Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Moment Of Silence Please

There has been a passing that I feel compelled to share with you.

It bares a moment of remembrance, reflection of what once was and respect for a life well lived, but sadly, no longer viable.

I speak dear friends, of my former life; my life B.C. (before children). A life in which I took great pleasure in perfecting certain aspects which had a need to be expressed and which I dutifully tried to comply with over the years.

I freely admit I am somewhat of a clean freak and like(d) my home to be "company ready" at all times. We are talking hard dusted furniture, spot free glass and mirrors, floors vacuumed daily, mopped weekly...you know the type.

I would not only keep it clean and neat throughout the day, but somehow I also had time to sleep in, shower and groom like a lady and lunch with friends. My dog was well cared for and thin and had an air of happiness and contentment.

That life, like a large kidney stone....has passed, slowly and painfully.

My home, once my point of pride and joy has slowly become a carnival fun zone. Where once there was order and cleanliness now lies all matter of plastic paraphernalia in such offending colors they prompt one to wish away their gift of sight.

I knew B.C. (before children) this was but a chapter in my life and when we became A.D. (after diapers) I would have to make some adjustments and sacrifices.

ha, Ha, HA; fool that I was, I thought I could donate a small portion of the home to the children and they would be happy and satisfied with my generosity. Let me walk you through my home as it stands now.

Enter the front door, please try to avoid the rainbow colored blow up pool filled with 200 multi-colored plastic balls (precariously close to my Grandfather Clock filled with fine china collectibles).

As you pass by the Master Bedroom take a quick peak and notice the pack n' play set up right in front of my dresser and radio/cd player (music does soothe the soul, but I don't miss it ~ much). It would be nice to have easier access to my bra and panties, but I don't mind, really.

Our tour takes us to the family room/kitchen area, the very heart of the home, take a moment to appreciate the primary colored foam mat that lies straight in the walking path to the backyard and points beyond - out in the yard there is a 10 foot round pop up pool, which in the extreme heat serves the dual purpose of an extremely large pot for poaching eggs for like a convention or something similar .

Re-foucs on the family room, there are toy boxes (bright blue with Old McDonald themes on the sides) and laundry baskets filled to the rim with toys (all of which require many, many batteries). All of my stainless steel bowls, which were once used to create culinary cuisine to make your mouth water, but now are relegated to annoying noise makers which may or may not be used in the future to wake people out of a vegetative state.

They are right next to the toddler climber/slide which is indoors due to the Texas heat, the hernia from sliding it back and forth throughout the day only hurts when I laugh too hard.

There are many stand alone toys with the name Fisher Price and Leap Frog on them, more batteries please.

Look across the room to the triple decker mantle which soars 20 feet to the ceiling, anchored by a cozy fireplace; what, you can't see it? Squint a little - it is behind the changing table and diaper pail, nothing says fresh and clean like a pail of poop.

Hidden discretely behind the la-z-boy rocker recliner #1 is a lovely plastic bin filled with pajamas, wash rags, mismatched booties, bibs and towels. The chair directly across from that is hiding a beauty of an exer-saucer which collects dust and samples of my skin like it was destined to do so.

You look thirsty, come into the kitchen where the counter tops are filled with baby bottles, teething tablets, child pain relievers and large cans of formula. Oh, look another plastic bin filled with toys, and a walker which nobody really walks in, but it matches the two high chairs which are a great barricade from reaching the dining table and the computer station.

Come upstairs for a minute, but make sure to check out the laundry room which is now open 24/7 for all your laundry needs, and on the counter, next to the sink are not 1, not 2, not 3, but 4 (four) diaper bags.

Beyond that is the garage, in addition to collecting Swarovski Crystal and fine china teacups I also have acquired a need to have multiple strollers, what a coincidence, now that I think about it I have as many strollers as I do diaper bags, isn't that strange?

OK, we got off track let's head up the stairs, as you top the stairs there is a wonderful feature, a cat walk, but wait, what is that near the railing, is it another stand alone, primary colored musical toy, tsk tsk, how did that get there?

The nurseries are filled with many objects of teething comfort and stuffed animals, books, books, books - how sweet! It is hard not to notice that none of MY things have made their way into the children's designated areas - isn't that interesting?

Come to the game room, what the heck is that? That isn't a 10 feet long 3 feet wide outdoor clubhouse with linking bridge and look out tower is it?

I've seen New York apartments smaller than that thing. How quaint, the once comfortable and welcoming reclining sofa/love seat now have a game table (once used to entertain and enjoy friends with for hours on end) shoved up against it.

I guess the lesson to be learned from this eulogy of my life B.C. (before children) is simply this:

B.C. ~ Before Children/ A.D. ~ After Diapers
Pasta w/garlic sauce and wine /Macaroni and Whine
Disposable income /Disposable diapers
I sleep like a baby /Like the baby to sleep
What to wear for dinner /Wearing dinner
Tire has a blowout/ Diaper has a blowout
On time/ Time out
Pillow talk/ Baby talk
Too much time on my hands /Too many hands on my time
Family is love /Love MY family

I have been grappling with merging my past life with my new and "improved" one. The thing is, they really can't co-exist. I have to let go of what once was to embrace what now is. I had a good run, it was fun and there are many fond memories, but now is the time to let it go, maybe one day we will meet again, in a couple of decades when the children leave the nest.

I will lay down my old friends Mr. Clean, Lemon Pledge and Windex with Ammonia "D" and dear, sweet Hoover. You were all so good to me, and I will always appreciate your hard work and dedication, but now is the time to enjoy my second childhood.

The babies and I will write our names in the dust and laugh at the food we find on the floor. One day, the square footage of my home will be obvious and visible to all, but today is not that day.

I bid my old life a fond farewell, I hope to see you in my dreams and recapture what we shared for so long. One day we'll meet again and perhaps rekindle what we shared together, until that time...I wish you well and hope you enjoyed our special time together.

Time to say goodbye.



T.Janzen said...

Priceless!! You hit the right notes of honesty, "grief", love and , most of all, humour.

We just came back from China with our second child, a delightful 4 year old named Sam. Along with his 5 year old sister, Faith, my once footoose and fancy free life is now a distant memory.

But two babies the same age - WOW!!! (I am not worthy, I am not worthy)

I wish you all the best and thank you for giving a good laugh! Have you ever thought of writing professionally. This post is really good and original.

The Gotch 5 said...

I do not know how you do it. I used to think twins would be fun but after we got home with our daughter (our third) I thank God everyday that she was a single birth! I did not remember all the work a 10 month old was. I really think my boys were not like this. Either that or 8 years and you forget a lot! You said it well. Just remember today is the day for rocking it won't be long when they want nothing to do with you. Our oldest says we are so "not cool." Enjoy those beauties!

Diana said...

Can I just say I sooo could be your friend..I love your sence of humor!!
This post is PERFECT as my boys (adopted from Korea) are now 15 and almost 11 and they grow up WAY TO FAST!!! I so miss when they were little, the FUN toys and snuggles. I love how they have grown up into 2 GREAT kids but I do miss my babies!!

Eloise said...

This post was very funny!

Love the new header on your blog.

Paul and Robyn: said...

You crack me up!!!!!!!!

Your house (even though still gorgeous)really is NOTHING like it was when we first met you.

Like I told C, maybe someday we can all reclaim our houses !?!

Love ya!!

Christie said...

BRILLIANT! I'm sending folks your way - so prepare...this is brilliant and as true as it gets x 10.

Broke it off and said goodbye to my clean house, but I'm still writing and calling and trying to get it to come back to me...sob!

Eight more months and I'm in your boat...help me, my friend! Save me!

Lady C

Anonymous said...

Your post was so true! We are just about to finally get our second daughter from China after the long wait like you had. So now I'll have two although a much larger age gap. It's true that you do miss the clean house (I spent at least an hour today in my basement trying to pick up millions of marbles and colored rocks, kitchen food, sidwalk chalk, you name it) but the "I love you Mommas" sure do make up for it. Both your children are adorable and I'm glad you are enjoying them so much.

GW Mom

mimifrancoise said...

Valerie, I am just a lurker but I have to write to tell you how funny this entry was. You must send it to some magazines to have it published. Thank you for bringing me laughter and memories of dealing with 2 small people. My first two were 10 months and 10 days apart!

Anonymous said...

Hi Mama! Love this post, and yes, all parents can relate! I agree that you should submit to appropriate magazines, such as Parenting, Good Housekeeping, adoption mags, etc. You are the next Erma Bombeck!! Love ya, big sis