Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Still so in the weeds

I think I've just put my finger on what my major malfunction is these days: I feel like I'm forever in the weeds. In my waitressing days, being "in the weeds" meant something overwhelmingly flustering like the hostess just sat you with 4 tables simultaneously who all want separate checks and different labeled top shelf cocktails that toppled over on  your tray as you realize you forgot to put in their order for appetizers and, oh shit, that table over there asked for a a forgotten side of mayo like 15 minutes ago. I still, after 15 non-waitressing years,  have occasional anxiety dreams in which I realize I'm naked while running out the front door of the restaurant to fetch a side of mayo that the kitchen just ran out of. 

Mommyhood catapults me into these weeds on a daily basis. There's just something so unnerving about trying to scrape sticky poo off my toddler's ass with a flimsy baby wipe before my infant grabs his penis or the poopy diaper or pulls out all the wipes. I tell myself to calm the fuck down. Who the hell cares if G gets his wanker wanked? So what if every last wipe gets pulled out? But the buck stops at the poopy diaper contact. "STOP!" I yell as I desperately try one-handedly sealing the soiled diaper without contacting shit, while trying to other-handedly install the clean one around a wriggly, protesting G, and somehow lean my upper torso on the wipey container to stop the outflow. Whose blood pressure do you suppose is rising just about now??

The magnitude of the tasks is obviously not what throws me for the loop. Anyone can fill endless sippy cups - oh shit... is that mold at the bottom of the cup?? gotta get a new one - while screaming baby drags on leg and mischievous toddler climbs up on teetering table to grab glass vase.  It's this simple: I feel out of control all the time.  You'd think by now I'd know there is no such thing as being in control. I can't stop N's pernicious teeth from coming in right after he's recovered from his last ear infection any more than I can control who's gonna nap for how long or control G from pouring bathtub water all over the floor or dribbling his chocolate milk all over his gorgeous new clothes Grandma just sent from France. 

Control is a futile endeavor with two small children. It's a pointless undertaking for life in general. And it's causing my gray hairs to accelerate their arrival, my brow to furl itself further, my right eyelid to droop and my husband to cower in fear of my next bad mood. Not good. 

So I'm praying to let the mayo slide. Ain't no such thing as perfect mothering, and if there were, its definition certainly would be more about loving kindness and patience as opposed to perfect control. When I was pregnant the first time, all rosy-cheeked and sparkly-eyed, a mother of two said to me, "Enjoy this time. It is the only time you'll ever feel like a perfect parent." I shuddered then, knowing the truth of those words would soon become my reality. And they have. But for now, for the rest of today at least, I'm gonna let go the perfect-and-in-control syndrome, welcome in the weeds, and try to roll with the one-two punches. I'm down with that. Shit, anything's better than serving up greasy fries and burgers to rude non-tippers, especially if your unintentionally naked and out of mayo. 


  1. Oh, how I adore you and your honesty.

    I was just feeling icky. Out of control with the kids, with mothering, with being a wife...

    And then I read your blog....

    In the weeds puts it perfectly.

  2. Maybe it's time to hire a nanny?

  3. Marshall Rosenberg says his definition of hell is having children and thinking there is such a thing as a good parent.