My sister had twins in January and I had the opportunity to meet my nephews a few weekends ago. I went to Nashville with the mindset that I was going there to help, to relieve some of the pressure that having two newborns brings. I think I did that but…I’m still recovering.
That shit was relentless. The boys, who I’ll call Sleepy and Gushy, were as cute as little babies usually are. It’s the eating every 2.5 hours, the endless diapers, the 32 bottles that needed to be washed, on top of trying to keep a snotty almost-2-year-old from lovingly body-slamming them that was completely exhausting. Alex tried to call me while I was there and I responded as if he was calling during a missile crisis. “SLEEPY JUST STUCK HIS FOOT IN SHIT AND THEN PEED ON THE WALL TWICE AND GUSHY TOOK 45 F*CKING MINUTES TO FINISH A BOTTLE AND THEN SPIT IT ALL UP OVER THE HOUSE. IT LOOKED LIKE THE CLIMAX SCENE IN CARRIE BUT WITH BREASTMILK INSTEAD OF BLOOD, ALEX. WHAT COULD YOU POSSIBLY NEED?”
Of course, my sister and brother-in-law are handling it like literal professionals. Like, someone should sponsor them and they can wear Pennzoil patches on the back of their matching bathrobes when they’re up changing diapers and feeding sleeping babies at 1am.
To be honest, I’m surprised that my sister even had the bandwidth to plan for me to be there, like respond to my text messages about flights and dates. If the situation was reversed and she had texted me, weeks after I gave birth to twins, to ask when she should come help, I never would have responded. I probably wouldn’t have responded because I would have thrown my phone into the busy road beside our house in a fit of frustration over running out of baby wipes. She would keep trying to get in contact with me, eventually deciding that something horrible had happened and calling my local police station. When the friendly female police officer knocks on my door for a wellness check, I would greet her with unwashed, oily hair slicked back a la Danny from the movie Grease. I would silently narrow my sleepless raccoon eyes at her as she took in the uncut talons attached to my toes, the stench cloud of baby vomit and shit, her eyes finally landing on the circular stains of breastmilk adorning the ratty bathrobe covering my saggy mom tits. With the ear-shattering scream of hungry newborns ringing in her ears, I would lean forward and hiss with the stench of teeth that haven’t seen a toothbrush in weeks, “RUN”.
And she would too.
So, let’s just consider that anyone in my sister’s household had the wherewithal to a) plan a visit and b) actually remember that someone was coming is a blessed miracle. I am so proud of them. There will come a time (it might be in 18 years, but still) when they will look back at how ridiculous their life is right now and laugh. They will know that they survived it. I’ll be there to tell the tale.
I haven’t written much lately because, to be honest, parenting sucks the ever-living life out of me and I’m an introvert so I already feel like I don’t have much energy to give in the first place. This year so far has been tough.
It’s been sitting across from school officials, locking eyes, and all of us saying, “So, what do we do now?” at the same time, but not in a cool, ‘jinx, let’s fist bump’ way. More in a panicked, ‘oh crap, who has the answer?” kind of way.
It has been The Baby’s home health agency closing suddenly, leaving us scrambling to find new therapists and a new medical equipment company. I want you to know that I often have to gird my loins to talk on the phone, as in sometimes I’ll plan a phone call a day in advance (“Okay, I’m going to call her back tomorrow at 2:30pm. I’ll take a nap and be hydrated beforehand and have my fingers crossed that she doesn’t answer.”) The whole finding a new agency process has basically been an unreasonable amount of phone conversations with strangers who call me all willy nilly and catch me without a properly stocked pantry full of sparkling waters.
A friend called me the other day and said, “I need you”. She came over and we got to talk to her and help her with an issue. Before she left, I told her, “I’m really glad that you called. I’m not as available as I’d like to be to my friends right now. At the end of the day, I often have only enough energy to shove handfuls of popcorn in my mouth and watch Netflix but I’m still your friend and I still want to be here for you. Thank you for insisting that I do that.”
So, dear friends, in honor of the excuse letters that I made my ESL students write on their latest test, I’d like to offer up a letter of explanation as to why I’ve been MIA from the interwebs.
Dear my mom and maybe the one other person who reads my blog,
I was absent from writing in January and February because sometimes I feel like I’m drowning in parenting and I’ll never get enough sleep or alone time to catch up. I don’t know that will get better any time soon but maybe I will learn to cope with it better. Or maybe I won’t. I don’t know. I’m not a fortune teller.
Until then, if you need me, call me. No matter where you are, no matter how far. Don’t worry, baby. Just call my name (with a reasonable amount of preparation time) and I’ll be there in a hurry (before 9pm). You don’t have to worry.