April 18, 2009

Alone!


In our single days (e.g., before kids), Jason would wheel his laptop bag and carry-on to the car, headed out of town for a trip, and I would be sad (because I would miss him), but I had this sense of adventure simultaneously. What would I do that day? That week? Maybe I'd go shopping, or get a pedicure...oooh, maybe go to Starbucks and take my new book, and read it cover to cover, latte after latte (and it didn't matter that I had tons of caffeine, because that caffeine jolt could easily be brought down around 11pm with a nice hot bath, and a few glasses of wine, followed by the hundredth time I'd watched "The Devil Wears Prada"). Maybe I could even take a day trip to the mountains to see our Ellijay lot, (not that I ever really did that).

Today, it's 7:30am, and I have approximately fourteen more minutes before the day becomes a total zoo. James will wake up, and Stella will wake up, all within minutes of each other, because that's what borderline Irish twins do. But I am ready. I have my teeth brushed. I've had two cups of Chock Full of Nuts (somewhat fitting, don't you think?). I have a plate of yogurt, cheerios and applesauce ready and waiting in the fridge, delicately covered with Glad Press N Seal.I have formula made, breastmilk thawed, and three bottles ready. I have a cup of milk, and Barney on "pause" on the tellie. The bouncy seat is strategically placed for the best view of the living room, the backyard, and the highchair. I feel as I am preparing for a major situation. I've worked less hard in law school.
In our single days, I would have crawled back under the covers this morning, without a care in the world. Children make everything so different. Not worse, in any way, but different. I hate to quote Oprah, because well... the obvious reasons... but a guest on a recent show said something like: "The only way to really survive motherhood is to accept the fact that your life is never going back to the way it was. Never." And that may seem like an obvious assertion for some of you. But I'm just not that bright.
When James was born, I think Jason and I both tried to hang on to our previous single ways, from the single days. We tried to watch an entire movie after James, three months old, would go to "sleep", only to find out that he was not sleeping, but really getting geared up for an all-night eat and poop fest. And that was frustrating. It was our problem, not James'. He was just a little baby, and we were trying to watch a movie. What stupidity!
Something happened this time, with the birth of Stella. Silently, but simultaneously, Jason and I have released all preconceived notions of how it should be, and have just accepted how it IS. Suddenly, this life makes sense. We would not even consider an entire movie. There is joy in the midnight feeding, the giant (and now, hilarious) poopy diaper that has ruined a perfectly good Ralph Lauren shirt, the toots that Stella makes when she coughs. The secret to parenthood is lowering your expectations to absolutely zero. Expect that everything will be a zoo, and then you will not be surprised or disappointed either way. And more than likely, you will be overjoyed to put the kids to bed, recognizing that the day was a good one.
Parenthood is hilarious, not serious. And that makes all the sense in the world.
As Jason wheeled his fancy luggage, his laptop, in his fancy outfit to the car this morning, I laughed. Today is bound to be hilarious, me taking care of both babies alone...and for the next five days. The difference is, now, I am capable of laughing. My previous life is long gone. And I am glad for it. This life is way more entertaining, ridiculous and rewarding.
James just peeped upstairs, talking in his new language. Here we go!

I am ready... I am ready.


 

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