Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I am almost in a pit. But not quite.
I could use a few things right now.
A housekeeper.
A laundress.
A therapist.
A few long hours with some good girlfriends.
A big, cheesy pizza.
More wine than what I just drank with my 8 ginger cookies, fresh out of the oven.

Maybe a vacation?

So sometimes, the glass is seeming to be always half full. I remember only a month or 6 weeks ago crowing to Greg over and over again, I'm just so HAPPY. I'm just so PLEASED and THRILLED and DELIGHTED about our family! I was over the moon when I folded laundry, laughing to myself at the teeny little undershirts and Ariel underpants and dirty socks that still smelled like Liam's Keen sandals even after a trip through the wash. I joyfully prepared meals, giddy at the prospect of the six of us gathered around our beautiful cherry dining table, imagining the laughter and such that would ensue. The days were sunshiny and warm.

Aww.... and now?

The blackout really almost did me in, personally, because the house that saved us from the last 4 days without electricity had no laundry facilities. Of course the power went out with full baskets for everyone, so I came home to a trashed house that reeked of smoke and old, stale food, and 9 days worth of laundry for 6 people. There were about 10 bags to be unpacked, no groceries, and life just carried on. It was end of term for Greg, I had some meetings, and I am personally a little wiped.

So I'm basically complaining right now, but the real truth of it is that the kids (well, a few of them...) have been challenging lately. And it's much easier to write when things are rosy and glowing. My image of perfection, Miss Fiona Clementine, has turned TWO. Can you believe it? This, of course, warrants its own post singing her praises, but much to my astonishment, even Fiona has begun to be two. TWO. Like, as in, testing me from time to time, not always complying immediately and without question to everything I ask of her, skipping her nap, saying NO, and all those things. She's cutting teeth and demanding to nurse non-stop (which is difficult as of course I must think of little Maeve, who depends on the milk for her very life!) and has essentially turned from a child who brought nothing but joy and sunshine to... well, more of a regular kid. I suppose it had to happen. But it's a little melancholy for me.
And then there's Aoife. Poor Aoife. We had her parent conference yesterday and at school, she's just amazing. Happy, adjusted, enthusiastic. All the kids love her, she loves all the kids. She's learned to read and is writing volumes and loves math. She can sing a round and play the piano and organize a game with a group of 10. She is cooperative and attentive and lovely.
And the minute she steps out of the car to the driveway, she melts like the wicked witch of the west.
(is this a good argument for homeschooling, or what? but I LOVE my kids school so much, and so do they...)
The poor little girl is so exhausted and she just can't cope. I can't go into detail, I have to protect my little girl and her life shouldn't be splayed out here for all to read. But it's hard for her, and it's very hard for us. And I feel like the life has been sucked out of me from it. It's very, very hard, and almost relentless. I know I've been very lucky, I've been parenting for 7 and a half years and I really haven't struggled at all yet with a child in any phase. But my ass is being kicked right now good and hard, folks, and I could use a hand. (hence the cry for the therapist).
Liam is a rock star. He's learned to knit and is on his 7th project since September. Last week he read the 4th Harry Potter in 5 days. He hugs me good and hard and snuggles me.
Not that I'm comparing, but I'm so grateful to have someone who is so solid right now.
And Mae mae, she's butter and cream, laughing and babbling "mamamam" and rolling all over the place. But, that being said, she is a baby, and babies are hard work. And I suffer from some guilt of course from wanting to give her more than I have time to give her with three older children. She's always happy, though, which should be my gauge.
This is almost a rant, hardly a post. But it's the only way I can be here, and given that I don't have a therapist, I have to tell someone.
Things are a little hard right now. Hard and soft and everything all wrapped up. This month of Thanksgiving has me feeling desperate pretty often; desperate for some kind of time to feel myself think and to be an independent agent for even five minutes, desperate for someone to help me pick up the pieces, desperate for my kids to just settle down and love each other and themselves and me.... I want August back in my lap, the beauty and freedom of warmth and heat and schedule-less joy. I want piles of laundry that sit on the back porch and not in my upstairs bathroom to mock me when I brush my teeth. I want all the toys out on the porch and the rest of the house clutter-free and empty. I want laughing, screaming, hilarious children pouring in and out of my front door. I want OUT with the car and IN with the lake.
It's only November.
(but it is dark, dark, dark....)
I also know that part of what is hard right now is that I don't recharge, ever. Maeve is almost six months old and I really haven't had any time to myself since she was born. I haven't sewed anything (except Liam's octopus costume) and I haven't gone out with a friend and I haven't hosted anything interesting. I haven't done anything without at least one kid in tow. I'm so addicted to my children and I love them so much, but I almost need to find myself in all of this crazy chaos.


Hope's Mama said...

I wish we could go see a movie. Have a meal together first, a few wines. The kids would be fine for a couple of hours with their dads. Oh I wish I wish I wish. I know I only have the two, but the TWO year old (well, tomorrow) is also kicking my ass, hard.
I wish I could be a better friend to you, and not live so damn far away.
But I can send emails, leave comments, and let you know I think you're amazing. Keep your chin up.

Sara said...

Let's have a craft night with wine. You'll get a couple of hours with friends and the wine and some dairy free snacks (roasted tomatoes on bread will take the place of cheese nicely) and maybe even get some part of a little project done.

Aimee said...

Hang in there. It is posts like this that make you so human! I have another blog I read where the woman is so happy happy joy joy ALL THE TIME! Sometimes I just want to scream, "LADY! You have FOUR kids! You MUST have days you are hanging by a thread!". So as I sit out the last few months of my pregnancy, awaiting the joy that four living children will bring, I am also very realistic about the chaos that will ensue. There will be SO MUCH love and energy and wonderfulness! AND the will be tears, tantrums, laundry, exhaustion... You are so great, but you already know that! Love you!

Lara said...

Happy birthday Little Fi! She is the picture of Holiday Winter time in that coat. It is all of it isn't it-the wonder of all your children and the simultaneous reality of life. Aiofe sounds like my Lily. But isn't that how we want them to be-wonderful, kind, and happy out in the world and then able to fall apart with their Moma's. Not to say just a week ago I wasn't loosing my marbles wondering what was wrong with me what was wrong with her-why was she such an emotional mess at home. Now this week I have been wondering how can I have such a kind, confident, even tempered child. I always think of Steinbeck's quote "life-teaming boisterous life". You are a wonderful mom with a full house-of course you are going to get your ass kicked sometimes that's the job of our little people. I know even when you feel like you need a therapist you are no less of a grateful mom. On the days I am getting my ass kicked I often remember the great note you sent me about being a grateful person. You are the best-enjoy the insanity! Big Love, Lara

Rika said...

Keeping it real!! Thank you. Makes us Moms feel ok about getting our own asses kicked too. I wish I could come babysit and or take your kids outside so you have some quietness. Or just hump into the chaos and found your laundry.

Please ask for help. There is only so long that you can go before you start to break. Keeping you healthy is equal to the rest of the family. Can you and Mauve escape to your parents for a weekend? Not a total break but a little quiet. Or Greg take the 3 others away so you can have a quiet house? Don't feel guilty. Ask. People want to help. But sometimes they have to be asked.

Love you! Your a star.

xo Rika