fucking tuesday: the razor's edge edition

I was 250 words into a heartwarming blog post about the universal force of a mother's love.

And then my children woke up.

And now I hate everything.

Everything except this breakfast burrito with shredded potatoes and pico de gallo.

I've been on a tear recently against mom bloggers who present the details of their gnarlier days with a kind of calculated, competitive edge, like "look how many bodily fluids I had to touch today please help me go viral k thanks." So I won't do that here.

I'm just having a really hard morning, you guys.

But what did I expect? It's Fucking Tuesday.

Chicken is "potty training," a developmental milestone that I'm beginning to suspect is just a power move to get my undivided attention so he can demand my killer impression of a stoplight while I sit on a Sesame Street stool in the bathroom.

Meanwhile, Buster is just mobile enough to be dangerous, pulling full plates of scrambled eggs down off the table (side note, who puts carpet in a dining room?!?!?!) and scrambling toward the pointiest tiny-parted toys, the wobbliest IKEA easel, the sharpest corners, with the zeal of a puppy at a squirrel farm.

Just TRY putting a diaper on a puppy at a squirrel farm, while acting out "yellow light" for the eighteenth time in a row, while not spilling a plastic potty bucket full of piping hot urine, and you're getting a taste of the bitter sauce that made me stand up, close the door on my children, walk into another room, and think, someone please Trading Places me. I will even volunteer to be Winthorpe. Someone plant the angel dust and the fifties with the red Xs in my jacket and take me to lockup where all I have to worry about is my own ass. Someone send Jamie Lee to tuck me in when I get the shivers.

It's hard not to judge myself harshly in these moments. Because what, really, is wrong here? I have one son on the cusp of an unprecedented level of bathroom hygiene, and another who is literally reaching for the stars, learning how to stand on his own two feet in the everyday miracle of growing up. I'm blessed, y'all. Healthy family, safe home, food in the pantry, water in the tap, coffee in the pot. So what am I whining about? It's just, does everybody have to try to hurt themselves or shake a bucket of piss like a bottle of champagne at midnight, and then resist me like ululating freedom fighters when I'm seriously, honestly, just trying to keep them safe and clean?

So then I'm angry and frustrated and sad and guilty and dipped like a Dilly bar in another coating of self-loathing, then rolled in the spiky chopped nut topping of worry that I'm making my children scared of me with my snappishness, the way I keep picking them up from under their arms and setting them down in another room with, like, a little too much control.

Ugh, I'm fucking up today.

But there were these two really good moments this morning though, in the middle of the piss-juggling and whining and BUSTER NO STOP-ing and CHICKEN IF YOU GET UP AGAIN BREAKFAST IS OVER-ing.

1. In the bathroom, while Chicken finished up his business on the potty, I held Buster's hand as he stood, his round baby feet like two lumps of bread dough dropped onto the bathmat, warm and slowly spreading out. Chicken wanted to get around us to dump his pee in the toilet. I said, "just go under, baby." I meant "just go under our arms." He heard, "just go under your brother." He full-on crawled between Buster's chubby sausage legs. Buster cackled with glee, pitching and yawing on Chicken's back like a trawler in high seas.

And then (BONUS) Chicken didn't spill the pee.


2. In the car, Chicken asked if we were going to the library.

Me: No, baby, we're going to school. We went to the library yesterday.
Chicken: (bows his head down at his chest, shoots eyes up at me in a textbook, "I'm sad, are you watching" face) I ran away.
Me: That's right, honey.
Chicken: I ran away from you at the library.
Me: Yes, baby, you did. And how did that make me feel?
Chicken: Sharp.

Sharp.

Exactly.

That is how I felt at the library. That is precisely how I feel this morning. Every time I open my mouth to bark at Chicken, to sigh heavily in mid-wrestle with Buster, I feel it. Gleaming, quick, hard, cold, unforgiving. Sharp.

I wish I could tell you that with that one perfect word, I felt my frustration fizzle out. I wish I could tell you that I'm soft again, warm and patient, a pillow of a person. But nope, not every day gets a studio-approved denouement.

I did feel admiration for my child's acumen. I did feel the seed of warmth planted deep into my cold, frosty ground as I looked into his big brown eyes and saw him looking simply at me, not fearing me, not angry with me, just seeing his Mommy and calling me sharp, the same way he calls fire hydrants and dandelions by name.

I'm still sharp, right now, typing too fast, drinking another coffee. I'm just going to try to observe, from a distance, the blessing and curse of raising my kids to believe that they are perfectly safe with me, no matter how coldly I snap to SIT back down RIGHT NOW, or how many times I close the door in their bright, wide-open faces so they won't hear me hissing seriously you guys, help me the fuck out this morning, okay? FUCK. 

It's just been a hard morning, and I'm going to try to look at it the way my Zen-Chicken does - just as it is, a sharp, sharp day.

Or as I like to call it, Fucking Tuesday.

La la la la I'm a monkey la la la I'm so happy la la la la I'm about to get punched in the face if I don't wipe this smug fucking smile off my monkey plate face. WHAT. WHAT, Monkey. SAY SOMETHING.

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