and remembering the joys of my Abby and Henry.

Playing, singing, squealing, eating, pooping, eating and having fun. A quite joyful morning (except for the vomit).

I know I will continue to teeter through motherhood, balancing myself on the totter of emotions and the joy of my children. It is this experience through which I grow, carrying each lesson with me hoping that I remember more than I forget.

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