The other morning I found myself doing something which for me, epitomizes motherhood and the mixed-up feelings I have whenever I spend too much time with my kids.
Chris had been on a business trip for a few days, and I was having breakfast with the kids. Sort of. They were actually doing the eating. Sort of. I was spoon-feeding Andrew and, as usual, he started getting distracted and turning his head away from me, and he hadn't even eaten half his meal. He had to eat more. Toys and singing were not doing the trick.
I needed to play peek-a-boo.
But the problem was, I didn't have two free hands for peek-a-boo. So I grabbed the nearest thing, a dishtowel, which I later realized was a dirty dishtowel, and put it on my head over my face. I used one free hand to feed Andrew and the other to pick up the towel every few seconds and say peek-a-boo. Andrew ate it up. I heard Eli giggle and looked over and to my surprise, he was eating it up, too!
And then it hit me, here I am, with a dirty dishtowel on my head, trying to feed my children and entertain them at the same time, while my bagel sits idly by, getting cold and feeling quite lonely, and my orange juice cup is still full, as it almost always is even when breakfast is over. What am I doing? Shouldn't a grown woman be able to eat her breakfast in peace, at least once in a while?
But I was enjoying it, mostly. And the kids were too. And there is always a little voice in my head telling me that, someday soon, these very same kids would be extremely embarrassed to see their mom with a dishtowel on her head during breakfast.
And honestly, a small part of me yearns for those days. But I try to suppress that part of me and live in the moment and love every single moment of every single stage.
But I tell you, when my husband is gone for a week and a half, and I am the sole caretaker 24/7, it is hard. And fun. And hard. And that's what I'm talking about.