So, a lot has happened in the last month and also absolutely nothing has happened in the last month. I have, however, spent a considerable amount of time thinking about clichés and how they seem so utterly dull…until you realize that often clichés are clichés for a reason.
Don’t run with pencils!
Poppy was “helping” Will with his homework one night, primarily by laughing maniacally while waving an excessively sharpened pencil in our faces. I pulled her off of the dining room table and sat her on the ground. Apparently I wasn’t gentle enough because she ended up stumbling and IMPALING her eyebrow on the fucking thing. Thankfully, I didn’t have to pull a pencil out of her brow (though thanks, Brooke, for putting that image in my head when I told you about it), but I did have to take both kids on a lovely weekday field trip to the local A&E (“accident and emergency”, the equivalent of the ER).
Highlights included: (1) Discovering that William is HORRIBLE in emergencies. His first response to “WILLIAM!!! GET A TOWEL WE HAVE TO STOP THE BLOOD!!!” was to frantically deliver one square of toilet paper, followed by two baby wipes. (2) Watching an elderly Asian woman, with a sickly skin tone the color of a copper penny, shuffle past us with a dead look in her eyes, only to discover the back half of her head was essentially an open wound covered with a bloody bandage. Fuck. (3) Shane showing up 1 hour into our leisurely wait on a hallway gurney to excited squeals of “Daddy! Daddy!” (4) After deciding one of us should take William home while the other waited for the doctors to attend to the wound, being exposed to a demeaning reverse-Sophie’s Choice, with both kids begging to go with daddy.
Pick your battles.
I have a really, really (REALLY) tough time letting anything go. I know, in my brain, that having a standoff with Poppy every single night over putting her coat away instead of just throwing it in the hallway isn’t healthy for either of us, and that (eventually) she will learn to put things in their proper places. I still do it, of course, but at least I *know* that it is a bit unnecessary.
I am trying to pick my battles, though, and one that I have completely ceded is bathing. There are 50% fewer baths in this household, and I’ve found that it’s better for their skin, it’s easier for everyone and it frees up more time for me to hide in the laundry room drinking wine to build up my courage for the nightly trauma of putting them to bed.
Exercise is a natural anti-depressant.
Now that I’m a yummy mummy, I spend my mornings taking various classes at the local gym. It ain’t no Equinox, but my strict regimen of “Rock Body”, “Booty Blast” and “Super Step with Riiicarrrrrrdo!” has both given me Linda Hamilton guns and significantly decreased my rage issues. Which means I spend considerably less time screaming into pillows in the laundry room to keep from slamming plates full of uneaten fish sticks around the kitchen. (That laundry room gets a lot of action, let me tell you).
I kid (mostly), but I seriously am more “zen” now that I spend at least one hour a day doing planks and burpees and other random things that I didn’t know existed prior to January. As an added bonus, all the stay at home moms who take the classes seem to be sleeping with all of the young, buff 20-something dudes who teach the classes which makes me feel like an extra in a low-budget Patrick Dempsey vehicle circa 1983.
Don’t bite off more than you can chew.
A few weekends ago I lost my goddamn mind and planned three separate social events at our flat in one weekend. “You’ll only have to clean the floors/bathroom and dust once!” I told myself; “You can reuse cheese wheels and unfinished bottles of wine!” I thought hopefully. Instead, I spent every spare minute from Friday afternoon through Sunday cleaning, organizing, and cooking.
In the end, though, it was definitely worth it: Friday afternoon’s play date ended well after 8 PM (and 4 bottles of wine) and we only had one broken mirror, one impromptu haircut required by a wayward wedge of silly putty, and two potty-training accidents. Saturday’s brunch featured a DELICIOUS pulled pork, fabulous conversation with one of our favorite families, and also ended well after 8 PM (and considerably more than 4 bottles of wine). Sunday was our annual Super Bowl party, slightly complicated by the fact that (1) no one in London has ever been to one of our Super Bowl parties and (2) the Super Bowl wasn’t until 11 PM. The 8 (or 9, maybe?) families that came basically just ate and drank and ignored our children and it was lovely.
Not so lovely that I am EVER hosting that many things in one weekend, but still lovely.