Friday, September 23, 2016


After racing around and round and round the house, William was tired. 

"Mom, can you get some water for my feet?"

This was an entirely new request. "I can't right now," I replied. "I'm in the middle of something." (What was it? I don't remember.) 

"Mom, my feet are so tired. Can you please get some water for my feet?"

"Honey, you can get your own water."

With that green light, he set off to the bathroom with a soup bowl and in a minute was walking carefully back to the kitchen. "Whoop! Whoop! Whoop! Whoop!" he exclaimed, sloshing water over the edge of the bowl with each step. He made it to the kitchen where he set the bowl down on the floor. He retrieved a little white chair from the playroom and sat, relieved, immersing his feet in the cold water. It took a mini nanosecond for Barrett to realize that he also needed a bowl of water. Knowing it would be less mess and faster for me to fetch him his own bowl at this point, I darted to the kitchen sink and put a little bit of water into a bowl for him, setting it next to William's and instructing Barrett to fetch his own chair. 

As soon as Barrett put his feet into the water, a reflex kicked in and he yelled, "I have to go pee!" 

Truly in the middle of something, I asked him to please go potty by himself, not remembering that he had never really taken himself to the bathroom on the first floor, where the toilets are higher. So it wasn't long before a distant cry rang out: "I got pee on the floor!" 

Racing into the bathroom, I saw the carnage: a huge puddle of pee from Barrett and a huge puddle of water from Will... liquid everywhere. Meanwhile, William was stomping the water off his feet onto the floor. Whatever I was in the middle of needed to wait as I began cleaning up Barrett and the many ponds, enlisting William's help and exhorting his lame efforts to wipe up the water. 

I am in the thick of chaos these days. William is a very busy, very exuberant preschooler, Barrett matches him impulse for impulse, and Neva is napping infrequently and eating often, which requires me to sit in a chair and patiently spoonfeed her while it feels like the house is falling down around me. The ever elusive afternoon naptime, a quiet time I feel like I absolutely need to regroup and refocus, is gone, as alternate naptimes and quiet times rarely overlap. I know I am the captain of the ship, I know I am in charge of its direction and its progress, but lately I feel like I am treading water in the wake while the ship careens ahead without me at the wheel.

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