Today I’m home recovering from a small oral surgery. (It involved the removal of a tooth which was replaced by the ground-up bone-bits of a dead guy. I cannot stop googling about it because it is so fascinating/horrifying.) Drew should have worked a full day today, teaching and grading and working on tasks for ICS. Instead I begged him to stay home because my tylenol-with-codeine high was out of control and so were the kids and I could not sit up without seeing that static of black dots.
I messaged him from the living room while he was on a work conference call in the bedroom:
me: Can you ask a friend to come watch them? I just can’t do this.
drew: I don’t think any of our friends could handle them. They’re being awful, it wouldn’t be fair. I can cancel class.
me: [holy unexpected love offering! now quick, feign sadness for inconveniencing him] Oh, are you sure? That won’t cause any problems for your classes? I’m so sorry Drew. I didn’t imagine that it would be so bad today!
drew: I’ll just have to double up next week. It’s ok.
So then I feel asleep on the couch and the kids destroyed some stuff and Drew saved us all.
I spent the rest of the day in bed and, I have to be honest, I got quite a lot of satisfaction watching him struggle with the crazy times baby drama that fills my days. Lately I’ve been feeling really frustrated with myself for all the things I’m not getting done, especially in the evenings when the kids are sleeping and I have hours of time for cleaning and creativity but cannot find the energy for any of it.
Oh the guilt I feel when Drew gets home from his class (at 8, which means the children have been asleep for 2 hours) and the house is a disaster, nothing has been made for dinner and I am still sitting where I crashed on the couch with the iPad at 6:04. My eyes are all glazed over and I have to pee so bad but I cannot/refuse to summon the willpower to stand up again. Drew tries to make some nice conversation and ask me what I did that day, or if I read an article he sent and I blink and try to remember what it was like to be a person who read the news and then nerd-flirted about it with her husband on gchat.
Anyway. All I’m saying is, I am burned out and a little insecure and I enjoy the misery of others when they’re doing the thing that is usually making me crazy and I am sitting at a safe distance with a milkshake and netflix. Also, it’s nice to be reminded I’m not the worst person ever at this job and this parenting thing is crazy hard for everyone.
From my perch in the bedroom I kept a little list of the things Drew shouted at me or the twins while he tried to find some sanity today. It reads pretty much like my stream of consciousness every day, one we share with parents everywhere.
“How am I supposed to get anything done around here? I’ve been trying to load the dishwasher for the last two hours!”
“Please stop screaming. Please. Please. Please. Please just stop. I don’t know what you want.”
“Rowan, you have poop all over you, get back here!”
“I”m really trying guys. Please just stop crying.”
“Hey, look at her, she’s screaming like crazy and then laughing like a mad person. Then she waved at me. What is wrong with you girl?”
“Ugh! This is so frustrating! What is wrong with them? Are they sick? Are they supposed to be like this? Can we give them some drugs?”
“They soaked through another set of clothes. Ugh! This is ridiculous!”
“What do you want? Up? Now down? Up again? Why can’t you just be content?”
“hahahaha did you see that face? He’s so crazy. You’ve got to see this, do it again buddy!”
“Why do they scream so much? There must be some reason. Are other babies like this? I think there’s something wrong with them.”
“How am I supposed to find anything in this house. There’s just junk everywhere!”
“I think he needs you. I know it was just 20 minutes ago, but please can you nurse them again?”
“Hey, look at her butt. What is that? Should we be worried? What could cause that rash? What do I do for her?”
“Rowan, do not pee on the carpet. Come here! Hey! I’m not chasing you, crazy kid – come here!”
“Evelyn, you are so strong! You can do it! Stand up!”
“Wait, she only slept for 35 minutes. What do I do now?”
“I have to get out of here. This day will not end.”
It should be noted that shortly after this dramatic final declaration, Drew did indeed pack up the kids and snacks and all the gear and drove them to a bookstore where the children sat quietly and happily while he walked around and READ BOOKS. And then they even went to target and bought this poor old mama some pudding. When he got home he pushed the babies up to our door in the stroller and I kid you not, they were carrying the groceries for him.
I’m thinking I should probably take a mama-only vacation and let Drew continue to ride this wave of parenting success. He deserves it, don’t you think?