I have paid dearly for the sin of putting my child to bed before the news was finished. At 1am (she had been in bed 7 hours) she was in my room, rooting around at the printer.
“Ella, what are you doing?”
“Mommy, it’s time to make a picture.”
“It’s the middle of the night”
“No, it’s morning time. I need some breakfast. Mommy can I have a cupcake?”
Amelia is happily snoozing. I get Ella a bowl of cereal. It is likely that she woke hungry. She didn’t eat much supper. I figure: bowl of cereal, cup of juice, back to bed. Nope. I fell asleep on the couch. Ella finished her cereal and put in Curious George and camped out. I woke to Amelia squawking an hour later and Ella awake. I went to nurse Amelia back to sleep and I, myself, fell very much asleep. I woke up at 4am. I went out the living room to find Ella still very much awake. She had changed the DVD. Gotten herself a juice box and a piece of cinnamon bread. Drew about 15 pictures. Redressed all the dolls. Put together a puzzle.
I shut off all the lights and led her back to her bed. She fell asleep and woke me up at 7:30 like nothing had ever happened. If my living room didn’t look like a day care exploded, I never would have believed it. But I was wrecked for a good part of the day. That, and, they didn’t nap at the same time. Ella, insisting very, very loudly that she wasn’t tired and didn’t need a nap, woke her sister from a 45 minute nap. Once Amelia was awake and ready to play, Ella fell asleep.
I dont’ know why I ever had kids.
My brother and SIL are TTC (I think). Every time my sister or I talk to him, SIL gets on the phone to quiz us about life as a mommy. I still say that she’s too selfish to be a mother but being a mother has changed that aspect of all of us to some extent. They live quite a ways from family. They are both used to having their own time and their own space. So how am I supposed to answer the question, “How much did it change your life?” I don’t even want to answer. I might scare them. I might scare myself.
Knowing what I know now and having done what I did, I’m not sure I would have chosen the same path. I don’t know. Maybe I would have. It was such a leap of faith getting pregnant with Ella after what happened with Will. I had to believe that the worst days were over.
I don’t know where I’m going with this. I’m not trying to say that I would give up being a mom just to have some free time or just to get some extra sleep. Don’t tempt me. I’m just thinking about how quiet their lives must be without kids. Double, professional incomes. Small vehicles.
Maybe I just want that for a day. Maybe we could trade. I don’t want to scare her off. I don’t want her to think that being a mom is all suck. But I don’t think that she understands that it’s more about wiping butts and less about BabyGap. That your baby will throw up on the cashmere twinset and that your miniture teacup whatever dog that was nervous around my kids, really won’t like a baby that comes to stay.
I want to mock their collective tone that suggests that this is easy. I want to be there when she figures out that she gained more than 35 pounds and that baby is only one fifth of that weight. I want to watch them wrestle a carset into her Honda.
And that’s the easy stuff.