Next, I reach for her high chair tray, and like I did the night before, I scrub it clean. Freeing the counter tops of clutter will proceed scraping the elusive smudges of food. It's there that I'm confronted with Miss Eliza's art work, all of which was produced that afternoon. This evening's stack would seem impressive if she didn't leave me a collection similar in size nearly every day. She has a need to create.
"Inventive" that's the next adjective that comes to mind as I disassemble the homemade parachute she made for her teddy bear. That afternoon she had transformed our foyer into a launching station. From the top of the staircase, Henry and Eliza sent several of their plush friends on their missions.
To my credit, I send most of her work to the trash can, but a few make it to the, "thou shalt not part with" pile next to the fridge. It's hard to throw away the personalized artistic expressions of L-O-V-E that have been dedicated to her mom. Realizing that I sweep seemingly identical piles of floor dirt, put away the same art supplies and pick up the same white socks every day, I let out an over dramatic sigh.
"How does that saying go? Wash, rinse, repeat?" Or, in my case, it would more accurately be described:
"Clear it, Sweep it, Wipe it"... I shudder as I think of all the Mom related tasks these words apply too.
(Most) evenings, after the children are in bed, I make my way to the kitchen and begin to, as my friend Stephanie once phrased it, "put my house to bed." Tonight, the usual feeling of dread has been replaced with a quiet sense of satisfaction. I welcome these alien feelings as I think through the day's events.
The day began much earlier than Andrew and I had hoped. It was 1:00 a.m. when we heard Henry crying outside our bedroom door. Suspicious that he wet his bed, I encourage him to follow me into the bathroom while asking Andrew to go change his sheets. Confused as to why he won't budge from the hallway corner, I flip on a light. His precious pinkie finger is jammed between the seam of the linen door closet. He continues to sob after I've rescued said finger for the next thirty minutes. Feeling helpless, I watch as his little body writhes in my bed. The pain hasn't subsided much. Trying my best to soothe him, I wonder if his finger has been dislocated. Finally, he sweetly requests,
"Can I have a band-aid?" Genius child. With his Spiderman band-aid in place, he finally takes a slow, deep breath. Settling back into bed, I lay awake wondering how parents are able to sleep with their kids night after night. I've never been able to do it. An hour passes and Henry's arm finds his way onto my chest.
"That's why they do it." I smile as I welcome this snuggle. More time passes and I finally drift only to be smacked in the face by a renegade appendage. And with that, I retreat to his bed. It's 3:00 a.m.
Fast forward to lunch. We drive an hour to meet members of my family, some of whom I haven't seen since we moved back, for lunch. I'm uptight when we arrive due to the fact that Lottie didn't nap in the car. I carried her, along with the stress of an impending tantrum, into the restaurant. Pleased as punch, she proves my negative assumption wrong as she contently takes in the scene. Her happiness lasts, bite after bite. With delight, I watch as she mimics me cooling off her food with a big blow of air.My heart soars as I watch her little cheeks fill with air. She exhales and I'm filled with a ridiculous amount of motherly pride.
"She can blow at her food!" Alert the media! I mock, but here I sit blogging about it. Whatever.
Sheets of rain await us as we head to the parking lot. With my jacket-less ducklings in tow, we slowly navigate our way to our car. I have to go to the bathroom which only adds to the discomfort of wet, from the rain, jeans. Thankfully, a pit stop to a friends saves me from a most uncomfortable ride home. On our way to my friends, Eliza's recently acquired balloon pops.She is devastated. Whether or not her level of sadness is justifiable, it doesn't matter. Searching for a bright thought to ease her emotional wound is the day's next challenge.
Dance class is on the evening's schedule and I've strongly encouraged Andrew to meet us there. Andrew's expression of interest transforms into a monster sized smile while he watches Eliza "dance" through the viewing glass. And with his laughter, I'm free of the guilt of having nagged him to come.
(Eliza's first day of dance
We rush home so that he can get to Cub Scouts. I'm left to feed, bathe and put to bed my worn out kids. They're being cooperative which I fully appreciate.
(Cue Lottie pooping in the bath tub.)
And that's how my job works. You have to accept the moments of ugly, scary and bleh. Because what (hopefully) follows are the Motherhood highs that I can't find the words to justly describe.