Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Of Course, at This Rate in 20 Years I will Probably Have Lost my Mind

So last night after the Very Challenging Day of Vomit-Laundry and Tantrums, after I wrote about wishing it were all easier and about wondering how I'd feel in ten years when the babes are 12 and 14 instead of two and four, I was sitting in bed re-reading one of my favorite books, the mommy-blogging anthology Sleep is for the Weak. And I got to the essay by Risa Green about her New Year's resolution, "to pretend that I am twenty years older and that I have been given a chance to go back in time and relive this period of my life." About how in twenty years she'll be 55, and if the 55-year-old Risa could go back and be the 35-year-old Risa over again, she'd probably "do some things...differently."

She writes about how her son is currently two years old and he's whiny and super-clingy and he requires countless maneuverings before he'll lie down in his crib to go to sleep at night; how he cries, "Mommy, uppy! Uppy!" when she's on the phone, and it drives her insane; how she just wants to go and get some peace and eat some dinner and have an uninterrupted phone call for once. But then she thinks about the 55-year-old her, and how that older self "would probably kill for the chance to pick up her son...and have him wrap his arms around her neck and squeeze her so hard that she very nearly loses consciousness." Because, of course, when she's 55 all this will be over and gone.

And OK, she wasn't talking about, necessarily, her older self being willing to kill for the chance to listen to a two-year-old throw an ear-splitting tantrum over a request to share the pink paint, or refuse to go to sleep, or scream and yell and behave as cranky as a cat in water ten million times a day. But honestly? I sat in my bed reading that essay and cried like a baby.

You know what she's talking about. If you're a parent, you know. Just like I do.

So, now. How to keep that ingenious New Year's resolution in mind all day long, every challenging moment of every day? Risa? Any tips?


Mnmom said...

I ALWAYS do that!! When faced with some parenting struggle, I imagine my 60-year-old self is telling me to relax and enjoy the fact that they still live under MY roof. It really does work. But still - in your case - a babysitter, playdate swaps, and a movie can give you a few moments peace.

Mom and Kiddo said...

I'll try to imagine that a 56 year old me would like to be up, now, in the middle of the night, catching up on blog reading while her baby sleeps fitfully on her chest since his teething/cold (who knows, really) somehow prohibits him sleeping on his own. I'm not sure how she will feel about the total tiredness she will feel tomorrow while taking care of 2 children, however.

Shan said...

Yes, Mom and Kiddo, you can see how it gets tricky. ;)