i want my own award show

my three year old has decided that he can (and will) do every thing for himself. though this is of course the end goal, and helpful in many regards, it is also terribly inconvenient at times, as a simple task can become a full morning affair, considering his spiritedness ensures that there will be no help accepted.

enter me.

i am straight up depleted of all life sustaining necessities. my baby, who is a monster (in size, not personality- the kid is a dream), nurses voraciously and around the clock compromising my sleep and any caloric capacity to fuel my own brain. the fact that i can even find my eff’n mouth so to guzzle my morning  coffee is amazing.

and, this is the point of this post: i’m amazing.

i get it, you probably are too. i can share the spotlight, no prob. i don’t need to be the only winner here. it’s just that it’s award show season and i don’t get to spend time looking good, or with my friends, nor do i get any attention for all my achievements, and i have a personal need to acknowledge that i am winning.

so, if you will, please hear me out.

today was a preschool morning.

son # 2 woke every 3 hours to nurse in 1/2 sessions throughout the night. not so bad, all things considered. i dragged my sorry and stiff corpse to bed for the last time at 5:22 am. at 6 a.m. son #1 appeared, waking me up, as he was not able to locate his “favorite red car” (hint that we were going to have the frenzied overly obsessive and demanding version of himself in the house today). perfect. up i got, played hide and seek with one of many comfort items he has squirreled away in his bed, tucked him back in, and collapsed into bed myself, resentful that my spouse was actually still snoring and now, was on my side of the bed too. at 6:25 son #1 came bounding in again, announcing that his visual alarm clock switched to the sun scene, permitting him to begin his day. he was right, so, off we went.

the day began like any other day: routine and mundane but all we got. warm milk x 2, cuddles x 2, and a favorite tv program for the big one to allow his father and i the ‘opportunity’ to rush around, prepare breakfast, and get ready to meet the waiting public. breakfast on the table x 4. my preschooler changed his mind re cereal choice. too bad, we’re not wasting. he stalled, tantrummed, and decided to not eat in protest. whatever. baby ate up like a big boy and watched as his brother tried to manipulate, swindle, and coerce me and his father into having the other kind (the answer was still no). with 30 mins to spare pre start of preschool, a baby poo blowout, and a 3 year old still not dressed, the high maintenance one decides he will eat all of his first bowl in order to be able to have a second, of the one he “actually” wants. fine. baby changed. three year old finishes breakfast, finally. baby needs to nurse. three year old wouldn’t go upstairs to get dressed on his own for fear of skeletons and monsters. i gently encouraged he try, as no such thing exist. cue meltdown.

i nursed baby whilst walking up the stairs holding traumatized three year old hand and offering comfort and  reassurance that our house is a safe house (for what would be the first of a hundred times today). three year old entered his room, shouted “don’t come in  here, i will do it myself” and slammed the door. i was tempted to remind him of the skeletons and monsters but the good mom in me won and i got the baby dressed, instead.

i realised that i might be spared the request for his “favorite hockey jersey” and decided to indulge in the alone time with baby, a lovely little lump who rarely gets any undivided attention considering his brother’s existence, and insistence on taking up so much space. i was wrong. he appeared before me all of a sudden with the predictable: “um, mom, i’m looking for my favorite shirt”. i couldn’t help but chuckle at the absurdity of it all and how sweet and innocent he looks, standing before me: naked, long, and purely, intensely, him. “i washed it last night, love” i replied, “i’ll throw it in the dryer. get the rest of your clothes on and it will be ready”. surprisingly, he accepted this without question.

a few minutes later i checked on the big guy.  my query was met with annoyance: “don’t look at me, i will do it MYSELF!”. i politely reminded him to not be rude to his mother and left after catching a glimpse of him lying, back on the floor, trying to wrestle his zipper up on his jeans. i smirked thinking of times i have been in that predicament and then shuddered thinking that i may never fit in to (any sized) jeans again.

i soon heard his frustration turn to rage as he continued to struggle. not long after things were being thrown. i offered to assist from the hall as we were now for sure late,  and deeply offended his sense of ability. “i don’t neeeeeeeeeeeeeed help! i told you!”. i almost let myself get irritated to the point of being sharp but reminded myself that this is his mountain, that this is what is important to him, that he has no way to appreciate or actually comprehend real time, nor does he get edgy, feeling that the day is slipping into the abyss in the same way i do.

i reframed, re-engaged.

baby and i sat on the bed while he tried over and over in his weird little way to get each item of his clothing on, and on the right way. he did it and beamed for having persisted, and for having accomplished his goal. i did too.  i gave him his coveted jersey for the grand finish. he placed it on the ground, arranging the arms, just so, before realising that the big symbol “has to go down because the little one goes on the back, silly me” and then carefully slid it on. 1/2 an hour later and the dressing olympics were done.

we filed down the stairs, him first and almost underfoot as he can’t be last in line, either. sweet, patient, baby squirms in my arms that are also full of  diaper bag, purse, lunch, permission forms, and donations to the classes’ seasonal project, because waiting for his brother to master his most challenging activity of the day has pushed us too close to his nap time.

we got to the garage. more squeals and shrieks as i did everything wrong: he didn’t want me to fix his running shoes, though they are on the wrong feet, he wanted to turn on the light, he was going to open the door, he needs to be first out the gate. my patience, by this time, was gone. “enough of this”, i thought, and marched me and unassuming baby to the car as the big guy wailed about being left alone in the garage.

soon after, all now in the vehicle, we recovered our ground. deep, cleansing breaths were had. when we got to school late no one cared, not even me by the time we arrived, and we walked up the stairs hand in hand, no worse for wear.

i know that this is not special. i know that this is like any other day, for any other family with young kids: the giving. the subservience. the details that eat up our mornings, patience, and identity as we heed the psychological needs of our little people, instead of our own. this said, it is amazing that i did not lose my proverbial shit every 5 minutes after being woken from what was supposed to be sleep. it is also amazing that i did not bully him into passivity as my own need to hussle it up was pressing fierce.

some might say that it’s not life changing stuff going on over here, but they don’t know how hard that was. they don’t know how challenging it was for me to remain in control and not become scary mommy.

they are life changing, these little personalities, and surviving the exchanges, dances, and hurdles with grace, is even more then that. it’s life creating.

his.

theirs.

mine, even.

it’s amazing.

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One Comment to “i want my own award show”

  1. Heather, never stop writing. You brought me back to the lovely land of toddler, that my mind had almost completely forgotten. I wish you could come over and capture my day in the life of being the mom of a 13 year old. The inner struggle goes on 🙂

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