Thursday, December 23, 2004

More nostalgia. And adult diapers.

The snow is still coming down like mad. I can hear it swooshing even through the walls!

Cat still can't figure out the litter box. He looks at me like I'm crazy when I kneel beside it and dig dig dig with my finger to show him how it's done. I probably AM crazy, to try and potty-train a geriatric cat. Maybe I should just throw a Depends, size small, on his butt and forget it.

I can't put him outside in a blizzard. As soon as he stood still for thirty seconds he'd be buried.

I've closed all the doors to rooms that have closets. And locked them. He might be incredibly stupid but he knows how to open a door. I've seen him bat at a doorknob with his paw till it turned enough to open the door. Who needs opposable thumbs? It's not like he needs them to hold up the bottoms of sandwiches, like we do.

Why do I post about a Cat all the time? Is it because my kids don't live here any more, and my own life is boring?

Well, probably.

You lucky people with small children at home: enjoy it while you can. Come on, Visine-up those bloodshot eyes, shoot some caffeine into those sleep-deprived bloodstreams, and try to appreciate what you've got while you've got it.

Some day you'll be like me. Well, hopefully not JUST like me, but in my position. Well, not THAT kind of position, but in the same situation as me.

Lost for hours in memories of when my children were small, and lived here, and were tiny and needy and helpless (but less so every day) and it seemed like they would never change and it would always be chaotic and smelly and WIDE AWAKE. . . . .

And how some days I'd give my right arm for some SLEEP.

And then suddenly those days are gone, and you finally have the opportunity to do all the things you couldn't do before because of those little kids, and you discover two things: 1) YeeHAW, you can do those things now, and 2) those things aren't such a big deal after all; you'd rather have your kids back.

Those two sensations come and go with no regularity, by the way. One second you're in tears, sitting in your quiet house, looking at photographs of tiny children clinging to you and wishing you could turn back the clock, and the next second you're cranking up the music so your house won't be so quiet, looking at those same photographs and thinking, "I thought those days would never end."

You feel guilty no matter which mode you're in.

There are always things we should have done, or shouldn't have done, or could have done and didn't. Regrets can blindside you if you let them. I can only advise you to cherish your children while they are still children. The day will come when they will be obnoxious teenagers and you'll wonder what went wrong. And then the day will come when they will be lovely responsible adults and you'll look at them with pride and wonder, that anything that awesome could possibly have come from you.

People always say things like this to parents when their small children are in the middle of a particularly horrible phase, so parents seldom believe these old coots who give out all the annoying free advice.

I didn't.

And now I know it was true, a lot of it anyway. And speaking as an old coot, I tell you these things: No matter how horrible the phase may be, this too shall pass. No matter how obnoxious your teenagers may be, this too shall pass. The tantrums, the mess, the neediness, the clinging. . . . all of it shall pass.

It doesn't last very long. It's a tiny tiny fraction of your life. If you blink, you'll miss it. It will pass.

And when it's passed, you will miss it more than you ever thought possible. You won't wish it back as it really was, but you'll romanticize it and want the good parts back. Remembering is good, but sometimes forgetting is better. Not everything, just some things. Like vomit down your back. Or diarrhea in a baby backpack. Emergency room visits. Public tantrums. Blood. Words.

Be especially careful with your words.

Cultivate your memory. Cultivate your forgetter, too.

Swoosh, swoosh, swoosh. . . . all this snow, and no children to track it into the house. We have sleds; they're collecting dust in the garage now. There are no snowmen or forts in our yard. Unless the stereo is on, and it's always on, the house is quiet. Sometimes, I can't stand it.

I want noise. I want childish giggles. I want musically horrible songs about bunnies and kitties and little ducky duddle. I want a mess that smacks of fun and playfulness. I want buttercup cookies on my little finger. I want to see that Gerber baby on my pantry shelves. I want finger plays and action rhymes.

I suppose if I wait a few more years, I'll be doing all those things myself, in the nursing home.

Including wearing the Cat's Depends. Not size small, though.

Hopefully by the weekend, there will be noise in this house. If the kids can make it through the snow.

If they can't, we'll have Christmas whenever they can get here. It doesn't have to be on the 25th, you know. Christmas is whenever you say it is.

I hope everybody's families can get through the snow. I hope all of you have a wonderful Christmas.

I hope somebody brings strawberry pie.

The end.

Posted by Mamacita (The REAL one) @ 2:15 AM | |


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