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Thoughts that have been accumulating throughout these longish, lonely days
© 2015 by Binahkaye Joy

Things that happened this week over which I will not lose what little sleep I get 

  1. Dinner was served at 8:59 PM and the munchkin was too tired to eat it.
  2. I bought extra minutes of toddler peace and quiet with an inordinate amount of salty potato chips so that I could do some writing that was very important to me.
  3. I go to bed too late and get up too early.
  4. The munchkin routinely stands at the door with his shoes crying to go on a walk. And I just can’t deal with all it takes to get me and two babies out the door. So…
  5. We haven’t been out in the sun enough this summer to get our vitamin D.
  6. I still haven’t sent out announcements for my first baby. And he’s almost two.
  7. My experimental vegan sweet potato pancakes are not working out and now I’ve got all this batter to use.
  8. I sometimes don’t remember I need to eat too until I’m cooking for somebody else.
  9. I haven’t folded the laundry in many days. Neither has anyone else.
  10. My noble idea of having a TV-free, gadget-free mealtime so that we could relate human to human lasted all of one minute before my vicarious adventure on House Hunters International began.
  11. Attempts at gentle discipline are sometimes a flop.

Ways in which toddlers are little magical beings

  1. The simplest things, like rolling a ball or blowing bubbles, bring them so much joy.
  2. They find immense pleasure in cleaning, or at least attempting to clean.
  3. When they eat, they also feed the table and the floor and their clothes.
  4. They don’t feel embarrassed by what they don’t know. To discover something is their main job.
  5. They sleep perpendicular to whichever way you position them.
  6. They can hear the same story ten times in a row and be genuinely delighted each time.
  7. They remember where they threw the remote when you ask them to go find it.
  8. They stand watch over a crying baby and offer kisses.
  9. They kiss with their chin, and say, “Mmmmmmmm”.
  10. They applaud themselves for remembering to not push their chair up to the sink to play with dirty dishes.
  11. They clap for themselves whether or not you’re paying attention.
  12. They are delighted to finally annunciate all of a word’s syllables. 

 Some things a mother wants for her birthday

  1. To feel like it’s my birthday
  2. For my postpartum hemorrhoids to be healed
  3. Cooking supplies for my vegan experiment: food processor, slow cooker, mandoline
  4. A functional pantry and kitchen space
  5. Unstructured time in a sunny, comfortable, beautiful, open place with family
  6. Gelato. No, it’s not vegan, but it’s for my birthday!
  7. A good movie at my favorite independent cinema, complete with my special popcorn and an Italian soda

Things that make me feel like it’s okay that everything’s not okay

  1. My sons looking at each other
  2. The sun rising on a new day
  3. Random messages in my inbox from moms asking me about writing workshops
  4. The munchkin dancing to his reggae
  5. Baby brother propped up on his boppy and content with an exploration of his hands while mommy gets some early morning writing in before the toddler awakes
  6. The quiet, overlapping hum of my children’s breaths when they sleep side by side
  7. The slow-spreading grin of my youngest learning how to laugh at the world 
  8. People who text me and say they’ll be right over in 10 minutes
  9. My beautiful, healthy, strong, happy, brilliant children that came from me
  10. A shower sans the soundtrack of screaming children in desperate need of their mother
  11. A plethora of negro spirituals that I can hum or sing in the meantime when someone or everyone is crying
  12. My creative juices flowing nicely, even if there seems to be a drought in other parts of my existence
  13. The munchkin bringing me book after to book to read to him
  14. That delicious sensation of hope that wells up inside my soul at the start of nap time 
  15. An unopened bag of granola and a full carton of cold coconut milk
  16. Sesame Street starting at 10 AM
  17. Remembering that I just had a baby a few weeks ago 

  

Things I say out loud to my children over and over again

  1. “Mommy’s coming!”
  2. “It’s okay. You’re not alone.”
  3. Yelling, “What did mommy say?”
  4. “Get down!”
  5. “Come, let’s do your diaper.”
  6. “Can mommy have a hug?”
  7. “Good boy!”
  8. “Oooooone-twooooo-threeeee-fooooooour-FIIIIIIIIVE!”
  9. “Go show daddy.”
  10. “What’s the matter with my baby?”
  11. “You want to eat?”
  12. “Lay down for nuunu.” (nursing)
  13. “Give that to mommy please.”
  14. “Say, ‘no thank you.'”
  15. “Give baby a kiss.”
  16. “Where’s mommy’s choochu?” (one of the munchkin’s nicknames)
  17. “Come here.”
  18. “Leave him alone.”
  19. “I love you.”
  20. “Choochu, NO!”
  21. “Go see what baby’s doing.”
  22. “You want more?”
  23. “Remember, soft touch.”
  24. “Nuunu’s sleeping.”

Things that at times can be difficult for me to accept

  1. I couldn’t really anticipate all the chaos and heartache of postpartum with an infant and a toddler.
  2. Hemorrhoids won’t magically disappear with good behavior.
  3. I spend the bulk of my days talking to people who don’t yet have a full grasp of English.
  4. Showering with any regularity has become a challenge again.
  5. As much as I am a breastfeed-however-whenever-you-want-to supermommy, I sometimes feel self-conscious about tandem nursing in front of people. In my own home at that.
  6. I worry that my kids won’t think I’m the “fun” parent.
  7. I can’t always safely manage my children’s simultaneous, but extremely different, needs for touch and connection.
  8. These are the choices I made; we’ll be here for a while.

  

~~~

Binahkaye Joy is a new mommy, dancer, doula, writer, movement facilitator, and creativity coach. She writes extensively about the intersections of mothering work and the cultivation of a vibrant creative practice. Binahkaye recently gave birth to her second child and captures some of the mystery and magic of mothering two babies in Rambling Mother of Two.

  

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