Wednesday, July 4, 2018

A Mom's Life: The Moment You've Done Something Right

 You know that moment when you're holding your baby and your other kids are playing so nicely and quietly and you look down at the baby and think, "You know? I've got this. I've really got this?" And then the baby starts screaming and your toddler starts screaming because her older sibling isn't letting her play the way she wants to play and then all hell breaks loose and you're thinking, "Yeah. I jinxed myself there." And everything falls apart and you want to curl into a ball and get sucked into a time vortex back to college when you could stay up until 3 am drinking and delivering films for the college newspaper for printing ...

Just me? I mean, some of the specifics there are probably just me, but this is basically a cycle I go through on a daily (sometimes multiple times) basis.

Having three kids is stupid. It's just the absolute most stupidest thing any human being could ever possibly do. With two kids, at least you sort of feel like it's a level playing field if there are two parents and two kids. You can each man one child at a time. But with three? And three under 5? It's stupid. It's dumb. It's the stupidest thing I've ever done in my entire life (except maybe not really going for the decadent non-kosher foods before opting to go kosher perhaps).

But then there are these moments like today. As I attempted to chill the Zush out while sitting on the couch (he pooped twice, so there's the answer), my other two were schlepping half the toys from my oldest's room into my daughter's room to have a "show." Then, they shut the door and I'm there, helpless on the couch, attempting to ignore the ensuing laughter and thumping and pounding. They have taken to WWE-style wrestling, my 2 year old and 4.5 year old. I mean, it keeps them super occupied, which is cool, and usually no one even ends up crying, which is also cool. But getting them to calm down afterward? Impossible.

So it's almost Tirzah's bedtime and Zusha finally falls asleep, so I get Asher to clean up the whole mess (because Tirzah suddenly is tired and thirsty and can't help), and he does. (Miracle!) Then I get Tirzah ready for pajamas and she's massively pooped without telling me. Every single time the conversation goes something like this:

Me: Tirzah, you pooped. What do you do when you poop?
Me: Great.
Me: Okay, it's too late now. You did it. I found it. Next time, mmkay?

So I get her changed and in bed and say Shema and Asher decides he wants to read her stories. Cool, I think. This'll end in disaster. So I go sit down on the couch to troll Facebook Marketplace for killer toy deals, and I hear him reading to her.

And it is the single most beautiful, heartwarming moment of my entire week. He doesn't know the words, but he knows the stories, and he's reading to her with gusto and excitement like Tatty does. Eventually he comes out and shuts her door.

"She wanted me to read three books!" he says proudly.

My heart melted. It was helpful having him read her bedtime stories because after working all day and picking up kids and making the crappiest (and yet tastiest for them) dinner and then running to Target on a 15-minute run before Mr. T went into the deli for the night and then dealing with Screamy McScreamerson aka the Terrorist aka Zusha ... I was spent.

Sometimes, kids feel like my greatest curse. Seven o'clock hits, and I'm exhausted. My internal clock kicks me awake at 5:30 am or earlier every single day whether I want it or not. I do what feels like 30 loads of dishes a day and am constantly detaching Batman stickers from my feet, not to mention cursing the sand that is everywhere all the time from the preschool playground. I feel like there is stuff, everywhere, and I can't get rid of it enough to feel like I have ownership of my space, my personal, individual, Chaviva space.

And then sometimes, I realize that I'm almost 35 and this is precisely where HaShem wants me to be. We're all on a journey, and we are where we are for a reason. I don't really get the reason. Sometimes I feel great regret and resentment and then immense guilt for feeling those things. It's a cycle I'll never understand, probably, but when I hear Asher reading to his sister and making her laugh and smile or making Zusha smile just by looking in his general direction, I know I must be doing something right.

In other news: Today we celebrate THREE YEARS since Mr. T returned to the USA after his nine month immigration disaster absence. And yet, three years on, it still feels so raw and close. Boy I hope it feels less painful as the years continue to roll on.

Happy 4th of July folks!