A few nights ago I found myself chatting it up with a dear mom friend of mine at 2:33am in the morning. Yes, exactly 2:33am. Ask me when’s the last time I showered and I’ll scratch my head and count backwards on my calendar. Ask me how many times my children woke me up and I’ll remember those blaring blood red numbers like Ricki Lake’s naked boobs in The Business of Being Born.
Some things you just can’t unsee.
Anyhow, we were discussing parental disclaimers when having children and how I apparently skipped over the small print on page 578 of The Official Guide to Parenthood that unofficially does not exist. The part where they explain the side effects to bringing a second child into your perfect harmonious world of blissful living.
The part where parenting begins to get really gritty. The part where you really begin to hate Murphy. As in his law. Or her law. I’m not even sure if the law has a gender. But either way… I. Hate. It.
I’ve experienced circumstances outside of children that had me quoting this stupid law as a witty response to an unbelievable occurrence, but you never fully understand the repercussions of such a law until you have kids. Trust me when I say that anything that can go wrong WILL go wrong when you have kids. Even if you have thee best children on the planet (which if you’re reading this than you don’t because Moms with perfect children don’t read Mommy blogs. They read recipes with more than 20 ingredients. They are off showering because they can. They are outside planting that spring garden because the children are playing quietly in their bedrooms. They can enjoy silence because silence doesn’t mean that someone found a misplaced jar of fingerpaint and are now dousing your recently steam-cleaned cream carpets in electric green paint. No. No. No. Moms of perfect children don’t even need the internet. What in the world could they possibly google or post a FB status update about that is worthy of reading if their children are perfect?)
Do you feel me?
I have good kids. Great kids in fact. Both are good sleepers. Both are fairly calm and intelligent (considering their ages). Eliana has been known to lick her sister’s bald head and Roma drools all over herself. But this is what you get with three years and three months. It is what it is. But even with all this awesomeness going around it’s like they are telepathically connected at moments to really stick it to me.
So this brings me back to my conversation at 2:33 am. Eliana had already been up at 1am. She was having night terrors. Which are not nightmares, but equally bothersome and problematic. I put her back down and went back to bed. At 1:51 am Ro woke up. She had gas. At 2:33 am Eliana woke back up. She had a foot cramp. At 3:30 am Ro was back awake she needed her pacifier. Then at 5:30 am it was Ro again. Time for her to nurse. No, every night is not like this. But, yes, many nights are.
Does it suck? Duh. Of course it does. But it’s reality. It’s also a necessity. If parenting was easy then I don’t think we would love our kids as deeply as we do. Nothing that is easy is ever really worth doing. Or being proud of. It’s just the way we process things.
But the best part–even after a night of throwing imaginary darts at my husband who can sleep through every single disturbance from both our girls–is I get to wake up and see the sun. The day is new and there are a million reasons to smile. Because no matter how bad my sleep is or how many times either one of them wakes me up I always feel like this in the morning. And feeling like this is why we have kids.
Because they make us a family.
And family is everything.