Sunday, October 10, 2004

A Hodgepodge

This will be a hodgepodge, a mishmash, a jumble of thoughts. Run along if cohesiveness and a witty ending matters to you.

A baby born Thursday morning came to church this morning. Babygirl was itching to get her hands on that real, live baby. "Hold a the baby? Hold a the baby?" The baby's mother (looking much too rested and beautiful) was breastfeeding her infant daughter, and when she finished, my daughter said, "Baby all done! Hold a the baby?"

I asked my friend if my daughter could hold her (three day old!) baby. She looked a little hesitant, and I said, "I won't let her cough on the baby and I won't let her touch the baby's hands." We moved closer and Babygirl suddenly shied away. I said, "Here, let me have her," and practically ordered my friend to hand over that little one. I cradled her in my hands--so small! How can human beings be so small? My daughter refused to hold the baby, then, and I had to hand her back to her mother.

I still don't want another baby, however. I guess that's how you know you are done. You can cuddle a newborn without a longing that claws at the inside of your heart. You just hand the baby back and thank God you don't have to be up every two hours at night feeding that baby.

The baby's mother joyously told me about her job offer. After being a stay-at-home mother for the past two years, she's going to work on November 1. She and her husband have felt the pinch of tight finances--it's so hard to live on one income--and finally, she decided she must work. The baby will be a little more than two weeks old on November 1.

I couldn't do it. That's why we drive a very old car and live in a pretty old house. That's why my blue jeans have a hole in the right knee and our furniture is hand-me-down. That's why we have debt. Some day, I will work outside the house and get a paycheck. But not while my babies are babies. Not while there is so much to miss. I've been here almost twenty-four hours a day for the past 11 years and I still feel like I've missed so much. It's gone by too fast and I didn't take enough pictures and I was like a saturated sponge and I couldn't soak any more in, so it just ran off, unabsorbed.

After church, while I was "napping" with Babygirl (I try not to fall asleep while I try to get her to fall asleep), I heard the boys' friends arrive. Twin boys and their sister . . . so today I had seven children here again. As you might remember, this is wrong, as today is my day to have five children. Tomorrow I should have four, by Tuesday, only three, then by Thursday, I'll have an only child, followed by Child-Free Friday. Ha! A girl can dream!

Anyway, the kids made signs for a car-wash they planned to have. The other kids are raising money to buy a puppy. My kids volunteered to help at this car wash. Nevermind that it's October and people don't usually look for car washes on residential streets. Their father picked up his kids and two of mine. My twins didn't come home until 6:15 p.m.

YoungestBoy was feeling glum that he wasn't invited, so I suggested that we go to the beach. Babygirl was thrilled with the idea, so off we went.

Here are things at the beach that scared Babygirl:

1) The slides/climbing toy filled with other kids.
2) The swing. I pushed her one time--apparently too high--and she held on for dear life and grimaced in such a way that I thought she might be having a stroke. When I reached out to stop the swing, I could feel her shaking and her heart beating. No more swings for her!
3) The shoreline, even though the waves were placid and glassy.
4) The train with its loud whistle.

What did not scare her:
1) The big Husky-mix dog she kept petting.
2) The burly, bearded man who owned the dog.

Now, finally, I'm just wondering. Is it just me? Am I the only one who finds the relentlessness of housework and childcare to be just about more than I can stand? People in other professions must deal with monotony . . . does it drive everyone crazy like it does me? The monotony, I mean?

I am more suited to an academic calendar. Work hard when the leaves fall. Dig in and study your brains out until Christmas. Sleep for two weeks. Burrow in with books until the snow melts and the tulips bloom. Stretch your arms and finish up your exams as the sun warms. Slow down through summer, put your brain on vacation, but work hard, play hard, get sunburned. Then get ready to study again when the air cools.

This every-day-is-the-same-stuff is driving me insane. It's all the same, except for the regular interruptions of bill-paying time and illnesses.

And the details are falling through the cracks because my brain is full. I have so many projects that need my attention, but I don't have any blocks of time.

Oh! I just remembered what else I wanted to talk about, but my eyes are burning and I need to take out my contact lenses. Tomorrow, then, same time, same place, and I'll tell you about going to the movies.


Blogger Beth said...

I gotta tell you, I feel the same way. I'm a stay-at-home mom because I can't imagine having them spend their days with someone else. at the same time, I wonder if i can do one more load of laundry, make one more peanut butter & jelly sandwich, after just putting away the stuff to make one or reffing one more imaginary battle! Every day is the same thing, over and over, yet, I am aware of how time is passing quickly and maybe, like you, I have not taken enough pictures.

5:08 AM  
Blogger Rebecca said...

Oh Mel, I wish such monotony would be restricted to the stay-at-home mom set. It is funny to read this because as I walked into work this morning, I was thinking 'here begins another Monday, it will be the same as every other Monday, the same, the same, the same.' The feeling of dread begins every Sunday night and blossoms into this all-consuming cloud every Monday morning. I, too, miss the scholastic schedule. The work, take care of kid, clean, sleep, do the same tomorrow thing gets OLD. I spent the first year of my child's life at home - can't decide which has been more monotonous, though I would definitely choose being with her over ANYthing else.

8:27 AM  
Blogger Judy said...

My baby girl turned 22 today. This morning I was remembering the day. It was my actual due-date, so I was SURE it wouldn't happen on that day! Like it was yesterday, I can remember going into the bathroom, and hollering out to my husband not to go to work, as it was GOING TO BE TODAY! It really truly does seem like yesterday. Four hours of labor, none of it hard and out popped my daughter with eyes ONLY for her father. Today she stopped by with her husband. She wants to have a baby. I want her to have a baby.

I never believed it when people told me that the time with my kids would just fly bye. I thought it was going to last forever. I remember my husband getting all excited when we got a car that had a rear wiper. Goodness...that's about ALL I was some days...a rear wiper.

But, I don't want those days back. I like who my kids are now. And, it's because of those days that they ARE the people that they are now.

I just hope they don't remember the days when I REALLY lost it! But, just incase they do...I'm going to write MY book first!

1:07 PM  
Blogger Tina said...

I held a one day old baby this week, and my emotions were so mixed...I wonder what that means...possibly that I am psycho!

I had never really thought about the academic calendar in just the way that you have put it that *does* sound pretty good...

7:08 AM  

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