Beer and Dirt
I keep thinking about how cool it is that my husband and I literally made people. I realize that, at a glance, this may not seem so amazing. I mean, if you think about it, all life sort of replicates itself in one fashion or another. But for some reason, I simply cannot escape the wonder and awe that *I* grew and birthed a person. Well, technically I have grown and birthed three people. The idea that two teeny-tiny pieces of code can come together as a result of heated passion and explode into a human being is incredible to me.
I remember the very first time I ever looked into the eyes of my oldest child. She wasn’t crying, still wet and she was looking directly into my eyes. She was so aware, so present. Before my daughter was born, I understood, on an intellectual level, that I was not giving birth to a plant, accessory or a doll. But I don’t think I really, truly understood just how complete a person I was giving birth to until that moment.
Why am I even writing about this? I guess it’s because I’ve had such a bloody difficult week. Between kids, working and housework, the week just flew by and I spent every second of it feeling like I was falling further and further behind. That and my beautiful, amazing, incredible little people were driving me effing bonkers. Anybody who thinks being a mother is all champagne and roses has obviously never had children.
Champagne and roses indeed! More like BEER and DIRT. That suits me fine, I suck at “classy” anyway. These days, if you walk into my house, you’ll have stumbled into a happy, chaotic mess of fingerprints, dog hair and large, scrawling crayola pictures on the walls. At least one of my kids is usually screaming or shouting at all times (though not necessarily in outrage or pain- my 5 year old has this lovely habit of shouting everything she says at about 763582 decibels) and I gave up on a clean kitchen floor ages ago.
I have to admit, though, that all of this really, really gets to me at times. Everyone has their little pet peeves and one of mine happens to be “stuff” on the floor. Which, with three children 8yo and younger, is inevitable. Especially when it comes to my son.
My son is a very precocious three year old. He’s energetic, funny and very much into the “explore the world by making a huge fracking mess” phase of development. His penchant for dumping everything he can get his hands on out onto the floor and spreading it around, combined with the dramafest that accompanies everything at 3 years old, made this week particularly grueling for me. For every piece of paying work I accomplished he presented me with an outrageous mess to clean up. Now, my 5 year old was just as messy at this age but it generally took her longer to make an epic mess. Not so with my son! This boy can drag a chair across the kitchen so stealthily that I can be sitting three feet away and be completely unaware of it. Then he climbs up onto the counter and distributes the things that are on top of the fridge about the kitchen counters in the space of ten seconds. Two days ago I looked up from typing just in time to see him dumping a tube of purple glitter all over the carpet. PURPLE GLITTER. It’s on the ‘fridge so he can’t get to it, for crying out loud! I’m not sure which was worse, the glitter or the (thankfully clean) cat litter he decided to dump in all the living room toy bins and then redistribute across the carpet. Hmmmm, glitter and cat litter. Lovely.
Don’t worry, I still think he’s an amazing little man. I love watching him figure stuff out and in fact, I really only have myself to blame for the messes. I mean, I do allow my kids to make messes. I remember, when my first was about 8 or 9 months old, posting in a mom community a picture of her smearing some kind of food all over the place. One of the other moms made some comment about how she envies moms who are “cool” with their kids playing in their food because it drives her crazy and she just couldn’t do it. I don’t know, I guess that for me, messes just come with kids. Which is at TOTAL ODDS with the stress levels those messes cause me! So of course my son feels free to dump shit out everywhere, I let him play in his food and explore things!
Ok, ok, I know I’m rambling. How does all of this tie in with the awe and amazement that I and my husband created human beings? Well, last night, at the end of this horrible week that I spent half my days crying through, I finally finished all my work projects and shut my laptop. I was in a completely foul mood and not feeling very good about myself as a professional, wife or a mother. All I really wanted to do was go to bed and get far, far away from all of the needy, grubby fingered, shouting little monsters I spawned. But of course, I couldn’t do that because I am NOT a bad mother, just one who is constantly at war with her selfish side. So instead of telling my family to flub off, I cleaned up dinner and sat down in the living room and resolved to spend the evening playing with my children. I’m not sure what made me decide to do that. I think it was just that what frustrates me about stay-at-home-momitude is that I get so wrapped up in all of the THINGS that need doing that it’s hard to JUST enjoy my kids.
Well I’m so glad I did. As I was sitting there, I discovered that my 8 year old had found a new anime to watch on Netflix. It’s called
“Princes TuTu”. She is completely in love with it and all of the theme music is classical and the story revolves around a bunch of ballet dancers. So here I am, being a total grump, sipping a rum and coke when all of my children, including my 3 yo, just start dancing. I mean, this ridiculously flamboyant gigglefest of little dancers just completely knocked me out of my funk. I tried to get pictures to share but they were jumping and twirling about so much that not a single one that I snapped turned out at all. You should have seen my nearly naked son trying to do plies. The rest of my evening was spent snuggled up with one or more of my kids, giggling, talking and just enjoying each other. My oldest didn’t stop talking for three hours straight, I promise you.
Somewhere in the midst of all the clamor and love and snuggling I realized that I wasn’t so far behind after all. My children are happy, thriving and an inspiration to me. I didn’t feel smothered or bogged down, I felt uplifted and refreshed. Listening to my daughters going on about school and hearing them discuss the show we were watching was really eye-opening to me. I love hearing how they think and realizing how little they miss. I enjoyed snuggling my son who is growing up WAY too fast.
I was struck, once again, by how unique and incredible they all are. We don’t give birth to empty little vessels we mold and shape. Pfft, if anything, they mold and shape US. What a precious gift I’ve been given. Sure, it’s not roses and champagne. My life isn’t classy. I don’t care, I’m more of a beer and dirt kind of gal anyway.