7/28/08

Burnout

Last Friday I cracked. In hindsight, I realize there were a few events leading up to this moment that landed me in the nuthouse.
There was the windy day I rode bikes to the beach with the girls, hair in my face, muttering under my breath as we made our way down the dirt path to the sandstorm when I slipped and --mid air, clutching the baby -- BOOM landed smack on my now flattened butt cheek. Oomph.
There was the morning walk I embarked on with Shelby and her own tiny stroller & baby doll, hoping a calm stroll would lull Ana to sleep. We stepped into the street and Shelby started crying, "Mommy, I'm tirrrrreeeedddd." "Sweetheart, you just asked me to go for a walk," I continued leading her away from the house.
She, with great effort, dragged herself alongside me wailing, "I don't waaaanntt to goooo! I'm tiiiiirrrreeeeddddd!" gathering tears and volume as we slowly moved around the block. Exactly one quarter mile, and 20 minutes later, I made it back to our driveway, both kids screaming, Shelby slung over one shoulder, her tiny stroller and doll dragging behind us like a casualty of war, my nerves frazzled and nobody within a 2 mile radius napping.
There was the coffee shop playdate where our four children (mine and hers) took it upon themselves to have a shrieking contest at our table. Although I applied my most restrained chiding to my own children, the other mother seemed not to notice and continued chit chatting away to the dismay of my nerves (and everyone else's in the shop). Then we, stupidly, dragged both strollers and all four children into an antique store. Can you say four bulls in a china shop?
Oh, and did I mention that my youngest has taken to nighttime, hourly screaming? Apparently this is how she's dealing with cutting teeth. Yes, every hour, screaming at the top of her lungs. Every F&%#$ing hour.
My sanity was smothered by a snowball of frustration (and two young toddlers) that gathered speed all week until !WHAM! I pummeled my unsuspecting husband with cold, frighteningly harsh accusations for hours until all the iciness melted away to tepid, salty tears.
The ranting, the raving, the finger pointing (at my husband's surprised, deer-in-the headlights stare) all came down to one thing: my failed endurance of enthusiastically parenting, not one, but TWO demanding, needy children. The finish line (for summer, and the looming harvest season ahead) is still light years away and I just tripped, skinned both knees and am now lethargically dragging my withered self along the Lego lined pathway of parenthood with miles more to travel before I break through the Golden Ribbon and stand on the podium. Barbie and her friends stopped cheering me on a few miles back. Where's the Aid Station, people?
To my credit, I have survived 7 weeks, 4 days and 13 hours without preschool, without a husband (kicking in to help between surf sessions and his weekend job), at home, mostly alone, with two kids. Those of you out there with more children, I want to take this moment to salute you, kiss the ground you walk on, and implore you to hand over the keys to your secret, AND your Happy Place because I've recently lost mine.
Send in The Wonderpets, the phone, the phone is ringing, there's a mommy in trouble.

1 comment:

H said...

Wow, that is rough. Hang in there. You are doing a great job! It is so hard to do it by yourself (mostly), they are sooo needy and loud! Hope you can find a few minutes of happy place.