Things I Took For Granted…Eating Meals

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Food.

 I remember a day, in the not too distant past, if I was hungry, I would get up and make myself something to eat.  Usually pretty healthy too.  I had perfect this veggie sandwich, or a gorgeous salad with homemade dressing that was so, so good.  Sigh.  Those were the days. Now-a-days one of three things happen when I am hungry.  

Go For Broke

I go for broke and try to make myself something, usually very simple, like a bowl of cereal. Then I dare to sit at a table and eat.  %100 of the time, two little beings waddle over like ET and want to see what I am eating. Then stick their fingers in my food, sit on my lap and say over and over “that,” “that,” then look up at me with a huge smile and say “yes?”  

Without me agreeing, they brazenly just start grabbing my food and eating it as if I made if for them.  By the time the bowl is empty I have had maybe four bites.  

I am still hungry.  This also applies to food they usually won’t eat, like eggs.  If I make them eggs they throw it to the dog. But if I make myself eggs and attempt to ingest some protein, then they want them.

Eating Meals in Secret

I make the bowl of cereal and hide in the laundry room to eat it as fast as I can.  This is only accomplished if my husband is home, so there is someone to distract them from the 3 minutes I am not right by their side.  I don’t say a word and just jam spoonfuls of cereal in my mouth as if I am trying to win a food eating contest, which in some sad way I am.  

If I try this when I am home alone, I make regular appearances in the room they are playing. “Hey, mommy is just putting something in the trash.”  “Why don’t you play with your puzzle, mama is going to just put something away.”  But if I am too slow making sure they don’t think I am eating, within seconds they sniff me out then look at me with disgust that I am shoving food in my mouth in the laundry room.  

Don’t Wake A Sleeping Baby

I wait until they nap, then I can at least make something that has more depth, like a cheese sandwich.  I don’t have the energy to create anything that my body deems worthy of actually absorbing as nutritious.  But at least I can sit and eat.  It’s only the dog staring at me longingly but he doesn’t have thumbs so he can’t grab anything off my plate.  Unless I make the mistake of getting up to get a glass of water, then I’ve lost again.

Dinner? What is That?

Forget about dinner, at that point I am seriously wiped.  I have already made them a full meal because while I can eat nothing but carbs, these little Princes only eat fresh, organic, home-made meals.  That one is on me, I am sure they would be just as happy with the crap I eat these days, but I can’t do it.  Once they are in bed, many a night I am back to the cereal box.  At least I get the whole bowl this time.  

I am being slightly dramatic, on the week ends when my husband is home I do try to make dinner that we can all eat together, but even then they are not very keen on letting me have much.  There is a lot of up and down, negotiating who will eat what, giving them the tomato on my plate, which for some reason is different than the tomato on their plate.  When they are done their meal, my sliver of hope they will run off to play so I can get a couple more than 3 bites of food are usually squashed because they simply must sit on my lap and jam their little fingers into my plate as if to make sure I know who I am – their hostage and I only eat when permitted.

 

A Failure to Communicate

 

toddler having a tantrum-failing as a parent

Today I feel like I failed as a parent.  Tears were had by all today, even the dog, who was desperate for someone to play with him but knew shit was hitting the fan.  A perfect storm hit our home and it has not been pretty.  Sickness – √.  Teething – √.  Separation Anxiety – √.  And some apparent sleep transgression that can happen leading up to age two – √√√√.

Failing As A Parent

We are going on almost 2 weeks of intense crying at naps and bedtime.  Wakings in the middle of the night with the only resolve being sleeping beside me or me on their floor.  My perfect little sleepers seem to have vanished overnight. I was someone who felt immense pride that I had TWO babies who, upon being laid in their cribs, would roll over and go to sleep with a peaceful grace.  Those days are a foggy memory.  

Considering I am alone 5 out of 7 days/nights a week, having 2 screaming toddlers, desperate for me to hold them until they fall asleep is a depressing form of torture.  For them and for me.  Even when my husband is here they don’t want him right now.  Only their mum.  I spend a great deal of time holding one baby while the other screams.  Putting him down to hold the other with the first one screaming angry I put him down.  Repeat on loop.  

Every night someone has ended up in bed with me, which means limited sleep because they clearly have to sleep across my face as being next to me is just not enough.  Some nights they will sleep if I sleep on their floor.  It’s not a soft surface, even with the concoction I have made in bedding, my hips are killing me.

Toddlerhood is Coming

Now the tantrums have started.  I knew this was coming, they are almost two.  I have talked about it, joked about it but no amount of anticipation can prepare you for TWO screaming toddlers. Throwing themselves on the floor, rolling around hysterically crying.  It is like anything with parenthood, you know it’s coming, have heard people talk about it, seen others go through it but not until it happens to you, do you fully realize I have no fucking idea what to do.  

It is hard enough to console one screaming child, two is beyond difficult.  You simply can’t help both and that is crushing.  Try as you might, going back and forth. Trying to hold both on your lap, trying to talk soothingly to each one. Them trying to push the other off my lap, knowing they can’t get across what they are feeling in words. Knowing they need their mom and you literally cannot be everything they need because you are divided in two.

Chaos

Tonight it came to a head.  After an hour and half of tears, body throwing, 5 bites, 100 hits, screaming, sad desperate eyes looking at you mixed with hurt and anger, I had to limp away (due to the bite to my leg) hide, count and cry.  I was pissed that another human just bit me, again.  Frustrated that I was supposedly bigger and more intelligent and yet I could not communicate in the right way to my 22 month old.  Angry I was stuck in this prison called twin toddlers.

Feeling worried they might have mental problems because humans should not be able to contort their body in such violent manners and then feeling like shit because I am supposed to be their mother, the port in the storm and yet I seem to be the constant reason for meltdowns and all I want to do right now is escape.

Sometimes Wine is The Answer

Eventually, everyone calmed down, or got distracted by a truck and tears turned into laughter.  The boys hugged me and kissed me right up until they went to bed, as if nothing happened.   Kris got home with wine for me, I took the dog out hoping a walk and some air would help. But I couldn’t shake the day or the growing feeling of dread that I somehow had unintentionally hurt the feelings of this little being.

 I don’t know how two tiny people can rip the rug right out from under me time and time again in so many varying ways.  But they do and mostly in a fashion that is filled with immense love, but sometimes, like these past 2 weeks, like tonight, when it completely leaves me questioning my capabilities as a parent.

Crying into my Malbec, I said to my husband “I just felt so frustrated with him and now I am angry at myself for not having more patience.”  Kris –  “well, he bit you 3 times, that isn’t very cool.”  And then I finally laughed.

 I know he will wake up in the morning, as happy to see me as ever.  And I will wake up, hopefully rested with an extra set of patience, love empathy and wearing 3 layers of pants so his Dracula teeth can’t get through.

 

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