Will I ever get a break?
Time was I viewed my car as a mode of transportation.
Now, our only vehicle - a very family un-friendly (family hostile, in fact) Mazda 3 - has become a nursing station, diaper change pad, tropical sleeping pod, where I sometimes crank the heat to coax Scarlett to drowsiness, and, of course, the only place where I get a break from holding my kids.
"Keep driving," I instructed Ted with a hostage-taking tone last Sunday around 9 p.m. when I looked into the backseat and saw two sleeping children. We were on our way home from dinner at my parents' where we bathed Hudson and popped him in pajamas.
"This is my only time off," I said. "I want to keep it going for as long as I can."
"That's pathetic," Ted said. "A bit disconcerting and worrying, actually."
This is my life!
Scarlett likes to be held. Make that, insists on being held. All the time. If I get to put her down, my hands are full of Hudson.
My beautiful, demanding little boy wants to be carried or needs "a drink," bath, for me to "use the crane so we can play construction site." Or, my hands are busy grabbing at his shirt mid run so I can wrestle him into his jacket and shoes.
Night affords me even less time off.
"What's that?" I say into the dark, usually around 3:30 a.m. The sound of tiny, accelerating feet slapping against the hardwood floor intensifies outside my bedroom.
"Mummmeeee!" I hear as he arrives at the doorway.
And so begins our almost-nightly routine:
"Ted," I whisper, clutching Hudson, who feels like 50 kilograms of gravel. "There's no room for you here. Go sleep somewhere else."
My husband, feigning upset, whips off the covers and pops off the mattress. For him being turfed means sprawling out by himself instead of getting lost in a stew of tiny limbs. For me, it means being kicked in the head by a kid who sleeps horizontally across the mattress.
Seconds, mere seconds, after Hudson settles into my matrimonial bed, Scarlett wakes up.
Oh hell, I mutter to myself while I feed her, then ever so gingerly place her on the mattress as far from Hudson as possible (yes, even though I swore up and down, down and up that I would never give into "co-sleeping" turns out I was lying. More on this later).
Then, as I do most nights now, I curl up at the foot of the bed. Inevitably that's when the worst happens (and funnily enough I'm brought back to motor vehicles): Thomas the Tank Engine invades my head and won't stop playing his theme song...
"They're two, they're four, they're six they're eight.."
Maybe I should just get in my car. Alone.