My life is a lot of screaming--the baby at me, and me at the kids, and inside, at myself. Right now I am typing this left-handed so I can hold and nurse the baby and not get screamed at.
Some of my friends, one in particular, blog about finding that ever-elusive village. Apparently there are women in this dream village who will hold your baby for one freaking second while you pee, for instance, or make dinner, or work on a community project. Everyone shares and works together. Sounds lovely, but in my neck of the woods, I've noticed that if people are working together or sharing and it's not charity, people think it's inadvisable and weird and unhealthy.
Most days I sit at home, totally alone but never alone all at once. Nobody to talk to or drink coffee with, but always, always, ALWAYS a baby. 24 hours a day. One thing I am deeply grateful for is that she is physically unable to breastfeed and scream at the same time. I nurse her to sleep, nurse her in my sleep, wake up still nursing her and sometimes get screamed at when I pop her off to run to the bathroom. Running, stumbling, begging her not to wake up Suzi.
I get emails from old friends asking what I've been up to other than taking care of the girls and I just want to laugh, or cry, because that's basically all there is. There are no more hours to be had in a day. I only have two hands and at least one of them is holding a baby most of the time. When I put her down and she doesn't screech like a banshee there's lunch to make, a table to clear, dishes to wash, laundry to fold, and even if I spend every single spare moment doing those things, it will still look like I did nothing at all. It's pointless.
Sometimes I do go places, and sometimes it's fun. It's just that getting the girls dressed and clean and wrangled into their car seats involves a lengthy battle and so much screaming from Ivey that I think my ears might bleed. Nothing happens easily or quietly or at a leisurely pace. The other day we went shopping with my mom and Suzi pitched several embarrassing fits while we were out. All I could think was crap. Hell will probably freeze over before she wants to go shopping with the three of us again. I go to babywearing meetings sometimes, but at the last one Suzi whined and argued with the other kids and almost wet her pants and after all that we finally left early, without saying goodbye to anyone, totally defeated. Group meetings can be hard anyway because it's tough following one conversation out of five going on while simultaneously and endlessly saying don't Suzi STOP Suzi can't you share no that's not yours don't take the baby's toys and don't push do you have to pee come here DON'T no stop stop stop. And then Suzi gives me a break for a minute and the baby cries. Shopping trips and other outings are a parade of car seat buckling and unbuckling, awkward diaper changes, and getting baby situated in a carrier. People without two kids don't understand that I can't help that everything is so slow. And if I do happen to go out and everything goes well, and a good time is had by all, I come home and see the state of the house and probably wish I'd stayed home and cleaned instead.
I love to make things, but I so rarely get to anymore. I completely stopped making my clay nursing mamas. One day I was working on making something new and different, but Ivey was crying to be held. I ended up stashing the project in a box, telling myself I'd come back to it later. "Later" still hasn't come and now the clay is all dried out and sad and ruined. People think I've gotten bored with it but really it's so much harder to start something and have to stop after five minutes that I just don't start.
Earlier today, right after I got out of the shower, Ivey was crying to be picked up and I started crying too. Crying for just a couple minutes to dry my hair and throw on an outfit. Suzi ran off and came back with a tiny wadded up piece of toilet paper in her warm little fist and handed it to me. "What's this?" I asked. "You wipe your tears," she replied. Sweet little girl. Suzi is at my parents' house right now, but Ivey and I are still sitting here.
Take all this and top it off with a heaping spoonful of guilt. Because some people do this with twins, and do it better. Some people do it with no husband, or with a debilitating condition, and some people wish they were doing this but are unable to have kids. I have what should be a perfect, beautiful life, but it's not. It's a frustrating, jumbled up mess I can't seem to straighten out.
And I just can't think of anything worth writing about, and even if I could I don't have time, and typing one-handed really screws up my flow of ideas. I'll keep posting pictures of the girls, probably, and there may be a stray paragraph or two, but gone are the days when I posted more than once a week. Maybe one day Ivey will be like "bye Mama, I'm going to play with Suzi now!" But that is not today. Tomorrow doesn't look good either. Just thought you should know.
P.S. Sorry if I sound like a jerk. I shouldn't blog while I'm hungry.