Monday, October 12, 2009
almost made it
Another favorite Elie-ism these days is the way she shouts from the backseat, "Almost made it, Mommy!" when approaching a familiar destination. Her words rang true in my mind this evening. As we were winding down after another day, I was thinking about how manageable it all really is (a thought I haven't been having much lately). Let me back up.
Even though my husband has been gone for five days, I've had help. My mom was here and her presence was extremely calming and reassuring. She left and I was able to drop Els off with her Grandparents yesterday evening so I could go to a much needed yoga class. Today I didn't have students at school, but instead had to "professionally develop." I dropped Eliana off at Caroline's and spent my morning reading children's literature at the Book Exchange. Even managed my first latte in months which gave me a little extra spring in my step for my decadent day. I then made my way to the mall -- a place on general principle I abhor -- to return some shoes to Gymboree that my mom had bought for Eliana. Apparently they gave me some decent store credit and I managed to get Eliana a gorgeous little velour hoodie, matching leggings and a monkey shirt, all in her favorite orange hue. Inspired by buying my hand me down kid new duds, I wandered into the Children's Place. Next thing I knew I had a bunch of super cute cozy things, all marked down to like two dollars, for my girl. Dang. I could get into this. Shopping for my kid when she's at daycare. Flipping through racks like it's something I have the time and money to do with frequency.
As I made my way through my lunch at my favorite bakery, I thought about what it would be like if I was a lady who could shop and lunch and linger languidly in book stores while my child was happily doing watercolors and feeding the chickens at, "Hippie Poppins" place (a very funny, and sort of appropriate one local dad dubbed Eliana's daycare provider). I stopped by Casey's with chocolate dipped macaroons and took Lucy on a much needed long walk. I could not only be good to myself, I could be a good friend and dog owner to boot! Nothing felt rushed. I never felt exhausted. It was a pretty great feeling.
In fact, the whole time Jeff's been gone, I've managed to feel pretty balanced. Tuckered out for sure, but I haven't had my usual, nagging, when-the-hell-is-he-going-to-be-home feeling. Haven't spent large amounts of time marveling at the plight of single moms.
As we were reading books tonight, I felt pretty damn proud of myself. I was still as in love with Els as ever, enjoying every last moment. During our bath I had made her crack up in the most delightful way, again and again. I had managed to feed my child who eats like a bland bird an entire orange and a handful of carrots in the tub. Over The Runaway Bunny, I shoved the last big piece of banana into her mouth, determined to get some food of color into her little belly, determined to have her sleep with replete satiation. "Too big," she said and I ignored her continuing, "...if you were a fish in a trout stream, I'd be a fisherman..." when barf. All over my leg. All over Baby and NightNight. And before I can get a grip, another massive heave, all over the chair, all over the floor. Orange and chunky and freshly, almost digested. And then one more time for good measure on the way to the toilet. Yup. I made my kid hurl.
I'm a bit of a shell-shocked first responder. Once I realized that she didn't have the stomach flu, that it was indeed her very functional gag reflex working overtime, I gathered myself for some quick and furious cleaning. She had already moved on and was yammering away on the potty. When we settled back into her bed, all clean and changed she said, "Remember the banana, Mommy?" and I shook my head and smiled. I had to push it. My luck. My decadent day. My perfect girl and her fruits and veggies.
With four wheat thins in her belly, all processed and Nabisco-y and nutritionally void, I started in on my songs. She sang along, "...Up to the amosfeer, up where the air is clear!" I could only beam with pride. My little good-natured chicken. My little love bucket. We almost made it. Another day.