Lately, it feels the only communication I've had with anyone has been either the spoken realization that it's been a scarily long time since I've engaged in any kind of social behavior or a conversation in the form of an apology for my absence from life. I'm immediatelly compelled to outright declare things have been tough around here, but I can't pinpoint what exactly has changed. I blame the "terrible two's", which are both tricky and yet simultaneously not as terrible as I'd imagined them being when other people would speak of them before my child was teetering on the brink of toddler-insanity. We still enjoy all of the same things, his eating habits haven't changed, his sleeping habits haven't changed (but wouldn't it be sweet if they got better?), our Tot School lessons are going fabulously. I mean, I love each day a little more than the last in the fact Ethan continues to grow more eager to converse and communicate with me -- his new favorite thing to do lately is try to make me laugh. (And he's mastered that totally, minus this morning when he put glue in his hair and called it a hat, though that did crack him up.) It's just that each day takes us a little longer to warm up to and then -- bam -- the irrationality. I think this phase would be better off called "the irrational two's," because it's a lot more fitting than terrible. Terrible is a little harsh, but then there are the moments where we're laughing as we're prepping that night's dinner in the crockpot and then three seconds later, Ethan's on the floor kicking and screaming because he wanted to drink ketchup from a straw and I wouldn't allow this to happen. The only thing strong enough to stop a tantrum of this magnitude is letting him watch a 32 second clip on my phone of goats doing the Harlem Shake. Yesterday I realized that I'd watched goats do the Harlem Shake significantly more than I'd had even a semblance of adult interaction (friendly conversation with store employees included).
But it really isn't terrible, just exhausting. It now takes Ethan at least thirty minutes in the morning to tolerate keeping pants on -- socks and shoes are the next round in that fight. By the time we are able to get ourselves fed, dressed and out of the house in the mornings, we do manage to have a blast like any irrational tirade about who even remembers what never happened. It's the transitions from activity A to activity B that seem to be killer. You know, like how this afternoon we were snuggling and reading a story before Ethan rubbed his eyes and asked for "night night," so I laid him in his crib and kissed his forehead before leaving the room. Before I can blink three times, I'm back in his bedroom with a bottle of hand soap, squirting it all over his thigh to try to free it from the crib bars where he jammed it while he screams "STUCK!" in a volume so loud that the only excuse for my neighbors not calling 911 would be the fact they aren't home.
In a sick, masochistic way, I'd been waiting for yesterday to arrive because it marked the first night of the Body Back boot camp I'm taking. Fourteen months ago, I took my first Stroller Strides class and lived to talk about it (and signed up). Although I'm nowhere near an athlete (almost thirty years of never breaking a sweat takes some time to undo, I'd imagine), I kind of like it. So to even out the workout regression I've unfortunately found myself in (it comes with my inability to right ourselves during Ethan's current funk), I joined Body Back. Which is, apparently, like Stroller Strides intensified to a point that I'm not remotely athletic enough to understand. I mean, Tuesday's fitness assessment was enough to render me mostly immobile for the duration of today.
That's my what have I gotten myself into now? photo I took right before I headed out the door last night. Yes, there is schmutz on my mirror -- I'm just hoping my honesty is enough for you all to grant me forgiveness for my mirror's imperfections. Or something like that. Or I really don't care because I have bigger problems to worry about than water splatter on my mirror, like how I'm going to make it through tomorrow's Body Back class when I still can't move from yesterday's mere fitness assessment.
Lately I've been jotting down things I always want to remember. Today was the second time -- the first being Monday -- that Ethan fell asleep in bed with me. It doesn't seem like much to most people, but he's always viewed our bed as a place to play and despite my greatest urges to just sleep, it's never happened. It's his crib, with his music playing, with his white noise machine in the background, or nothing. I suppose we all succumb to a certain level of exhaustion at some point and it's been refreshing in a sense to fall asleep with Ethan curled up in my arms and feel his soft breath as he sleeps so soundly. On Monday, he slowly opened his eyes and said he loved me for the first time. "Huv you," in a tired little whisper, and I never want to forget that moment. These little moments of snuggling in bed and shutting the rest of the world out have been invaluable for me as fuel, motivation to keep pushing through these days of clutter and chaos and a husband with an unrelenting work schedule. These moments make the adage this too shall pass sting a little in the deepest places of my heart, not entirely sure that I want them to.
Except maybe the moments I'll be huffing, puffing and wanting to die during Body Back tomorrow night. Those moments are free to pass as quickly as they'd like. I'm just saying.