i mean, not like my hands are a stench and i can smell them when they are resting in my lap. but, when i put them up to my face i can smell poop. i always wash them well after a diaper change but somehow the scent can linger. it is the kind of thing that would have been disgusting before i had children but now it seems like, well, not the best thing ever but just part of my life.
before i had children i had relationships with other people my age to obsess about. say, friends or boyfriends, and then my husband. i had this habit of kind of disappearing into the relationship for awhile, then realizing the “me” part had ceased to exist, and trying to refind myself. so, i am doing that now i realize. when my son was born i just kind of disappeared into being his mother. and i love it, and i love being a mama to two, but i want more too.
one thing i want is to be able to leave my kids with a sitter i trust while i spend some one on one time with my husband, or with myself, or with a friend. the experience of finding a sitter has not been easy for me and has caused a lot of stress on my little family unit. the bean is not a kid who takes kindly to being left with people. and, instead of slowly chipping away at that while he was young i froze in the face of the struggle and did nothing about it. now he is almost three and still the only person i can just leave him with is my mom. which is fine except that she is not near us 6 months out of the year so during all that time we’ve got nothing. when the bean was about 15 months old i found a sitter i liked and slowly we got to the point where we could leave him with her for an hour or two. i am not even talking about someone being able to do bedtime or anything. just that we can walk out the door without being called back home ten minutes later.
that sitter had to go to college and that coincided with us moving and me having the chickpea and the next two sitters i tried i didn’t think i could leave him with. i tried once and a meltdown ensued and i got the call to return. now the whole idea of finding a sitter and getting to the point where we can go out feels like a Really Big Deal. so it terrifies me. so i freeze up.
i have decided that frozen is getting me nowhere so i need to at least move one little baby foot forward just the tiniest bit. if that is all i can do that is ok but there has to be some movement. so, instead of worrying that my kids can’t do it, or that their inability is going to make my husband angry or disappointed, or that i will upset everyone by trying, i am going to make a call or two. maybe we can try to have bagels one morning. and if they both cry and we have to come home then at least i tried. and i can try again, and again, and again, until we eat our bagels. and then maybe we can try a dinner. ok, typing that sentence put me back in freak out mode because i know how much my flash would love that and i know how far it feels from the kids being cool with it. so i think i’ll back back down to bagels. bagels. bagels are good. fattening but good.
somewhere between “this is terrible i want to be able to get away for a week alone” and “they are only young once so i never need any me time” is the place i want to be. i wish that spot was easier to find and felt less volatile to me. i wish i could find the tiny little baby steps that took me there instead of feeling like it is all big test about whether my parenting choices were “right” or “wrong.” i wish that flash and i could both embrace attachment parenting and still sit together over a nice bottle of red and hold hands. and look into eachothers eyes. and he could tell me, “your hands smell like poop.”