As I’m going through the day-to-day of life with a husband and three boys, I find myself wondering if other stay-at-home parents are having similar experiences. I say parents because this is not a mom or dad thing. This is not a young or old thing. This is a life thing.
Having both an infant and a pair of toddlers in my life comes with its own craziness. If one kid is not sick, it’s another. If one son doesn’t have a birthday party to attend, then for sure the other will. If one kid is in a mellow mood, then one of the others will surely dive into a meltdown of epic proportions. If one child wants mac-and-cheese, the other will only want anything but that. If one crashes early for the night, another will choose that night to have insomnia.
But putting the kids aside for a minute (please, I’m just asking for a minute), what I’m really referring to is the life that is going on around the kids. The life that you squeeze in while you’re standing and eating your lunch for 30 seconds, or when you’re sitting on the toilet (and inevitably that will be when all hell breaks loose.) It’s the life you try to live when you’ve ducked into another room for a second under the pretense that you will be right back with something for everyone that is so incredibly exciting and so amazing, and it will be yours as long as everyone behaves and stays as quiet as possible.
If life is one huge pie, I can take a small slice out of it – let’s say the last 48 hours — and give you some examples of its current craziness. I won’t even mention the ear infection that we are right now trying to work through, or the push to begin eating solid foods, because remember that this is about the life that is not directly related to the kids, but life that they unknowingly try to thwart at every turn.
Having decided to stay in Santa Monica for the time being, progress continues on our remodeling. Today our two boys’ loft beds and bedroom furniture arrived, along with two trusty assemblers, to be set up in their new bedroom (which was the guest room.) The new guest room (our old office), already occupied some nights by our number one guest (our surrogate/friend), continues to be enhanced with Internet and phone connections, some pictures, and an overall cleaner disposition. Our new office/gym (our old garage) has regressed somewhat into a storage area because we are in desperate need of a purge, but it’s still a work in progress as I get a bid for a new modern fancy windowed and insulated garage door today. Besides a storage facility, the garage is doing a good job as a gym, as I’m cycling on the stationery bike at 100 rpms while I write this blog on my laptop.
I have a few hours to dig deep while Alen takes all three boys to a three-hour birthday party, a shindig I really wanted to attend because it has some fun adults attending, but you can’t have everything. Plus someone needs to stay and supervise the assemblers and meet with the garage door rep. Plus it’s rare that I get time at home with NO kids, although as soon as they drove away from the house I began to miss them. I want some time to myself but I really miss the boys.
We have three rental properties in Venice, one of which is becoming vacant in a few days. An ad I placed on Westside Rentals two days ago has already yielded 175 calls, emails and texts, lots of which I had to simply ignore because I just did not have the time to respond. Some of the ones I did respond to had questions about the noises in the background, perhaps because of my kids or a friend’s kids or it was pickup time at surf camp or we were on the beach or at Universal Studios, or else prospective tenants had been unable to leave a message because my voice mailbox was full.
I remembered my sister’s birthday yesterday, and we got in a singing message from the boys as we drove home from Grandma’s house. I spoke to my gardener about some trimming, and I shopped for groceries last night right after I went to redeem a mani/pedi gift certificate I received from hubby from our last month’s anniversary celebration. Yes, men have mani/pedi’s also, but no I don’t really like calling it that.
Last night I paid bills until I ran out of money, and then I shopped for my sister’s birthday on Amazon (yes it was yesterday so yes I am late) as well as my nephew’s birthday (it was last month so yes late again) until I was too tired.
I picked up the backyard (the gardener will not move toys to mow the yard, so I have to), answered some email, and went for a long run so I can at least live to see my boys graduate from high school. I trimmed the nails of thirty fingers and thirty toes, and bought birthday cards and gifts for today and tomorrow’s parties.
It’s safe to say that these past 48 hours, packed with some trials and tribulations, are an accurate reflection of my life now. How about yours?