First of all, I just want to say that anyone posts a comment, I get a real kick out of it. I don't know what the blogging etiquette is. It feels rude to read a comment and not respond somehow, like if someone left you a thoughtful voice mail and you never returned their call, but it also seems silly to assume that any of you would be checking back to see if I wrote, "Thanks!" below your comment. So feel free to educate me if there is some blogging etiquette and I will add that to the list of things I forget to do because I am preoccupied with all the other things I am not doing.
Yesterday morning, I was trying to get the kids ready for a trip to the Vance's house. Elena had a poopy diaper so I pull out a new package of wipes. Manny, being the helpful lad that he is, opens up the package, pulls off the sticker that reads "Remove Completely" and affixes it to his forehead. Then he lays down next to me and rolls back and forth like a dog who wants his tummy rubbed. I open the diaper and attempt my first wipe when I realize that Glory, at not even 11 months old, can read. She is following instructions and trying to "remove completely" the sticker from Manny's forehead. Manny doesn't like this and pushes Glory. Elena wants to get in the middle of it all, but I have made no progress on her bottom and am trying to micro-manage Glory and Manny while I grip Elena's ankles. The scene keeps playing out over and over like a skipping record. Glory reaches to remove the sticker. Manny pushes her. I freak out. Repeat. Finally, I just ignore Manny and Glory, tackle Elena, wash my hands and escape out the back door for a much-needed coffee break. (All true except for the escape.)
Thinking I have paid my diaper dues for the day, I retreat to the kitchen/dining room (where I do most of my poopy changes....mmmm...appetizing) and realize that Manny needs to be changed too. He lies still for me. Good boy. Oh no! It's Glory again and she is alternately trying to gouge Manny's eyes out and stick her hand in his diaper deposit. Oh no! There's Elena on my other side. Manny is trying to get away. I would too if two babies were sticking their fingers in my eyes. I don't know how we made it out of that one, but I didn't have to change my clothes or theirs, nor did I have to clean the carpet. I think that's what we Christians like to call mercy.
On my way to the Vance's, I stop at Macrina to pick up a latte for myself and one for Candace. There is a parking spot right in front. Grace. I go inside with one baby in the Ergo, one in my arm and Manny between my legs again. I am aware that I look ridiculous, especially when I add to that two steaming hot beverages. Why do I do this almost every day? Why do I put myself into this awkward, attention-grabbing position? I didn't even really care for espresso prior to the girls' birth. A nice barista helps me to the car and as I drive to Shoreline, eating my morning glory muffin, I realize that this has become my coping mechanism. It bothers me that I require a coping mechanism in the first place, as though that is revealing of some weakness I would not have were I a better person. As far as coping mechanisms go, it's a whole lot better than breaking out the wine at 3pm or any other list of things that help people get through their day. And maybe there isn't any thing wrong with it at all. Maybe I waste too much time evaluating myself and too little time just savoring the opportunity that is now.
And now there is a baby (Elena) crawling up my leg and wiping her nose all over my hip. She already coated my back. I like being this down to earth. I like that she feels like she owns me and that she sees me as an extension of herself. I think, in general, this attitude the children have of viewing me as completely accessible all the time, actually makes me feel more accessible in really good ways. Except for when I am wondering if I have travelled down a dark road by buying too many lattes and eating too many muffins. Especially ones that don't have cauliflower in them.