What's up with the bananas?
Comedian Mitch Hedberg once said, "I opened up a container of yogurt, and under the lid it said, 'Please Try Again' because they were having a contest I was unaware of. But I thought I might have opened the yogurt wrong, or maybe Yoplait was trying to inspire me. 'C'mon, Mitchell, don't give up. Please try again. A message of inspiration from your friends at Yoplait. Fruit on the bottom, hope on top.'"
I've been out of sorts lately. For the past four months, really. January went really well, but then February sort of knocked me around a bit. Got back on my feet in time to leave town for ten days and returned home just in time to undergo a Nasal Septoplasty with Turbinate Reduction. Oooh, la la! It almost sounds like a spa treatment, but it's just a fancy way of saying I got my extremely deviated septum repaired and had some on the turbinates inside my nose scooped out so I would have more room to get air to my newly functional septum. It's been almost three weeks since the surgery and, while I'm still a little tender in the general nose region, things are healing up nicely and I can actually breathe through both sides of my nose. It's a refreshing change from the first however many years of my life.
The challenging part is not doing more than I'm allowed. Argh! For the first two weeks, I was ordered not to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk. This was no problem the first week, because I had no interest in doing anything. The second week, however, I discovered the "Mama Beeeg Hugs" the Biggest Girl demands all day are just as important to me as they are to her. I had to sit down to give her a hug, rather than just picking her up. Oh, and diaper changes! Have you ever tried changing a nearly two-year old on the floor? It's like wrestling a small greased pig whose main objective is to get poop on you (and your rug). Fortunately, I didn't have to do a lot of toddler wrestling because I actually asked for (and accepted) help. This is just as challenging for me as not lifting. I like to think I can do this on my own, but ooooh no. No, I needed help. And I let people (namely my mom and dad) help me this time around. The Biggest Girl got to spend some serious quality time with her grandparents and I got to rest, so it worked out well. Plus, there's just no way I'm going to risk messing up my nose because I have absolutely no interest in going through this recovery process again.
So, here we are. Almost three weeks later. I still can't lift as much as I'd like, squatting and leaning over are still precarious activities, and, all at once, I'm feeling like I lost my bearings. Coming off the victory of successfully traveling across the US, you'd think I'd be in Badass mode, but I'm not. Not yet, anyway. I'm feeling a little frail and under-qualified. Even running the simplest of errands is suddenly more of a challenge. And the list of things we need to do right now--both around the house and in the yard--reads more like a list of things I'm not allowed to do. I want to be able to do this on my own, but right now I also desperately want my mommy.
Here's the point, I guess: It comes and goes. As soon as I feel like I've figured this whole mommy thing out, everything changes. More and more, I feel myself pulled further and further away from the fantasy of competence and into the reality of gracelessly stumbling through my days, scrambling just to keep up with the day-to-day tasks associated with a toddler and household, never mind being a wife or attempting adult converstation without feeling like a complete buffoon. I could cry, but I can't really, because it would make my nose hurt. Instead, I get the dishes done and wait to vacuum. I wash the diapers and let the rest of the laundry go. I sit down to read about the ABC's and I don't sweat the fact that the Biggest Girl refuses to change out of her pajamas before noon. In the end, I remind myself once again, she's the most important thing I've got going. It would be nice to have a squeaky clean, shiny bauble of a home, but I'd rather have a happy baby and a smile on my own face. Maybe I'll get the hang of it all one day. In the meantime, I will remain belligerently optimistic. One day, I'll get this. And the next day it will all change. And through it all, I will always be a little bit of fruit on the bottom and hope on top.