16 February 2010

this was today.

i confess: sometimes Eli spends more of his day with a floppy-shoed mouse and the man in the big yellow hat than is good for him. try as i might to juggle it all in perfect balance, there are just those days when, let's face it, a family really needs clean socks and the sheets changed and two week old lasagna removed from the fridge. so i have to do what i have to do to make it all go.

and then there are days, like today, that are a closer picture of what i strive for. a better balance of time. i am not sure how it happens, really. i mean, i feel like i come into each day with the same amount of hours and as much determination as the day before. yet some days feel like flops, and others i'm actually able to shower, use my toothbrush before noon, kiss the boo-boos, fold the laundry, answer countless questions beginning with "why" and still have energy at the end of the day to make a decent dinner and clean up the kitchen.

this morning began like most---feed Millie, find coffee.

and then, and i write it down here mostly just as proof to myself that these days are indeed possible, i:

made banana pancakes. got dressed, actually put some make-up on, AND deodorant, AND brushed my teeth, AND plucked a few stray eyebrows. got the little people dressed. washed a pile of baby clothes. put together an alphabet train puzzle with Eli and sang the ABC song every time we added a piece (so, um, twenty-six times). gave Millie a bath and put the yummy-smelling baby oil on her. fixed broken train tracks. made turkey melts while holding Millie. talked about life and cars and gardening and snow and chickens and schedules and vacation and kids with Jeremy over lunch. watched Millie smile while Jeremy sang to her. read a book involving a drum. figured out a way to make a drum EXACTLY like it out of a plastic container, some string, some tape, and two dulcimer hammers. taught Eli "Yankee Doodle" and "Deep in the Heart of Texas". took a quick coffee break while rocking Millie and watching a show about how see-saws work. noted parallels between life and see-saw. tried to help Eli build a see-saw EXACTLY like it out of a piece of wood, a plastic tractor, and a pair of headphones. (did not succeed). rocked Millie some more. added some ingredients to Sunday's leftover beef bourguignon to make a pretty fantastic pasta sauce. ate at the dining room table like real people. with a vase of flowers even. cleaned up. kissed Jeremy goodbye as he left for tuesday night work. made aprons into super hero capes for Eli and me. saved the planet forty-two times by running around the house and making super hero noises. baked brownies. let Eli lick the spatula and didn't freak out about salmonella. built a fort. tucked Eli into the fort and scratched his back until he fell asleep.

of course, in between, there was also lots of diapers and spit-up and crying and consoling and cheddar cheese goldfish mashed into the living room rug.

days like these are good. they may be fewer than i'd like and tomorrow i might not be wearing a clean shirt, but what's so wrong with a teeter-totter rhythm to things? true, some evenings i look back on the hours of the day and feel that i accomplished nothing. i beat myself up a lot. i think this is normal though, and it keeps me clinging to the truth that I am loved regardless, and that my children are going to be okay.

i also don't post here as much as i used to. i want to, because writing is a good outlet for me and i miss it when i stay away too long. but on days like today there's not a moment to write, and on those bad days, i'd feel much too guilty stopping to write a blog entry about how my three year old is in the other room watching television. but i think i still need this place sometimes, to stop and remember things. to take notice of them because they are small but important. like it or not, these days are flying by me (Eli just turned 3) and though I might be a super hero with clumsy legs wearing an apron on my back and brownie mix in my hair, i know i need to try my best to catch them.


stefanie said...

oh how i identify with this...right down to the superhero capes (we are spiderman and spiderman's mom). i hope you keep writing. it's good for me too!

evie said...

kierstin, i want to weep at the profundity of your day.
so, so beautifully put.

Christine said...

Perfection. I savored every word.

jenni said...

You're an inspiring mom, Kierstin. And an inspiring writer. I really need to blog more. xoxo.

Nonnie said...

and "loved" you are....especially since you are teaching Eli "Deep in the Heart of Texas" and you let Gotti be part of your brownie making.

The Morginskys said...

girlfriend. you read my mind this morning. guilt vs. feeling like a good mom. i think you summarized what it takes to make a good day: good sleep, good coffee and getting dressed by 9am.
is your train puzzle from Melissa and Doug? we love that one. why do all moms beat themselves up? we need a support group. love you. insprired for today! going to turn off the tv:)!

kate o. said...

from one mom of young ones to another, i laughed at the things that seemed amazing to me. i thought, "oohh, she actually plucked some eyebrows...she made leftovers into something fantastic...she took the time to sing the abc's 26 times..."

i feel as though i'm getting better at enjoying the kind of days that have balance and those that don't. as cliche as it sounds i'm becoming more and more aware how short/few these intense little-people days really are.

Allison said...

I'm so glad the Peters tipped me off to your blog...

I totally relate...right down to the mouse and the monkey in the other room. Le sigh.

I love to read your posts and each one refreshes my own inclination to blog. Thanks.

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