Thursday, June 18, 2009

Too Tired to Blink

Which is sort of true. I am doing that whole stare at the screen until your eyes burn and you feel completely glazed over thing, but I am blinking involuntarily. In fact, I do a lot of things involuntarily. Like bake cookies. And shout like a mad woman at my toddler when there are stairs involved.

Last night, Sam was at his bible study and I was putting the three children to bed alone. Everything was going swimmingly. I was proud of how clean the kitchen was when we were ready to head upstairs. I am on top of it tonight! But common sense is not my forte so when I took Elena upstairs I set her in her room, but didn't shut the door or put her in her crib. So, by the time I got back upstairs with Glory in my arms and Manny at my heels and Aslan completely in the way of everything, Elena was at the gate. A calmer or more well-rested person might have been able to problem solve this situation and not lose their cool, but all I could see was my son at the top of a very tall, open staircase built on concrete who was refusing to obey and Elena getting closer and closer to danger and I just started to scream in that horrible voice that might warrant a tranquilizer dart in my ass (if I wasn't holding a baby).

Manny stood at the top of this treacherous staircase, completely stunned. I wondered if he might fall because I shouted. So I kept shouting because I had no idea what to do and now the girls were really in a pickle. Finally he came through the gate, I shut it and crumpled to the ground with my face in my hands. All three children were sobbing because they were so frightened and I felt, at the same time, indignant and completely ashamed. When I looked up to meet their scared and angry faces, Glory was standing, screaming right at me no hands. I guess in all her upset, she forgot that she doesn't know how to stand yet.

There are all kinds of changes happening. The girls are beginning to point, they are cutting two and three teeth, Manny is napping in his big boy bed and the girls are crawling down the ramp with no fear. I can barely keep up. What else? Manny rode his bike to the park and back while I pushed the stroller. There's a big one I didn't think we would do for a while. We went to the farmers' market this afternoon and Manny was completely captivated by a man playing guitar. He stood statue still with his hands in the pockets of the sweatpants he has been wearing since he was 11 months old, which now look like gray, pin-striped capris. If he wasn't three feet tall with a button nose and a baby belly, I could have sworn he was a young man. There was nothing little about the look on his face.

I am feeling a bit beat up from the emotional roller coaster we are all on (children are very emotional! I thought I had a flair for the dramatic!), as well as the constant barrage of housework that is every parent's duty. At the same time, I am very grateful. My kids are amazing and I am so lucky to have the privilege of spending this time with them, of washing their dishes five times a day and rinsing out their poopy diapers (which is what I am going to do next). These are blessings. For whatever reason, I have this worthless idea stuck in my system (where did I learn this?) that the aim of life is leisure. I don't think I would care much for that even if I got it and yet, I am always battling this assumption.

I am sitting here, ready to fall asleep with my hands on the keys, and all I can think is God, the beauty, the beauty.

I've never read Faulkner's The Agony and the Ecstasy, but I am digging on the title. Maybe I should pick up a copy.

Look out poo-poos. Here I come. I've had just about enough of your shit.

I really need to go to bed.


Mom said...

Hang in there. I will be there soon to hold babies, clean, cook or guard the staircase.

Carmen Goetschius said...

Amen, sista!

volmel said...

Angie, this is Melissa, Kelly Balch's mom. I love your blog. I don't know how you do it with 3 little ones. How do you cook every night? Kelly says you all don't eat out, but that you cook from scratch. I'm just fooling with Lyella, Holland and Isabel (my son's daughter) occasionally, and I get too tired to cook. What's your secret?