Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Keeping House

I am faced with a conundrum: five days a week, I work 10-13 hour days to keep a household of five running smoothly.  I do laundry three times a week (at least two loads, sometimes three), I take out the trash and recycling every day, I run the dishwasher and put dishes away, I wash every bottle part and breast pump attachment by hand (I do at least twelve dishloads of these a day), I tidy, I disinfect, I remake Cricket's bed, I put all the clean laundry away, I restock diapers and wipes, I write grocery lists, I even clean the bathroom sometimes when it really needs it.  Oh, and I also take care of Bun, Dove, and Cricket.  So, in conclusion, I am clearly capable of being enormously productive when it comes to matters of the home.  Believe me.  Their house is freaking spotless.  But then, I come home and there are two things going through my head:

1)  If any single iota of a person, living or dead, decides that they need me, ANYTHING from me, or that they want to touch me, dear Lord above help us all, because NOOOOOO.

2)  I. cannot. face. another. piece. of. laundry.  Or dirty dish, or stray hairtie, or errant book.  I will literally start to come undone at the seams when I see the towering load of my own dirty clothes in front of me or I will promptly burst into tears over the fact that my bed isn't made (because, um, guess who didn't make it this morning - oh yeah, ME).

Tonight, I came home at 9 PM and there was no toilet paper.  Both of my roommates were sitting on the couch, both having gotten home between 3:00 and 5:30 PM.  I asked them if we had any more TP.  Blank stares followed by ", I guess not."  Awesome.  So I'll just put a roll of paper towels in there until I have time to go pick up toilet paper after I finish working my thirteen hour shifts.  No, I'm not upset.  No, I'm not worked to the bone and exhausted and coming undone.  And of course I won't flip my shit if you so much as touch me because all. day. long. I have been holding, cradling, rocking, soothing, feeding, bathing, or doing SOMETHING to SOMEONE who is very tiny, very needy, and very, very prone to both projectile vomiting and SUTB blowouts (Shit Up The Back).  Except - oh yes indeed, I am all of those things.

The up side to all of this kvetching is that I love these girls something fierce.  Tonight I had all three of them to myself and managed to get everyone fed, washed, dried, swaddled, pajamaed, read to, rocked down, and asleep by 8:15.  I stood over Cricket and watched her breath slow as her iron grip slowly loosened around her blankie and she relaxed into sleep.  I kissed her dark wispy bangs and whispered softly that I loved her.  Then I tiptoed in to check on the babes.  Dove, mouth open and swaddled tight was my little glow worm baby, wrapped up tight.  I gently touched her dark fuzzy head and stroked her chubby cheek.  Bun, unswaddled these days, was stirring slightly.  I put her binky back in, and watched her arms relax up above her head.  She jerked once and settled as I shushed her gently and stroked her cheek.  All was well.  I turned the sound machine down and tiptoed downstairs.

Then I did another sink load of dishes, put Bun's second blowout outfit of the day in the basement to soak, cleaned up the living room, and wiped down all the counters.  And now I am home.  Desperately lonely, but far too bristly and prickly and irritable to expect anyone to come near me with a ten foot pole.  Maybe I'll take some Advil for the headache I've had since 9 AM.  And then I think I'll call it a night.

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