I write this blog because I have a terrible memory. A memory so bad, I forget to write this blog.
My memory was not always this bad. It's gotten worse with age, kids, the onset of technology that does everything for us (who needs to remember directions when your phone tells you where to go). But what I don't want to forget are those moments with family that mean so much, and that kids will ask about later. I always get nostalgic this time of year (you know, THE DAD THING) and today is no exception. Recently, I've started a new project with my mother emailing her random questions about her life (favorite sandwich as a kid; first time she had pizza; why she took flamenco and when she has spare time, she replies. It's magical. She gets a kick out of the prompt and inevitably writes about more than I asked. Nostalgic fun.
However. She cannot seem to remember much about when my sister and I were kids. What her daily life was like. Was it really THAT bad? Has it been blocked out? Perhaps. Not wanting to follow a similar fate, I shall start there. When my kids ask me "What was your typical day like" I would like to have an answer because frankly, it's been nuts lately. And when my husband and I are old I would like some proof that we did all we could (so they will take pity on us and move us to a luxurious island). So here is what the days have been like:
Midnight – been sleeping for maybe 30 minutes; a child wakes and cries, the other walks into our room to tell us he's crying. We debate the Cry It Out strategy, tell ourselves we won't do it because of neighbors, cave, snuggle baby and drop him into the crib back to sleep. Who cares that the doc says he should be sleeping through the night.
4:41AM – damn it, I care that the doctor says he should be sleeping through the night…seriously, awake again? Fine, I cave again. He goes back to sleep.
6:30AM – I start hitting snooze. I am not and fear I never will be a morning person.
7AM – Floppy haired child "Want my milk." (someone else is not a morning person) "I barely understand you when you don't say Please" "Please can I have my milk?" Really, who needs an alarm clock with a soothing wake up like that.
The next hour is a blur. Showers; hair; makeup; did you go potty; finish packing lunches; where are my shoes; "Can I take my rocking horse to school?" "No." "But I really want to take my rocking horse to school!" "Still no"; download NYTimes; grab pumping accessories (men, if this is TMI, too bad. welcome to what women deal with); is that rollup fruit snack really THAT bad for her breakfast? oh wait, the baby! he needs socks. toss him in the bucket. avery grab your bag. no I cannot carry it. lock the house. I forgot my phone. do we each have a kid? I'm going to be late for a call! meet me at the subway. drop off kid. two kisses. ok a super arm hug fly baby kiss with sparkles.
Ice coffee. Subway. Hi again, honey. We missed the good train.
8:45 – 9:15 AHHHH, work. You know how this goes… calls/ meetings/ analysis/ pump/ fret/ calls/ emails/ guilty no time for pumping/ call/ meeting and then….my god it's 5:16PM and if we don't get kids by 6PM they charge $2.00 a minute (True. Not my typical hyperbole).
RUN to subway. Hit people in the way. Be "THAT PERSON" moving others along. Down the stairs, through the turnstile, round the corner, up the stairs, across the platform, down the stairs and if I am LUCKY, the train.
5:50PM Brooklyn! Grab kids in nick of time. Yes we can go get a smoothie. Please do not run too far I have your brother and cannot chase you. Time for home – THIS way. Hold my hand please. Schlep 4 bags 2 kids and a stroller upstairs. Try not to rip one pair of pants that look good post-pregnancy. Into the house. Dinner for older child, bathe younger child, TV for older child (don't judge, you know you do it), feed younger child, younger child to bed, bathe older child (a moment of peace as she now seems to need "alone time" in her bath), books, milk, bed. and by now it's 8:30PM.
Oh it's so great to sit down…but wait! Start packing lunches, fold laundry, open mail, check email, finish incomplete work task, respond to work emails that came in starting at 6PM…
We forgot to eat dinner….10PM or later.
There you have it. Sound familiar? Conclusions:
1. It's "constant" is a phrase you hear over and over with kids
2. HOW do people do it with more than two kids and careers, etc.?
3. Thank goodness for a good husband. This is my day OR his day. We share.
And you know what is really interesting…I love it. When traveling for work, which is not infrequent, I miss it. The lunches, the conversation, the singing with Avery while she is in the bath, the new sounds Aiden makes, the reflections we discuss on the day and the two teeth. With both kids I missed the first teeth. Someone else pointed them out to me – I think I was gone when they emerged both times.
It's all so worth remembering. It goes too fast. So write it down and cherish it, every little morsel.