I now understand Hillary Clinton like I never have before. She's right, it really does take a village. At the risk of boring you with more mommy drivel, I take the time tonight to remember some things lest I ever think I did all of this (any of this?) alone.
BK - "Before Kids" I was Miss I Will Do it Myself. I went away to a college my family never dreamed I would go to, thought seriously about getting a tattoo (whoa), paid rent to slumlords who are lucky OSHA never came a knockin', and rode a Harley. Okay, it was a vespa and I rode on the back of it but still...the point is I was a young girl who worked tons of odd jobs most of my young life while forcing myself to eat Egg Drop soup for weeks because I couldn't and wouldn't ask for help. This is not to say I didn't have slews of family and friends who pitched in despite my obstinance. I'd be fooling myself if I thought I was in fact supporting myself. Yet that's exactly what I thought.
Then came Abby. I would start with Grayson but honestly when I had him and only him I still wore my Proud Mary badge daily and didn't relinquish his chubby body often for fear some bystander would for one second assume I wasn't capable of dealing. But again, then came Abby. Talk about dealing. What you women do with more than two children to cope with the demands of every day living I haven't the foggiest. All I can say is that you have more strands of iron and vinegar in your DNA than I ever will. Abby is wee but the stress added when she entered the scene was anything but. She humbled me like no other. Ironically, Abby is a pretty easy baby (once we figured out how to calm the screaming meanies inside her). The things that come with having more than one dependent are not. Instead of doubling, somehow things in this house and in our lives absolutely tripled with bringing home baby. We used to have housework. We now have boats of laundry listing over their baskets, dust bunnies we should start taking the vet, dishes that beg to be hand washed instead of flung into the scalding dishwasher again. We no longer have grocery lists. We now have holy crap we just went to the store yesterday and I can't believe we already need milk, juice, and cheese again lists. Seriously, who is eating one lb of Cooper's Sharp in a day? Even Sadie is mystified.
So learning how to deal with two children has been my new job. I'm not going to lie to you. I completely suck at my new job. I try like hell to be a better time manager but somehow I still end up brushing my own teeth close to 1:00 in the afternoon- that is about 8 hours too late people (and for those of you who know me this is a very huge problem). I also try to do all of the things a mom is supposed to do but I sometimes forget. Like dinner. You may think I'm joking but there have quite literally been a few days when 6:30pm rolls around and I'm so very busy being proud of myself for not letting Grayson watch eleven straight hours of Max & Ruby (only 10) that it comes as a complete surprise to me when a funny grumbling moan sounds off from deep inside my toddler's belly. OH MY GOD! I didn't make dinner! I didn't even THINK about making dinner until now! I don't even have one edible protein thawing in the sink! Who does this? What kind of mother doesn't make their children dinner? What about my poor long commuting husband who is going to come walking through that door any minute to discover the devastation that is an empty oven? Not good.
The last pride-crushing straw? When my long commuting husband had to recently go on travel. This is a typical occurrence around here only this is the first time since Abby that he has been away for an entire week and I haven't had family visiting. I was here to care for the house, the baby, the Grayson, the canine, the fish, and the mailbox all by myself. Not an unusual assignment for a wife and a mother one would think. One would also think said wife and mother would be able to tend to her tribe alone for one piddly week. One would be wrong. Day 2 and I was muttering obscenities to the hairdryer like a crazy loon and her crazier half-sister. That's when I realized I could not do this alone. I repeat: I could not do this alone. What's "this?" That would be caring for my own children (et. al) by myself. I believe the kindest, sweetest, loveliest thing I did for Grayson and Abby on Tuesday night was call in for backup. They deserved more than what I alone could give them. They deserve backup. They deserve their village. Who am I to rob them of their village just because Miss Independent was hanging on for dear life? Last Tuesday, she needed an ego defibrillator and it was time I let her go into That Good Night...she won't be missed. We need more of the new Erin- Miss IndiePendent I like to say. The new cool indie mom who actually makes phone calls asking for assistance before things get terribly ugly and hostile in her own head. The wife who hired not one but TWO new babysitters to help her get some needed rest so she can carry on with dancing suburban salsa in the kitchen with her baby in a Moby sling and her little boy standing on her feet. Olay!
An aside: I haven't mentioned my extended family and friends much in this blog. This is no oversight. I started this blog as a memory for my children and my future self. Therefore, I chose to respect the privacy of my family and friends. It's my decision to blurb out to the world at large and it's my responsibility to keep it close without mentioning names or posting pictures of those people who may not want to be that public. However, tonight I have to let the world at large know there is huge undertaking going on behind these curtains. I have to thank my village out loud for being there for me, for us, through so much. Starting from Andy's first deployment, to our monsoon of a wedding, our non-cratable and extremely destructive Labrador, our many moves within Maryland and then to PA, the prom setup and breakdown, my hyperemesis, our firstborn and then our second love bundle - you have all been here either physically or in spirit- to help my family. Here's to you: Nonie & T, Pop-Pop & MiMi, Nammy & Pop, Uncles Eric, Donnie, Alex, Matt, Pete, Jason, Aunties Jen, Christie, Dawna, Libby. My own Uncle Jimmy & Aunt Mary, Marni &Vinny, our other fabulous friends and neighbors on N.Gorski :), my nurses and Wendy at Home Solutions, my fellow Mommy friends (Kathleen, Monica, Lisa, Sarah, Kim, Blythe, Cara, Tracy G), my baby-free friends both near and far (April, Marni, Tracy D) , my lovelies (babysitters), and all of you who have not been named but have also not been forgotten. We would not have made it without you. I would not have made it without you. You are my village and that Hillary Clinton is one smart cookie.