Friday, October 11, 2013

either/or

I keep thinking my daily life is nothing more than a series of decisions that go something like this.

Either I can go out with the babes today and have car seat battles and cries for juice water from the back seat where of course I can do  nothing about their spontaneous parching thirst and requests for the Avett Brothers album AGAIN and feats of strength in the cheese aisle of Trader Joes in front of a dozen hipsters who have sworn off children for the exact reason playing out in front of them

OR

I can stay in with the babes and try to fold laundry or empty the dishwasher while keeping one eye and ear on my wonderfully precocious children who while I was pulling my jeans on this morning learned how to open the child safety latches on the cubbord where I keep the extra bags of flour and dried beans and pretend to love playing play doh when really I just get angsty when I watch all the impossibly tiny bits get ground into the rug while Pursy is making "spaghetti sauce" for the off-green ribbons of play doh that are the main course.

Either I can go to bed at 10, leaving a not tired yet Grant on the couch watching old episodes of SNL because I forbade him from watching Nashville without me and lie in bed wishing I were still downstairs reading and doing something to prevent my marriage from dissolving into pieces because I didn't have the kindness to stay up for one more hour and talk about our dreams for the future because I wanted to get up at 515 and go to the gym by myself.

OR

I could stay up later and sleep in until 630 when Pursy puts her face in my face and says something dreamy and lovey like "Mama will you help me go poop?" then spend the next 2 hours trying to put shoes on Knox and get a banana into both of them before piling everyone into the car and going to the gym at nine when the Kids Gym opens and I can drop them off while I go to the Cardio Theatre and watch Avatar for the 10th time so the meat market that goes on at urban gyms doesn't get in the way of my sweat fest. Not that I ogle or am ogled but watching spandex clad humans check each other out distracts me from the immediate firming of my glutes that I imagine happens the second I look at an elliptical machine.

Either I could deal with the headache and frantic feeling that something is missing from my morning routine and push on through the third floor of the Children's Museum clapping my hands with delight every time Knox puts together the PVC pipes and water shoots out the top while mentally flogging myself for not taking three minutes to make a French press before leaving the house or stopping at McDonalds and accepting that fast food coffee is better than no coffee.

OR

I can stop at a real coffee shop where I can feel better about what I am putting into my body and enjoy the rich top notes of a Jamaican Blue Mountain drip with a splash of cream while Pursy is grabbing at every breakable ceramic coffee mug on the display and repeatedly asking for a biscotti and Knox is climbing out of the stroller and army crawling around the floor tripping up a line of hipsters who have sworn off children for the exact reason playing out in front of them and my perfectly brewed roast is splashing out of the tiny hole on the disposable lid as the double stroller is wheeled as quickly as possible away from the counter and out the door.

Pursy has a book of either/or scenarios that is, I suppose, to teach her about making decisions and thinking through options. Every time I read it to her and we choose the red curved block to make the roof of the house instead of the green triangle I think of how lucky she is to be so successful in her choices. And with hardly any angst at all.

Life with kids is full of situations where the choices are not life or death, good or bad or even right or wrong. Sometimes its all about thinking each situation out to its logical conclusion. And deciding how much you can handle if everything goes to pot. Sometimes when you have lined everything up to have a perfectly successful day and at the door of the gym you realize you forgot the diaper bag and your diaper clad son has soaked through his diaper and raccoon one piece outfit and your daughter is begging to go to the coffee shop rather then the gym play place and your new gym shorts have a rip in the back and you realize at that moment you didn't wear underwear that day because you were in a hurry to get dressed and out of the house in time to work out before your volunteer shift at the non profit you decided to be involved with...

You just head back to the car and share a bag of goldfish crackers with your wonderfully precocious children. And call it a day.

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