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Tuesday, April 28, 2009

One of those days

I've been reflecting on what makes a day hard to get through and why some days fly by so easily. For me, the difference seems to be the occurance of the unexpected and the absence of breaks. Those two things can turn me into a whimpering mass of momminess.

The day seemed to start out fine, but looking back now I realize I was more tired this morning then I thought. The boy looks to be getting his forth tooth (his second on the top) and so he wanted to nurse a lot last night. All night. In a kind of painful way that made use of his gums grinding against me my flesh. All of this made me a little more cranky then usual and lowered my energy reserves to deal with anything unexpected. Which of coarse is when the unexpected happens.

My sister was over this morning and I suggested we take both the kids to a playgroup a fifteen minute walk away. I had never been before but I had heard about it from some other moms. So we bundled the kids into their rain coats and into the stroller and headed out in a very heavy downpour. My pants were soaked by the time we crossed the bride over the canal. Only to run into someone I knew from our playgroup in the fall who informed me the playgroup today was canceled. Not a big deal right? Well, for someone who is drawing on limited reserves of energy to make it thorough the morning any change in plans is a big deal.

This woman suggested we go anyway and see if we could get in and use the space without the coordinator (who had canceled because her daughter has foot and mouth disease). We were able to get in and convince the staff to let the kids play for a "five minutes" that we manged to stretch into twenty. Afterwards we headed to a bookstore where my sister bought a book and I fended off the girl's snack demands outside. The playgroup usually provided a snack so all I had brought was a banana. You can imagine how she felt about that!

A quick stop into a store to buy some snacks was necessary before we headed home. The girl was now quite happy with an entire box of Annie's Cheddar Bunnies in her lap. The boy not so much. We got a few blocks before I stopped to feed him the leftover stub of banana. I felt like a mama bird as I mashed it in my mouth and fed it to him with my fingers. It was all very primal.

I think my sister must have taken pity on me because she said she was too "tired" to go to her yoga class, helped me shepherd the kids inside and stayed for lunch. The lunch where we tried to feed the whimpering boy and convince the girl to eat something. "I don't like that" she said about my chili before she ate half of the food on her plate.

Once they were both asleep the afternoon improved considerably. I had a chance to relax and not feel responsible for their every need. The girl ended up napping for three hours. The boy slept for an hour but then happily played with the full laundry basket and a box of toys for another hour, allowing me to stare off into space. And reflect on my dislike of the unexpected and my need for a break each day.

I have come to the conclusion that I need a minimum of twenty minutes to myself each afternoon to make it through the rest of the day. Sounds simple, doesn't it? It would have been back before I had kids. Back when I would sit on the couch and read a book for four hours. Now I am struggling to figure out how I can make sure I get twenty minutes, without either kid, each day. I will have to cross my fingers that their naps/ quiet time align. Or I will have to start dispensing some serious "crack", otherwise know as the Backyardigans.

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