Because of his strong hunter-gatherer DNA, over time (14 years of marriage), The Husband has become our family’s primary grocery shopper, which is fine with me, since I was apparently standing behind the door when they handed out those genes. He takes the Girleens with him; bribes them with cookies and samples, and theoretically, I’m at home, using the hour and 20 or so minutes while the house is quiet to “work.” Not folding laundry, paying bills or any of that, but actually writing.
I woke up with such high hopes this morning. A trenchant socio-political commentary (involving the Pledge of Allegiance, the TV show The Wire, and the latest Preschool Soap all wrapped up in one package!) to shape into blog-essay form, mainly so the header “Introducing the Mom Who Can Screw Up Cake-Mix Cupcakes” would disappear from the top of the blog. Or maybe just an hour spent in the company of the novel I’ve claimed to be starting for years now.
I have six years of parenting under my belt (and since I think you should be able to count each child separately, maybe I actually have nine years in the trenches) so I know the drill.
Never invest too much in your plans.
Yes, kids will get fevers of 103 while you’re packing the car for vacation, babies will spit up on your party dress, a trip to the store may turn into a day spent in your pajamas. All this is especially true during those newborn days. I know all this.
But we are all fallible, human animals. I started the day with high hopes and, about 9:45 this morning, as I watched the Mack Truck of Elder Girleen’s temper tantrum (Her clothes are not perfect, she doesn’t look right, I don’t do enough laundry, life, in general and specific, is a supremely frustrating experience) barrelling down the road expressly to crush those hopes, I could feel a tide of … unmotherly…. feeling washing over me.
Such as: Christ, we’re talking the desire for a tranquil morning just so’s it’d be easy to transition into an intellectual space where I could get something done. Is that so much to ask? Is it? Is it? Huh?
The usual Motherhood Blog Narrative goes something like this: we mother bloggers admit to some failure, some lack, some hardship (I was going crazy… I was having a hard time with…I wanted to…). Then we muster our resources, pull ourselves up by our motherly bootstraps, and have some epiphany that makes not only us, but our readers, feel better.
But sometimes hard is just… hard. Sometimes there is no answer, so solution, no foolproof parenting technique to serve as a band-aid for what ails us.
I often swim in a cultural sea that doesn’t like to admit this. Us Americans are can-do people! Or, to steal from Bob the Builder: Can we fix it? Yes, we can!
Over here in our house we call that going into the ebb. Supposedly it’s to make the flow come faster. Only time can answer that one.
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