Thursday, October 25, 2012

When Mama takes a Mental Health Day, We All Get Cookies

Thursdays are one of my favorite days of the week. At 830 I load up both babes in the double stroller and we walk 4 blocks to Eastminster Presbyterian Church for Community Bible Study. CBS is just that- women in the community getting together to study the Bible. We leave our denominations, political affiliations, personal views on spanking and organic food at the door and for three hours are united by a desire to know God a little bit better. There is a fantastic children's program where last week Pursy came home talking about "Davin" and a wolf- accompanied by a cool art project, which was a paper lunch bag made into a lamb covered in cotton balls. The teachers are amazing- evidenced by the paper bag lamb- who has the patience to help 2-3 year olds glue 87 cotton balls on a paper bag??

I love it. Being a Mama is my main gig right now, but when I drop both babes off in their respective classes and walk upstairs to the sanctuary, I feel like Christy the Woman. The girl who has thoughts about grass fed beef and evolution and Kurt Vonnegut and hollandaise sauce and whether empire waist dresses are actually a good post partum look. I have those opinions all the time, but not the opportunity or proper voice to express them either with a child eating off of me or a toddler wanting me to do the "dancing frog" with her.

And even though it isn't THAT important that I share with my friends my views on grass fed beef-  I would like to know theirs, as well as finding out if they read the book Omnivores Dilemma by Michael Pollen, which shaped my personal view on grass fed beef. This is the stuff that is interesting to me. I really like food and in particular, food that is actually available to me and my family in as close to its natural state as possible. I am the girl they talk about when they open a Slow Food restaurant in the middle of farmland and say that people who really care about eating local will make the drive. (State College friends, think Elk Creek Cafe)

That was a significant digression.

Back to Thursday morning Bible Study. This morning I knew before I got out of bed that I wouldn't be going. Anywhere, probably, but more specifically would not be going to CBS. My grandfather passed away on Sunday and even though I didn't know him very well, I love my mother and wanted to somehow get to his memorial service in South Carolina. Grant and I agreed that I would go with Knox and he would stay behind with Purslane. I think airlines should have a moral obligation to provide discount airfare to individuals traveling to a funeral because after 5 hours of website searching, I had to make the decision that we could not afford the ticket. I know there are times when money is not a factor but we knew when I decided to stop working full time and stay home to raise our children that money would always be a factor for us. The phone call to tell my mother was terribly hard.

Last night, my older brother who lives in Japan left me a voicemail at 4 in the afternoon (5am his time) telling me to call him immediately. He also tried to Skype with me at the same time, leaving me a message that as soon as I could he needed me to call him. This was at 4p. He then proceeded to not answer his phone, be at his computer or answer emails for 4.5 hours. I didn't want to call my mother to find out if she had heard from him so I called my siblings, neither of which had talked to him. He is fine, just left his phone at home while he took a little critical trip but when he finally called and told me what happened, I was relieved and furious. Mostly relieved, but pretty furious. I will wait until he recovers to tell him just how angry I was... but Daniel, it's comin'.

Our children who have both been sleeping through the night for a few weeks now, continue to get up between 530 and 6. Which brings to mind the age old question: Is it better to be awake from 1-2a but sleep until 7? Not sure, but I do know that 530 is a terrible hour to be woken up by Pursy standing beside our bed saying "I have to go poop and pee Mama, can you help me?". It is a cute question and I have a soft spot in my heart for baby breath (ask Grant, he finds it really odd. You know how some people talk about smelling the top of their child's head to get that baby smell? I feel the same way when I smell their breath- sweet, unadulterated BABY breath. I cried the day Knox ate solid food for the first time because I knew it was the end of pure breastmilk breath, which is just like angels wings covered in happiness. And first thing in the morning that pure angel breath is concentrated by hours of mouth breathing... it is wonderful)

So I am tired. Not enough sleep makes for long days and needing to psyche myself up for trips to the park. Exhaustion is exacerbated by 2 year old behavior which while normal and expected, still makes me question the order of the universe. Surely this was not God's plan for mothers who sacrifice so much to be rewarded by a tiny WWF knock off crawling under the cart in Target bellowing for goldfish.

Have I mentioned before that sleep deprivation makes me a drama queen?

Along with not sleeping enough, Knox is teething, learning to walk and going through a growth spurt. Which means he is covered in food, bruises and is sleepy most of the time. It breaks my heart because he can't tell me exactly which need isn't being met and will just fall over, lay on the floor and cry until I can pick him up. Grant has an amazing ability to soothe him, so most nights I nurse Knox then pass him over to be rocked to sleep by this sweet man who seems to pull patience from the air. We both have our moments where we lose all sense of reason and say something like "why can't you just go to college already?!?" but for a man who claims to not be good with infants, my man is gold at bedtime with these little people.

Have I connected any sentient thoughts together? Cliffs notes: I am parentally distressed, emotionally sad and physically exhausted. Thus today I took a mental health day. We spent the early morning in the playroom watching Yo Gabba Gabba and doing puzzles, the late morning in the kitchen making molasses cookies and now at 1230 both babes are down for naps. Grant called at 10 and I think was a little scared by the tone in my voice, so is coming home a bit early to take over while I grab my purse and gym clothes and take a night off.

My plan is to hit up a consignment shop in Squirrel Hill for some fall/winter clothes for the babes, grab some take out from one of the many fabulous Mediterranean restaurants on Murray Ave, peruse the used vinyls at Jerry's for a gift to present to fabulous husband upon my return home, have dessert coffee and wander a bookstore, and find a 6 pack shop somewhere in the East End that has started to carry Mad Elf for a late night porch drink. Just before coming home I will stop at my gym for a late night work out and arrive back home refreshed, probably a bit distressed about my weight which doesn't seem to want to decrease, but overall ready to be a Mama again.

Better then Valium.

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