Old News: Past Blog Posts

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Two Under Two: Part Four

Yesterday was Ready or Not Dad's last band competition.  And yes, his squirrelly little teenages rocked it pretty hard, beating out some solid bands and bringing home a 4th place finish overall.  Now, if we can just get the football team to lose, he might get to see his kids again sometime before Thanksgiving.

Our two little guys are, at present, ignoring the fact that the rest of the country (minus Arizona, Hawaii, and until recently, parts of Indiana) set their clocks back an hour last night.  Anyone with a toddler will tell you that 'extra hour of sleep' every fall is a distant memory for us parents.  Remember when Daylight Savings meant more time to make bad decisions at the 3 o'clock bars?  Ah, the good old days of binge drinking with my student loan money...

(Moment of silence for the parts of my liver I killed off in graduate school)

Just between us, when my Saturday gig was cancelled yesterday, I took the boys to my in-laws anyways so that I could do the following:

1) Run five glorious, stroller-less miles.
2) Shower for more than 45 seconds.
3) Blow dry and flat-iron my hair so I could look more like a person and less like a giant frizz ball with a mushy body attached to it by way of a neck.
4) Day drink the most ingenious beer I have ever tasted (peanut butter milk stout...yup, you heard me correctly) with some of my favorite people.
5) Spend 20 minutes power-napping in an unusually quiet house (minus the very vocal and understandable complaints of our poor, neglected dogs) 

So...what does this post have to do with my Two under Two series (as the title implies)?  Well, it mostly has to do with me reaching my mommy breaking point and how I am pushing past that 'wall' and into mile 17 (read my last post and that statement will make more sense).

Yup. This was the week I finally slammed head first into that metaphorical wall and knocked myself into a tizzy of self-pitying blog posts and status updates. 

You may have noticed.

When I discovered I was pregnant last December, I did that panicky finger counting business that all women do during the agonizing but requisite two minutes between urinating on a magic plastic wand receiving it's prophecy.  I initially mis-read the results and tossed the pee-drenched prophet into the trash, feeling simultaneously disappointed and also relieved that we wouldn't be welcoming a newborn right at the start of band season.   

Then my foggy, early-morning brain cleared and I found myself digging through the bathroom trash (gross) to retrieve the pee-stick (grosser) and it's instructions (less gross?). I double checked my math using the sophisticated finger-counting strategy once more, confirming that yes, our bundle of joy would indeed join us right when I get to play the part of single-mom for three months.  This news had come right at the heels of last year's seems-like-single-mom season and just around the time #1 kiddo had blessed us with the joy of a full night's worth of sleep.  

And I, fancying myself an optimist, never dreamed we'd deliver a second preemie and spend yet another extra two months as sleep-deprived zombie parents of a newborn and that I myself would be back at work only a few short weeks after the predicted due date.   

So here we are, ten months later.  We have weathered what I hope will be the most challenging four months of our marriage and our lives as parents.  

It hasn't been easy, but we've survived the following:

1) The insanity that comes with parenting an infant in the NICU (then PICU) and a toddler at home.

2) An infant who initially refused to sleep alone (spent all of last night in his own room, own crib, and even flat on his back...waking only three times for meals and going right back down after each). 

3) A toddler who's molars are already breaking harshly through his poor little gums.

4) 60+ hour work weeks for Ready or Not Dad involving an army of unruly teenagers, unending patience, and zero overtime pay (or, maybe more appropriately, 'hazard pay')

5) My maddeningly unpredictable work hours covering the entire metro-area and expecting 85+% productivity in most settings, leaving me feeling a little dizzy when I finally arrive home only to watch my husband leave for work commitments every other evening. 

I know. Enough with the pity party already! As tired as you are of hearing it, I'm probably even more tired of writing about it.  I would delete those last 5 items if they didn't get me to the larger point.  

That point being this: We did it.  And by the grace of God, we're still speaking to each other.  

Sure, I've had moments when I lashed out in classic displacement-style at plastic Tupperware, our dogs, and an unsuspecting baby gate.  There have been countless choruses of crying, sounding in stereo from both toddler and infant.  I have channeled the teenage version of myself, pouting and slammed doors.  I have spouted obscenities that will no doubt come back to haunt me once the toddler fine-tunes his language skills.  Yes, I have been a less-than-stellar parent and spouse on all levels. 

But somehow, we have pressed on.  

You know what I think has gotten us here?  Remember that list I mentioned at the start of this seemingly un-focused rant?  I'll wait while you either scroll up or find something better to do.  

Yup.  It was that mommy-time I took to do things that make me feel human again (yup, running and drinking...judge away folks).  See, this past week was particularly busy for the Ready or Not clan.  I worked longer, slept less, ate enough Halloween candy to kill a diabetic, and worked out once.  Therefore, it's not too surprising that this was the week I chose to run out of steam and lose a fair number of my marbles.  

Already things are better. My nights are generally less challenging (thanks to a 9.5 lb baby who doesn't seem to need to be fed or held waking moment), I've already covered 11 miles of pavement this weekend, and I will have my co-parent and best-buddy back in the foreseeable future (luckily the football team isn't predicted to do too well in the post-season).  

Time to start enjoying life a little again...before those damn holidays start and ruin everything ;)

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