Color me over it.
The poor little nugget caught a nasty ear infection and cold more than a week ago and has been a whiny, crying, sleep refusing disaster ever since. Literally a week straight of listening to this kid sob over everything from not being able to magically transform into Catboy from PJ Masks to the sudden disappearance of the popsicle he just ate — while also being up every hour soothing coughing fits and fielding tears and vomit. Nothing – I repeat, nothing – was acceptable to him for seven long days.
Thankfully, there’s light at the end of the proverbial tunnel and he’s mostly well again. The smile has returned sporadically and we’ve even had a good laugh or two.
Still, the intervals between these happy moments are long and I just fielded a meltdown that could slay a dragon over ….. well, I’m actually not even sure what prompted this display of outrage. But outraged he was.
Every mom has had these weeks. Whether you turn to wine, chocolate, Netflix binges, Amazon prime or all of the above to decompress after bedtime, we all have our coping strategies.
Last night, I turned to my favorite vice — fried dough and cheese — and tore through a pizza and garlic bread. Let me assure you, it temporarily solved the problem. Or, at the very least, it induced a fried food coma that blotted out the exhaustion.
This week has torn through my physical and emotional reserves and left me feeling alarmingly reminded of the depleted state I was in during newborn life with M. Yet, as I strolled through my errands today and noticed families with multiple kids, my ovaries did their familiar dance and that familiar ache of wanting a sibling for M happened. Even in the midst of the unsolvable toddler insanity I find myself thinking “gosh. Know what I should do? I should have a couple more!”
THAT. That is insanity. And it’s a particular brand of insanity that is unique to moms everywhere.
It’s the ability to go from “good lord I might die if he doesn’t get his shit together” to “my heart is so full” in an hour.
It’s the selective memory that allows us to forget the half hour of kicking and screaming over not being allowed to eat a bug when he whips out something like “i push you in rocking chair and you can dream, ok?”
It’s desperately begging family to take your child for the weekend and then missing them and kinda wishing they were snuggled up in bed with you after 24 hours.
It’s spending three hours getting him to sleep before settling in with some cookies and scrolling through baby pictures and smiling.
It’s nuts. That’s what it is.
And that’s actually kind of what makes it such a hoot. I’ve always been a bit of a cut and run kind of gal. To heck with this shiz, I’m outta here. Momming is the first arena I’ve entered without seriously entertaining the idea of fleeing. It’s the first time something has felt important enough that no amount of pain could possibly cause me to call it quits.
Sure, I’ve given it some good solid daydream space. But to feel truly unable and unwilling to bounce during some of the most trying periods? To spend day after day and night after night giving of yourself and have that still not be enough to soothe your kid and STILL know that a life without him isn’t one you can even fathom….
That’s an experience I’ve previously never encountered… and one I wouldn’t trade for anything. If it came with a lifetime supply of calzones and coffee, it would be better. Not gonna lie.
Here’s hoping he sleeps. Here’s hoping he remembers that he – at one point in the not so distant past – had coping skills. Here’s hoping we make it to noon tomorrow without one of us dissolving into tears. But… here’s hoping I never forget what a gift motherhood is. Here’s hoping I never lose sight of the fact that I’ve been shown how to love unconditionally and how wonderful that feels. Here’s hoping I get to expand the brood and worry that two or three kids will actually be what does me in. Here’s hoping he remembers that through it all, I was there with a hug and a big ol’ ROAR.
And, of course, here’s hoping I never forget my Seamless delivery password…