Some days, being a mother is really, really hard.
Hard is an all-encompassing word, when there are so many words and phrases that make up the madness of motherhood: tiny annoyances, snotty noses, teeth that refuse to just break through already, incessant moaning that nothing quells, the inability to have a moment's peace like maybe right now, with the baby crawling under my chair to get at the cords behind the desk. The endless daily cycle of waking and sleeping some of the time and the what do you do in between.
Yesterday was one of those days. I feel that many times, I am terribly optimistic and cheerful about motherhood on this blog. There's just not enough edge, not enough sturm and drang, not enough suffering, you know to have a really successful mommyblog. And that's because there is very little of that in my life. But there are days, there are moments - the sniping that goes back and forth on whose responsibility it is to do what, for the baby, for the house, the days where I feel moored on Miscommunication Island. The days where nothing really goes right, where I feel guilty for breathing, where I let my regrets and grudges come and sit on the couch with me, and end up feeling like someone who is surely not responsible or compentent enough for a hamster, let alone a baby. Usually I am able to turn the coin over to the shiny side, but there was no shiny side, only a dark corroded penny that gets stuck to the bottom of your cupholder.
It was one of the few times where I felt at my wits' end with my child, my nerves stretched thin like the strings on a guitar. I plopped him in the middle of the kitchen floor and said, "I am so over you." Within a few moments, I felt my feet, wet in tidepools of guilt. Thankfully he doesn't know what I mean by this yet, this passive aggressive tendency to wound sideways. He happily banged on the floor with a wooden spoon (with which I am afraid he is going to poke his eye out) and proceeded to climb into the dishwasher. Finally, I strapped him in his highchair, and distracted him with Cheerios.
Is it any wonder that when five o'clock mercifully arrived, I gratefully handed him over to his father, and hit the door running? I was so glad to escape (to work) and get moments with people who speak in sentences and not shrieks somewhat like a baby pterdactyl. Work was like a small hurricane, and I was scattered, but still, it was away. It was relief. It was enough to make me happy to return home, to snuggle my sleepy, snaggle-toothed dictator on the couch. The bright side of the penny emerged, at last.