The movies. By myself. A cool, air conditioned movie theatre. Popcorn, or not. I don't care. Just the screen, and the story of someone else bearing life out, someone else seeing it all to the end credits, the product of a thousand people's hard work and industry. Whereas my children are the product of two people, both rather meager here and now, reduced by woes as old as time: lack of resources and faulty brain.
Ever I cannot catch- she is absolutely everything vital to the depth of meaning in my life, and also the most incredibly attached and demanding toddler we've ever had. She won't stop wanting me. No one else will do. It's always inclined this way, but gently, in a sweet and heart warming way- but never so SO. Never so primal, so endless, so midnight and five am and six pm and Daddy with her in the hallway or the living room or the porch and her tiny peanut cry ' Mommmmmmy. I want Mommmmmy. '
Right now at this exact moment she is whining Mommy. She has said Mommy six times in the last fifteen seconds. My arms. My arms hurt.
In case you think she does not get enough attention, I would like to assure you that the mere idea of that is laughable. She gets more attention than a broke legged chicken in a cat farm. I am online in small spots during the day, usually once in the morning for a half hour to an hour, and then some days in the evening when Mr. Curry gets home, or after she is asleep. Otherwise, I am toting the children around to various fun locations, providing art, games, outside play galore, swimming, and friends. I watch a little girl when she's not on vacation- as she has been- and we spend a lot of time with her. We read books we talk we laugh we dance. I do not have a smart phone and when I am with my kids- which is all the time- I am WITH them.
In the interest of self preservation, I am listing the things I would like to do and cannot. Then I will feel somewhat satisfied that I have made my complaint clear.
Maggie ( Mommy ) Cannot, By Ever Elizabeth
Read an entire page of a book without interruption. Even if it is eleven pm, I will wake and roll over and start demanding her attentions.
Take a shower without listening to the tinny, far away question in a sing song sadness: Where is mommmmmmmy?
Eat any meal without my cries, a fit, or endless requests.
Talk to any other human being without demanding her attention, physically and verbally. This includes my father and all siblings.
Exercise in the living room without my company.( i.e. crawling between her legs)
Sleep. ( Note From Mom: I cannot even go here. Yes, I've read All The Books. Yes, I've tried. She wakes up three times a night, minimum. I'm sleep deprived in a way unknown to me as a mother for such long durations before. Dakota was a colicky baby, but as a toddler he slept through the night. )
Drive. I need conversation, a lot of it, and plus, I don't think Mom knows where she's going and I have to give her a lot of directions.
Watch TV. She doesn't even try anymore.
Sit. ( hahahha!!!!!! )
This is the hardest stage of toddlerhood I've ever experienced.
And she is so amazing. She's hysterical, smart as hell, adorable, physically and verbally the cutest little person ever- she charms me all day, charms everyone she meets when we are out. I have so much fun with her! I spend all day trying to accept how hard this is, because the guilt of not enjoying every damn moment of this amazing little person is hard to resist* I wanted her for years, and I love her more than I can express, and...and...and...
I can handle the fits of this age, the stubborness, the emotions, all of it- I'm very good at it, actually. But this complete and total emeshement and lack of sleep is making me insane. My stomach hurts from lack of proper time to sort myself out as a human being. I have a very overactive brain and quiet time is essential to thinking things through, letting things go, relaxing on any level. I don't need a boatload- just SOME. My marriage is the hardest it's ever been, and I have no time to deal with that either. It's survival. I have less than no time to myself,-it is actually negative time to myself, due to the level of noise and demands that go on like a giant, never ending construction site right underneath the window in your bedroom.
Then the other night. Ever fell asleep and I was up reading in my room. Lola came in and said her goodnights, getting ready to play with her dolls for ten minutes before bed. Before she left the room, she turned back and said ' Mom, I don't understand why you don't go to bed the second Ever does. You're always saying you're so tired! '
I didn't throw the book at her, and for that, I accept your awe and love.
My arms quiver.
*yes I've read her essay.
THIS TOO SHALL PASS