My baby is three weeks old and I am two days past being absolutely bonkers. Some mothers are slowly driven crazy by their children. Mine make me mental from birth. It is not entirely the darling dears' fault. My chemical make up is particularly prone to post-partum depression. Combine that tendency with sleepless nights, diaper blow outs and HOW-MUCH-WEIGHT-DO-I- STILL-NEED-TO-LOSE? and you have one notsohotso mess. Nearly a month into this two child experiment and I am finally waking up. I can smile in the mornings and haven't fallen asleep crying on the floor for DAYS! Yes. This is big and beautiful news. Sunday was one of my last actively psycho days. By mid morning, I had pushed past the panic and sadness. The question sounding since Viola was born, HOW ARE WE GOING TO DO THIS?, had become a bit quieter. In celebration, I made a fancy breakfast. And by "fancy" I mean that hash browns were involved. The table was set and I had only broken one egg yolk. Time to eat. Of course, Viola decided she was scream-till-I-just-can't-scream-anymore hungry at the very moment I had dressed my beloved potatoes. (three shakes of salt, two from the pepper and a generous ketchup-ing.) By the time I was done feeding the baby, my egg had congealed and Margaret had been taking bites of my bacon. The hash browns, however, still looked just perfect. Yes. My baby was fed, my family had enjoyed a meal made by my hand. Who needs eggs? Who needs bacon sans two year old slobber? I have everything. Everything with a side of fried potato strings. Content, I lifted a forkful of the hash browns to my mouth and...
they were cold. Freezing. Glacial.
I got up. Threw the plate in the sink and locked myself in the bathroom for an angry cry.
How are we going to do this? How are we going to do this. How am I going to do this?
Twenty minutes and one make up application later, I emerged. Margaret was in her room, Viola was asleep and the kitchen had been cleaned. Riley was waiting for me in the front room. The poor man looked very confused. He sat next to me, pulled me into his arms and asked what was wrong. I started crying. The ugly kind - with hiccups and a runny nose.
"Don't you see?" I said, "With two kids I am really just a mom and I will be eating cold potatoes for the rest of my life." This followed by more tears. Hiccups. Snot.
The good - patient! - man laughed, pulled me in closer and said the most romantic thing this crazy girl has ever heard,
"Meggi, don't forget. I am here. We will take turns eating cold potatoes."
And there it was. My answer. That is how we are going to do this. We will all laugh and love. The girls, Riley and I will color the world with sidewalk chalk and read about the places we can't reach. I will remember the man I married and follow him to the bright lights he has always seen. He will remember the girl he married and give me time to write and space to dream. We will touch and make out and ahem, you know, so that for just a little while it feels like we are the only ones in the world.
And we will take turns eating the cold potatoes.