Having it all

I would like to preface this post with a mini life update :

  • Boulette was born June 22 after a predictably painful but beautifully brief birth. He real name is Florence and she’s magnificent.
  • I’m on maternity leave for another 14 months. Oh, Canada!
  • Arthur is 2.5 years old – which is apparently the age at which children become criminally insane. Not really. But maybe.
  • JF and I are close to celebrating 15 years of togetherness.
  • Odie is six years old and getting smellier every month.
  • We still live in a humdrum bungalow in sweet little Wyevale.

Meet Flo, princess of leg rolls

Basically, I’m a very, very lucky person.

I have all the things society tells us successful humans should have: an amazing partner, two beautiful children, a big sweet doggo, my health, a reliable job, two working cars, an incredible network of friends and family, and a comfortable home in a nice neighbourhood. I know many people would love to have my «problems.»

Two of my (adorable) dependants

Most of the time (let’s say 97.5 per cent of the time) I bask in it.

I savour the family meals, the baby baths, and the Odie walks. I enjoy my friends when I’m lucky enough to see them. I hug my sisters close. I find my son hilarious. I even love cleaning my car.

Other times I am totally overwhelmed by it all.

  • Partner = Damn it’s hard to keep the romance alive.
  • Toddler = Are you eating an earplug?
  • Baby = How did you get poop in your armpit?
  • Dog = Ready for yet another cold and rainy walk?
  • Health = Does lifting bags of chips count?
  • Car = Is that a rotting cheesestring under the passenger seat?
  • Friends and family = Oh shit, I forgot (insert name here)’s birthday!
  • Home = Googling “how to get dry, crusty play-doh out of a jute rug.”
  • Neighbourhood = We need to up our decorative gourd game.

It’s like I’m stuck standing in the surf on a windy day. The waves keep crashing down and my feet keep sinking into the mud. It feels kinda nice, but it would be good to have dry feet again. And some days I wish someone would pull me out and drag me onto the beach where I can sip a margarita and read a romance novel.

I haven’t had time to improve this sad, sad Halloween display. Bonus: Odie peeing on my hedges.

I recently had one of those days.

I was running on 2.5 hours of sleep (damn you, teething!). My house looked like an episode of hoarders. My head was pounding. I had a nasty cough. My car was out of gas. My fridge was empty. And Florence just wouldn’t nap long enough for me to fix any of it.

Then I picked up my toddler who was in a miserable mood, right before he pooped his pants. I overcooked dinner. The kids’ bedtime took forever. I had a row with JF over potty training (this is my life now). Then I spent an hour wallowing in self-pity before finally conking out. Basically, I was Alexander.

There is no time for beauty routines. I literally woke up like this.

The next day was better.

I slept a whole five hours in a row. My brain was unfuzzy enough to appreciate and absorb the little things: a good cup of coffee (thank CHRIST for coffee), my daughter’s giggles, fall flowers, sloppy kisses from my toddler, and my husband’s dry jokes.

I had enough energy to tackle the groceries and the clutter, and enough wisdom to ignore the garden weeds and peanut-butter-stained windows. I even did a bit of mother flippin yoga.

Conclusion?

Having it all is pretty swell. But sometimes – mostly when I’m exhausted – it sucks. I want to leave it all behind and become a hermit on some isolated mountain in the Urals.

And I’m learning that’s it’s OK for me to feel that way, on occasion. That those crappy days can be a really important reminder to practice gratitude. Because I really am so very lucky.

So lucky!

A Nu Start

About a week ago, a miracle occurred. JF, the most cautious and indecisive man I know, bought a car over his lunch hour.

I guess it wasn’t exactly an impulse buy. He’d been thinking about buying a Honda Fit for two years. He’d compared their re-sale value, fuel efficiency, and many other car features (clearly, I am a car expert) against several comparable options in massive spreadsheets.

But still, the fact that he was able to test drive a car and offer a down payment in the span of an hour has my mind totally boggled. It was incredibly out of character, in a good way.

Most endearingly of all, he bought the car for me. I’m one lucky lady.

Tobias and I, out on the town.

Tobias and I, out on the town.

I’m not surprised that JF would buy me a car. Neither is anyone who knows JF well. The whole matter is sticky sweet, just like him.

That said you should all know that JF gets something out of this too. You see (as Marj Dubeau pointed out) there is no TTC in Elmvale. Had JF not bought me a car, he would have been stuck with a very bored, rather dependent, potentially stir-crazy, highly obnoxious partner.

Or I could have biked everywhere.  Come to think of it, I probably should have given the whole bike thing a shot. Oh well, too late now.

We’ve decided to name the car Tobias, as a tribute to the Arrested Development character’s Blue Man Group days. Not only is it a vibrant blue, it’s very gay, in the jolly sense of the word. And no, we’re not planning to purchase a vanity plate.

So far, Tobias and I are like two five year olds in a park — instant best friends. I love him. He loves me. It’s love all around. And I can’t wait for you to meet him.