But here I am, a tragic chapter, bottomed out in the cherry pits.
I wondered today what in the world I would do with my time when I was no longer assembling and preparing bottles, assembling and preparing sippy cups, disassembling and cleaning bottles, disassembling and cleaning sippy cups, assembling and using a breast pump, disassembling and cleaning a breast pump, changing 2 sizes of diapers, stocking 2 sizes of diapers, and ensuring enough wipies are present in the warmer, the diaper bag, my purse, and our bedroom to cleanse away all the poop, snot, pee, spit up, and tears a day can dole out. I wondered if the skin on my hands would grow back after being washed away in 5 sudsy sinks per day.
I opted out this morning. I put on my manager pants, my steely resolve, and my belief that life is 98% attitude, 32% resolve, 5% circumstance, and 27% ability to make statistics look real. I got on the phone with the yard people, the birthday party people, the spouse, the doctor's office, the toddler museum art planner (or whoever she is), and I put it all on the calendar. Everything is going on the calendar from here on out. With proper organization, everyone will be happy and potty trained.
I read books, showed my toddler my tinkle 10 times (HI PEE PEE! BYE BYE PEE PEE), I cuddled, sang songs, counted to 5 over and over, had tummy time with the infant, and I checked every box, I further engrained the theme song to Dora into my bruised sensibilities. I bounced balls, and cooked chicken nuggets with one hand while warming a bottle with the other. I tickled and cooed.
And what woman, what real woman can't do all of that and prepare an organic gourmet meal out of left overs, clearance items, and an addiction to Lidia's Italy and Hubert Keller on PBS?
I watched the clock until my husband arrived home and envisioned my little charges all pulled up to the table, the girl singing songs and counting aloud while the boy gazed toothlessly and adoringly at his mother for whom his worship is unabashed. My husband would take one taste and declare it the best meal he's had, wonder aloud how it could be possible that I could single handedly prepare for our family such an altar of familial bliss. So, when the girl was in tears over her faulty apple juice cup, and the boy's farts clouded the lingering aroma of my perfection, and my husband, after declaring everything tasty, asked what I thought of his brilliance on facebook today, I realized that for all of my feminist ways, I am a cliche.
My husband spirited the baby away to attend to an evening bottle, my daughter proclaimed her meal complete, and I sat alone at the table staring at my meal. Alone... except for the dog licking up what the girl had thrown.
You know I used to be a contender. I used to be the one called into facilitate meetings between state agencies with communication problems. I managed the high profile, the highly complex, and I was the go to. I was the one that could get things done. And I've been brought down by two people who can't spell their own names. Hell, one of them doesn't even have teeth.
I sloppily shuffled away from the table this evening to get a shower and brush my teeth for the first time today. I angrily told myself that I would at least shave off the 2 week's worth of leg hair growth, and no one could stop me.
My nearly 2 year old stopped me. "You hokay, mommy? you hokay?". She asked to be picked up and rub noses and hug. Like that could make things better. Yeah...like that could solve anything. Gawdammit though, it did. Dammit... it made it better...
So, while I pushed her around the living room in her plastic car with my gin and a splash in the other hand, I said my favorite rhyme. Pump and Dump. Take that, Cat in the Hat.
The Houswife Cliche Left Over Shrimp
fry some bacon pieces and remove from pan
quickly saute some steamed shrimp in the rendered fat and immediately remove
wilt spinach, baby portabellos, and garlic in the same pan. Add olive oil if needed.
Add mascarpone cheese and simmer briefly. Add the shrimp and bacon and pour all over angel hair pasta.
And make it organic, bitches.