Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I can't think of a title for this.

Feeling a little down today. One of those days where the suspicion that my kids would be better off with another mom keeps quietly testing the walls of my consciousness for a weakness.

Due to a change in my schedule, I now work nine hour days four days a week- nine hours straight, mind you, I don't take a break for lunch. I generally leave around 5:40 am, arrive home between 5:00 and 5:30 pm. Recently, Russell's employer let someone go and subsequently has stuck Russell in a position that requires him to work until 6:00 Tuesdays through Thursdays. His drive home is anywhere between 45 minutes to an hour, so he generally doesn't get home until around 7:00.

Today I worked a nine hour day, came home to two sick kids, and proceeded to do the following:
Put on 'Rio' for Riley
Empty the dish drainer
Feed Zoey dinner
Put Zoey in her walker (The next several steps are done with the walker banging repeatedly into my ankles)
Make Riley dinner because he doesn't like what Russell and I are having
Make my and Russell's dinner (steamed brocolli and carrots and broiled tilapia)
Harp at Riley to eat his dinner
Eat my own dinner
Try to rinse the dishes so food doesn't get crusty
Turn on Johnny Test for Riley and give Zoey a bath
Attempt to put Zoey to bed (fail)
Take off my heels
Put Zoey to bed
Make a pot of coffee
Courtesy of Riley, who knows what's up.
Russell then arrived home, and I slunk off to take a shower while Riley went downstairs to play the Sims and Russell reheated his dinner.

All of my deep thinking is done in the 15-20 minutes it takes me to shower. I spend hours in the car every day, but that's mostly reserved for feeling awesome and singing at the top of my lungs. It stands to reason that it was while in the shower, then, that it occurred to me that the TV spent more time with my son today than either of his parents did, and I cried. I cried because that's fucking sad, and I cried because I don't know what to do about it. It's easy to say "Quit your job and stay at home with your kids like you want to more than anything, anyway", but the fact of the matter is that we need my job. We don't need in the way that if we didn't have it, we'd have to go without cable TV and any extra-curricular activities- though that's true enough. We need it in the way that if we didn't have it, we'd have to go without a house, and food, and insurance.

I'd like to think the time I spend with my kids is quality time, and that it makes up for lack of quantity. For instance, I put Zoey to bed every night. Russell knows this. It is a rare occasion for me to ask him to do it. I love sitting in there and giving her her last bottle and rocking her to sleep, even though it only lasts a few lullabies. For those few lullabies, this rapidly growing, independent, bulldog of a child is just a sweet little sleepy baby with her fingers loosely curled around mine and her long eyelashes all fanned out over her fat cheeks. I would stay in there for hours if I didn't have a million other things to do.

So big.
My biggest fear is that, in the same short amount of time that it took for Riley to be five, both of my kids are going to be grown and leaving home. I am worried that they're going to look back and remember their childhoods as being full of tv shows and toys and computer games, and only a handful of cameo appearances by their busy parents.

Since they've been born, I've tried to keep respective journals for both of them. My mom did it for me when I was a baby and it's one of the coolest things I've got from my childhood. Unfortunately, I am so caught up with just trying to milk the short time I have with them for all its worth that I haven't been great at keeping up with it. I really need to try harder, and I'm going to work on that over the next week or so, and hopefully never stop. That way, even if they don't necessarily remember how deeply and wholly I loved them, they'll have the proof.

That was a bit depressing, huh?

Let's end this on a funny note, shall we? Zoey, while crawling around on the kitchen floor this evening, spit up on said floor AND THEN LEANED DOWN AND ATTEMPTED TO EAT IT. Kids are gross.

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