Things finally, finally, feel like they've leveled out a bit.
Don't get me wrong – there's still plenty of chaos. But I think Corey and I are learning to bend and sway with it. We each have our moments of saturation, of course. And we each have our own ways of coping: Corey goes up on the roof to play his guitar. I disappear down some blog rabbit hole and fantasize about living in a yurt on 100 acres of remote land. Alone.
There are many times throughout the day when one of us can't hear the other (over a crying baby or hollering toddler) and the running joke is to say What? You're thinking of getting your own place? Then we both laugh (a little maniacally) and continue.
What people don't talk about when they talk about parenting: The Grind. The series of days that blur together peppered largely with tedium and extremely boring tasks like animating a stuffed dog until you start barking because it's how you communicate now. Through this stuffed dog. The endless meals you prepare while trying to get all the food groups but often just getting the bread food group. The scheduling of naps and doctor appointments and trips to the park and the purchasing of diapers and wipes and round after round of laundry and the emptying of the diaper pail which will very nearly kill you. The wrangling of your screaming daughter into her clothes which apparently feel like hot lava because she HATES being dressed and the chasing of your son who thinks existing in a heavily weighted poopy diaper is HILARIOUS and the time you were out on a walk and he reached down and picked up a dog poo and in slow motion you yelled OHHHHH MYYYYY GAHHHHHHHHHHHHH and were just so grateful it was a solid one.
Like, really really grateful.
We don't seem to give ourselves enough permission to talk about this. To *gasp* complain about it. I mean, we're parents so it's just part of the deal, right? Or, at least, it's the part you cover up with smiles and gushing and hand over your heart sincerity about how wonderful it all is.
But let's be real. Much of parenting is The Grind. Just getting through the day without totally losing your shit. Or getting through the day after you've lost your shit a number of times. In a number of creative ways.
My kids make me laugh, thank god. They also drive me crazy. They're hilarious, unpredictable, challenging, evolving human beings. They are pure id. To them, logic is a line of IKEA furniture. They don't care. They take that sole little allen wrench and hurl it out the window, while cackling.
Because Corey and I are actors, we have long periods of unemployment. Which of course, can be terrifying, but also allows us to be present for much of our kids' day-to-day lives. It's the kind of thing that will be softer and shinier in retrospect (isn't everything?) but that we do understand to be special and pretty priceless.
Of course, it's also totally exhausting to be constant caregivers. We have help two days a week in the form of a wonderfully genius woman who has known S jr since he was about 8 months old, and Wee W from birth. She is an angel. AN ANGEL. And we are lucky to have her and it is worth every penny.
But there are times when I look at Corey and he looks at me and we squint, trying to remember who we used to be.
They say you forget the trauma of giving birth...ostensibly so you'll do it again. I think you also forget who you were before you had children...so you continue to raise them without completely losing your mind.