December 2, 2011

What’s That Whirring Sound?

Okay, it’s not as though I’m weak.  How many times have I blogged that to make myself feel better?  Well, this certainly isn’t the last, just for the record.  You will read it many more times if you so choose, to indulge in more of my lunacy.  But seriously, tonight I was with my boys for several hours alone.  And I remind myself that I used to be home with them all day alone, every single day.  I also remind myself that I will be alone with them again soon—like three weeks of December and January.  A couple weeks ago, it sounded so exciting that school would be out–and after only a few hours together tonight, I began to feel like I should sneak quietly out the back door and come back after school break.

Maybe if I snuck out, my friends would feel sorry for my husband and offer childcare services.  And then I could re-enter stage right sometime in mid-January and it would be like nothing ever happened?! 

I’m just saying that after a day at work with one or two people at a time meeting with me, who took turns speaking, was a huge difference from the noise traffic that met my ears literally non-stop from the time I picked the boys up from school to the time I put one of them to bed.  It was as if the noise never stopped, never faltered, but it wasn’t comforting like white noise.  It was like this loud whir of a faulty helicopter spinny thing, lopsided so that it keeps hopping off the ground and making you wince.  I found myself in one of those movies where the person grows smaller as the noises and people around them grow larger.  The noises start to blur and you can see the person’s face become completely intent on trying to break apart the noises and make sense of them.  You can feel the tension because even as the movie watcher your butt cheeks clench, wondering how the person can stand all the confusing noises and sensations. 

Then the person begins to crumple at the knees a little.  Their hands clutch the side of their face as they pull the skin slightly further down on their face cheeks.  And as the camera falls away, you are aware that they are melting down, but you don’t necessarily get to see the visual accompaniment.  There is a reason.  It’s not pretty.  I know.  It happened to me just like that.

I melted today as two little boys asked me questions every 2.2 seconds, overlapping each other all the way.  They talked to each other, they talked to me, and they talked to no one in particular.  They talked and talked and almost every 1.5 of every 2 things stated were a request of some sort that required my participation and leadership.  I tried to sort them quickly and respond and take charge, but I lost.  I lost the fight.  I melted.  My knees began to buckle.  I felt a loud sound escaping my pursed lips.  I grabbed the side of my head, and I just let ‘er rip as I pulled the skin on my face down to my knee caps.  I yelped back.  I didn’t even know what to say.  I am never lost for words, and I couldn’t think of clear version of what I wanted to say.  I heard the words, “Stop!  Stop talking please!  I need a moment!!!  Neither of you have stopped talking or asking me for things since I picked you up!  PLEASEEEE!!!”  I think it was me talking.

It was neither lovely nor graceful nor effective in any way.  But I saw myself fall under the pressure of parenting one more time.  I saw the edifice of my inner fortitude turn to sand beneath the once strong statue.  And like any other time, it was followed by “I’m sorry” and “Here’s something YOU can improve upon.”  And so we go on another day.  I am still amazed with the swift change in moods for the nuclear family.  One day we’re nothing but almost nearly, kinda flawless.  The next day we’re all off and missing each other by talking over one another and driving each other crazy.  It’s the beauty of it all, or at least I’m freely calling it that until I figure out what it really is.  And by the time I figure it all out, we will have taken on another day, and this won’t really matter.  What’s done is done.  Mother ship, beam me up.