Thursday, September 2, 2010

Introduction: I’m Exhausted!

I was warned, numerous times by numerous friends.  However, nothing anyone said could have prepared me for this.  Don’t get me wrong, I love my girls with every ounce of blood in my body, but sometimes I dream of a life without diapers, tantrums, or sleep training.  In my dreams I am young again- the dark circles that now seem to be making a permanent home beneath my lower eyelids are gone.  My hair is lustrous because I am able to shower daily, and my boobs are not the deflated water balloons that now require a supportive bra to look even slightly “perky”.  In my dreams no one says, “You look exhausted”.  I eat at restaurant without grossly over tipping the waiter in apology for the mess on the floor.  And, when I fly on an airplane, I relax with a vodka tonic on my tray table while reading Vanity Fair, or US Weekly (depending on my mood).

Without fail, I awake from those dreams faintly confused and slightly disappointed.  My alarm clock, the sixteen-month-old, demands my immediate attention, but if only I could keep my eyes closed for a few more minutes to enjoy my mirage of a dream.  This is as close as I can get to paradise, and it will have to do.

When I finally go to Maisy, after prolonging my bathroom routine as long as possible, and playing a game of Backgammon on my iPhone while sitting on the toilet, she smiles and hands me her favorite lovey, a white lamb with a satin blanket for a body.  This, of course, melts my heart, and I pick her up, cuddle her, and sink into the glider with her sippy cup of milk and my cup of black tea.  I’ve always wished that I was a coffee person in the morning, but to my mother’s dismay, it never took.

Maisy is about a year-and-a-half.  Obviously she is beautiful and a baby genius (cue the eye rolling).  Being the second born, she can handle a lot of bumps and bruises, and she also knows how to make herself heard.  She is currently learning how to taunt her older sister by: 1- strategically taking Elana’s toys when Elana is most content and happily playing by herself, and 2- looking at Elana cross-eyed when Elana doesn’t want anyone looking at her.  I am proud of Maisy for these things.
(Photo courtesy of Karin Asensio.)
Elana is my three-and-a-half year old first born.  Elana is never in the shadow of anyone, she puts the “D” in drama-queen and the “P” in Prozac (mine, not hers’).  When she was a baby, and very fussy (maybe colic), my friends would joke that she has a cry only a mother could love.  That may sound harsh, but Elana could scream at the top of her lungs for hours without fail.  Once she cried for the entire three-hour car journey from Mendocino to San Francisco; her face was bright red and a white, rabid foam oozed from her mouth.  At times I wonder if she channels a demon, but then she turns on the lovable charm, and I rest knowing the demon is taking a break.

We live with Ted, my husband and their father, in the Bernal Heights neighborhood of San Francisco.  For those of you that are unfamiliar with the SF ‘hoods, it’s probably the most hyper-vigilant and nuttiest of all of San Francisco.  If your baby is not co-sleeping with you on an organic mattress and has 24-hour access to your breasts, you might as well start prepping her for a life on the streets, or at the very least, a therapist by the age of 5.

Ted is your average working father: he spends a few minutes with the kids in the morning, and returns just in time to kiss them goodnight.  He has a soft spot for the girls and Elana knows, and Maisy is quickly learning, to ask Daddy when she wants something Mommy wont provide.  He doesn’t see the mischievousness in Maisy or the demon in Elana, and imagines that I spend my days having martini play-dates with friends while the kids play nicely in downstairs.

How did these super moms of yore do it?  How could they raise five children under six, while seven-months pregnant with the 6th, and simultaneously milking a cow?  I can’t even raise two kids and bathe!  In this journal/blog, I’m going to explore how they ever managed to do this (and all the while barefoot!), and hopefully relieve some of the pressure placed on today’s overly taxed mothers.


  1. This is an awesome blog and I cannot wait to read more. Please write more about Ted's lack of parenting skills.

  2. Just discovered your blog, and I think it's fairly marvelous. I also have two toddlers- twin 18 month olds.

    I also have no idea how the supermoms of yore did it. But I think it had something to do with cooking sherry.

  3. I love your blog dear! It is refreshing to read this! I have a 15 month old son, and will probably be stopping by regularly to read your blog! xx