Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Glad you didn't hold your breath

 If I had posted this six months ago I would have just admitted to being a pitiful excuse for a blogger, apologized, and moved on. But now, after almost a year of silence, I realize that I'm not even a blogger anymore. I'm a girl, who once had a blog where she would drop some nugget of sarcastic wisdom about the mundane life of a stay at home mom and share pictures of her growing minion. Now, I'm just a mom who can rarely find her laptop under the stack of unopened mail, unfolded cloth diapers, unsorted socks, and magazine articles on child slavery and Adderall overuse (which sound more like advertisements to me at this point).

Birthday cake

Grandpa's idea of not spoiling is a Coach backpack

About once a week, and generally in the shower for some reason, I think about this blog. I think about how many months of pictures I have missed posting and how the two people that read it must think that our little family perished in a tragic bouncy-house accident. In fact, I have no good reason for not keeping our blog updated other than my seventeen month old toddler who was sixteen months old in May and fifteen months old before that, and so on, and so forth.

See, the truth is that although I always thought that I was incredibly good at multi-tasking, I am actually terrible when it comes to Brooke.

Before Brooke I could bake some graham crackers from scratch while folding laundry, making appointments by phone, marinating dinner, scrubbing the tile, and organizing the junk drawer. Even though I didn't always make it to regular pedicure appointments I had my toenails painted and my husband ate well rounded meals. Today at the indoor playground I was secretly thrilled that everyone was required to wear socks because the mom next to me appeared to live at the spa with her waxed eyebrows and little jeweled toes. Last night for dinner I served meatball sandwiches. Meatballs and sauce and bread. No veggies, no rice, no fruit or grains. I told myself that the organic ingredients and whole wheat buns made it better, but the reality is just that if Brooke isn't sleeping, I'm not getting anything done.

the aquarium
I grew up in a Mormon-centric town, which means that a lot of the girls I was friends with in high school have several kids, the oldest of which is much older than Brooke. They write beautiful posts with pictures of their trips out of town, with all of their children standing in a row and glowing beautifully for the camera. Their clothes match, their hair is combed with coordinating barrettes in place, and they don't have meltdowns before naps or if they aren't in bed promptly at seven p.m. following precisely two books and a litany of lullabies. Then, after the children are all tucked into bed, my friends do yoga, knit scarves from patterns they found on Pinterest, plan date weekends away to bed and breakfasts in the Rocky Mountains, and sell vinyl signs on etsy.

My life is extremely unlike this.

That is not to say that I don't enjoy it. Most days I wouldn't trade lives with anyone short of a shah, czar or Kardashian.

the zoo
Brooke and I hang out all day, every day. We go on outings and read books. We play on the bouncy house in our family room and do puzzles and eat sandwiches cut into stars. We take trips to the Children's Museum and the indoor playgrounds and the splash parks. We watch "Signing Time" and practice the hundreds of signs that Brooke knows. When she goes to bed, Corey and I pick up the stray alphabet blocks, crayons, and game pieces littering the floor, wash dishes, and sometimes I get to wash my hair before we mutter things like, "How was your day?" while drifting off prior to even getting into bed.

water park fun
Brooke is my little sidekick and best friend. But, she's freakin' exhausting.

She is incredibly smart, and I say that knowing that every parent thinks that their kid is a genius. Unfortunately, this kid may be weirdo smart - think sitting in the corner reading a physics book in kindergarten while the other kids are licking paste and playing house. So, she gets frustrated very easily when other kids, her speech therapist, or her idiot mom don't know exactly what she's doing or planning on doing.

She also needs a schedule. And when I say schedule I mean military style. She gets up at 5:30. We do not wake her up at 5:30 but she has programmed her tiny little motherboard to erupt into action sometime between 5:28 and 5:33 every single morning. She takes a nap at 1pm. If you put her down before that, she won't sleep. If you put her down after that she will only sleep for 30 minutes and then wake up early and grouchy just to punish you for your ignorance and tardiness. If she hasn't had two hours of sleep for a nap she will strike during the night and declare herself "overtired" which means that she'll sit up for hours while crying, rubbing her eyes, and generally looking exhausted but stubborn.

I thought that kids grew out of these behaviors, if they ever developed them at all, but my child is living proof that these tiny people can hang on for dear life to habits that don't care if Dr. Sears says that they are too old for.

So, I keep her on her schedule, and we do things together all day. And, I get little else done other than the bare necessities in the way of cooking and cleaning and laundry.

Our daily life together is MUCH different than the schedule I hear described at the playtimes we attend, and as much as I yearn for a carefree, go-with-the-flow kind of existence I am slowly coming around to the fact that our cards just don't read that way, and it's okay. Her health and happiness are my primary concern and unfortunately for my dear husband, our dinner menu, my mental health, and sometimes my showering frequency suffers for it.

How's that for honesty about my absence?


Sam said...

I am glad you came back!! Brooke is growing up so quickly. I think keeping her happy & healthy is quite the accomplishment :)

Anonymous said...

Every parent gets to decide how they want to raise their children. It doesn't matter what anyone, I said Anyone else says. Sometimes the child in question adds their 2 cents worth into the decisions but it is up to you to decide what is proper for your child. It is not only your right but your obligation to do the best for her that you can do. Does your personal hygiene suffer, well maybe sometimes it does but it is up to you to decide what to sacrifice. No one can do it all. Eventually you figure out how to do more but then things change and it gets crazy again. But you do what you have to do and eventually you stop beating yourselves up because of it.
Am I perfect? Well of course! Now that I have finished raising my kids and they are on their own. By perfect I mean, both of our children are alive!!!!!! At times that is the best you can hope for. I am very proud of both of our kids for surviving my type of motherhood. Sometimes I did miraculous things, taught my children wondrous wisdom and made them truly superb human beings. Other times I am surprised that they survived at all.
So!!!! Bottom line is keep doing what you are doing and one of these days, you too can say,
"We all survived!!!!!!!!!"