Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Two Faces

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Freddie remains cute, in case you were wondering.


I’m not really a believer in astrology, but I was born under the sign of Gemini and I can tell you that, regardless of actually believing or not, I have always embraced a sort of dual personality.  I am always at least two people in any given situation, but lately, those two people tend to be the cool, calm, and competent one and the one that is falling apart, drowning, and checking out of life because I. Am. Not. Handling. This.


I think we’ve reached the end of what our summer can handle, turmoil-wise.  Charles and Jamie are flexing their annoyance muscles so hard that my yelling and nagging muscles are popping under the strain.  I kiss owies, I read stories, I clean up, again and again, the spills and smears and dirt until I snap, and then I let out the bitch inside who just wants these children to STOP ANNOYING ME!  I know they don’t do it on purpose, but damn it.  It’s like they’re doing it on purpose!


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Charles is starting Kindergarten in one week, and he’s more apprehensive than he’ll let on.  His behavior, while not bad, has grown a bit touchier the closer we get to the commencement of the school year.  School supply shopping, picking out a back pack, discussing lunches, talking about expectations, scheduling assessments – Charles is like me in that when it all gets to be too much he’ll blow his top, even if every small step in the same direction has been fine and met with acceptance if not eagerness.


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The baby is over-stimulated.


Then there’s the undeniable fact that Jamie will miss Charles.  For years, they have shared their days at preschool, and Jamie counts on Charles far more than I realized until recently.  At preschool, they stuck together.  They played together, sat side-by-side during all meals and snack times and circle times, and doted on each other.  At home, they know exactly where the other one is and what he’s doing and they’re frequently on top of each other (literally).  Jamie, especially, is hyper aware of Charles.  And then Charles moved to the school-age classroom at the beginning of summer and now he isn’t going to be at daycare at all, and Jamie tells me repeatedly, “Mommy, I miss Charles.”


I’m doing my best to comfort my boys about the changes coming in their lives.  I’m also busy at work (we closed on a new property for our business – hooray!) and trying to care for an infant, manage my family, and pick up the slack while Tony begins the most difficult class of his master’s degree.  One minute, I am sweet and kind and generous and caring; the next minute, I’m angry and touchy and impatient and loud.


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Studying is more difficult with a baby.


It’s stress.  It’s the fact that my life is changing, too: my first baby is heading to Kindergarten.  KINDERGARTEN!  My post-baby “life of leisure” (ha!) is coming to a close as Tony will no longer be taking the kids to school starting this week – I HAVE to get up early, regardless of how much sleep I got the night before.  I’m still dealing with (or not dealing with, at least not well) the issues surrounding having one final baby and wanting to squeeze every moment of goodness out of it but also wanting to get through this stage of having a blubbery belly and loose joints quickly.  I’d like to start wearing my wedding rings, and the really emotional, totally stupid and irrational part of me feels as though I am betraying my marriage because I can’t get the damn things over my knuckle.


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Oh, sweet Jesus, those cheeks.


Some parts of each day are really, really good.  I am in love with my children, I have a clean kitchen, and I haven’t looked in the mirror in a while.  Other parts of my day, I feel absolutely worthless.  I’ve yelled at my children (something that never helps the situation and yet, something I continue to do), my back and shoulders hurt, I feel and look fat and slobby, I smell like sour milk, and the house is a mess.  The coin flips, back and forth, back and forth.

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