I try to look put together but by 10 am I am not feeling very fresh at all: my shirts are stretched out of shape (from nursing & baby-holding) and I reek of bug spray and sunblock. Showering at night seems like the smarter thing to do but I need something to help wake me up in the morning when I’m running on 5 hours of sleep. I can’t remember the last time I felt well-rested and not cranky, maybe two or three years ago? I want a hairstyle but why? My hair is up in a bun or ponytail by 7:30 am and won’t come down until I fall into bed at night.
Hanging diapers out in the sun to bleach. Sweeping, vacuuming, wiping faces and bottoms. The flowers on the table are starting to wilt and I wonder if it would make me happier to eek an extra day out of them or just toss them and get on with it. Too many tabs open in my browser, evidence of countless interruptions. Eating too much chocolate. Always so hungry, eating almond butter with a spoon, eating everything I can, and my clothes are still falling off. Endless piles of laundry to fold and if I don’t put it away immediately it is unfolded and incorporated into a fort or, more often, a make-believe parking garage. Long days of staying home so the baby can nap, trying to entertain the 3 year old and prevent too much boredom because boredom quickly turns into misbehavior. Dishes piling up, I don’t want to do them, I’d rather scrub the bathtub or even the toilets. I fantasize about spending all day in bed with the dog, snuggling him, reading magazines, painting my nails, and eating ice cream.
The days are so long and monotonous but somehow time is moving too fast. The baby is already six months old, halfway through her first year, and I feel like I can’t enjoy her enough. The 3 year old is sweet and hilarious, he will snuggle as much as I want him to but is independent enough to do so many things for himself. He spontaneously bursts out with, “Mommy, I love you!” so many times everyday. I love watching him grow up but part of me wants to keep him small so he can curl up in my lap and I can fix anything that’s wrong. The top of his head still smells so good. One of my strongest maternal instincts involves sniffing my children’s heads and squelching the intense desire to chew on them. They are lucky I can’t fit their heads in my mouth.
It’s easy to get ahead of myself and think about the future. When the baby will be able to walk and talk, when everyone will sleep through the night, when my body will finally be mine again, all the things I will do when I finally have the time. I am homesick and think constantly about moving back east. But the thing is we are here now. Life is hard and crazy and tiring and frustrating and there is always too much to do and not enough time. But my kids will never be this small again and the more time that passes the more I realize how much I will miss these days when they are gone.