Sometimes I have no clue what I am supposed to do. You know, the three little lives that I am responsible for… it’s a pretty big job. The other day my toddler was screaming with stomach pain for two hours, my baby needed to be fed and my oldest NEEDED a new game on the iPad and would.not.shut.up.about.it. They all needed me. They were all squeaky wheels. And while I wasn’t sure if the child screaming in pain needed medical attention, I couldn’t think straight amongst all the noise….
…..so I did what my gut told me and went straight to my phone to call my mom for reinforcements. Yes, mom, I still need you and I hope that when my kids are in their 30s they will still need me too…. (just not all at once and not all screaming). Within minutes of her and my dad’s arrival (now that he is retired he gets to accompany her on her daily excursions… lucky guy), the kids were all back in order. It was like magic. The baby got fed, the big guy got in a wrestling session with my dad which was just the attention that he needed..…
….and the screaming two year old threw up and felt much better. Oh, and dinner got made, and the floor got swept, and I got reassured that when your kid has the stomach bug it is OKAY to turn on the tv. Everything was calm and peaceful, and then they were on their way.
Had my parents not come over, I wouldn’t have known what to do in such a crazy, chaotic, all consuming moment. They say it takes a village, right? Lucky for me, my village – my parents, my in-laws, my sisters, my sister in-laws – they all live within a 15 mile radius of my house.You do realize how huge this is, right?….. But my village gets busy too. My village people have jobs, and retirement condos in Florida, and my husband, my main village man, works very long hours. So most of the time its just me by myself. And it gets a little tricky. It gets a little frustrating. It gets a little exhausting. And, it gets a little lonely because even when your kids are behaving perfectly and one of them does something ridiculously adorable, you just want someone in your village to exchange glances with. That wordless glance that says, “Did you see that?”…. “Oh, yes, I saw that!”…. and now you have a witness. Proof that, yes, your kid’s little off-beat booty shake dance is, in fact, the cutest thing in the entire world.
So I do what any mom does and I seek out more village people. They are other moms who host impromptu playdates when we cross paths on bike rides, or neighbors who distract my kids with a little session of hoops while I make dinner and watch from the window. They are friends who invite us over and don’t flinch when my kids dump every toy bucket in their basement because next week they will come to my house and their kid will do the same. They are the friends who drive my kids to activities when I need to be at another one…..and then when I’ve had one too many “is-it-too-early-to-have-a-glass-of wine” moments… i.e. moments when my 2 year old is screaming to me that he dropped a bag of chocolate chips all over the floor and that Eloise (my dog) is eating them, while simultaneously my 4 year old is sobbing in the next room because he just jumped off the bed and banged his head and is bleeding… and the only 2 hands that I need to solve these problem are elbows deep in a dirty diaper….. well, then sometimes I pay for village support. Yes, a babysitter. Sometimes I just need a freakin’ break. I mask it by saying I need to “run errands”. And I do. But really I just need an hour to recharge my village chief mo-jo.
Parenting is not impossible, but it is so, so, so much prettier with a little help. This post is for my village people. I thank you. I owe you……I need you….. and so do my 3 little men.