"I. Just. Can't."
I said these words in response to a request for cups with lids. It sounds so silly to me now but I just could not transfer the orange juice to other cups, could not argue about why putting orange juice in a water bottle is a bad idea, could not do another single thing.
The whole day had been either a series of frustrating and annoying events or perfectly nice, depending on your perspective. Ian and Mira were sick, they were and crabby in a completely understandable but nevertheless fairly trying way. Ada had a friend over, which is less work than Ada not having a friend over, but still not effortless. The girls made a wreck of the playroom (to be expected) and shredded paper which lay all over the rug (infuriating). They also played in Ada's closet and drew on the walls with a highlighter from my desk (completely annoying, especially because Ada knows that is not acceptable behavior). The weather was great, and the girls finally went outside for a while. I saw them digging in the garden, which is fine with me. Then I went outside and learned that they were planting peas. As in, planting them willy nilly all over the garden. I know this is really no big deal and we are talking about maybe $2 worth of peas, but for some reason this had me on the verge of tears. I managed to contain myself when I reminded Ada that the peas need support to grow and that planting them all around the yard was unlikely to get us many pods. (Luckily we'd already planted peas by the trellis, so some of the seeds will hopefully grow.)
I can't even type this little scene without wanting to erase the whole thing out of embarrassment about what a non-issue this is. Even hours later I see how uninmportant the loss of a half package of peas is, but in the moment it felt like part of some death-by-a-thousand-cuts torture. It isn't the peas, or any of the other little annoyances really. It isn't the babies' crankiness and general sickness-induced neediness. And by now I should be used to the all consuming boredom of feeding, changing, soothing and entertaining that is life with young children. It is all of those things together. There is no end to the work, and though none of it is very onerous, taken together it sometimes feels crushing.
This week I have felt a strong urge to make something again. The return of good weather has me considering a skirt for myself (I have some great octopus fabric I bought when I was pregnant) and this has me suddenly dying to make mustaches for myself and my family. I remember this feeling from when Ada was a baby. I was so tired of doing things only to have to do everything again. With babies there is no "done." You feed them, only to have to feed them again in a few hours. Clean diapers get soiled, noses continue to run after being wiped, naps begin and end, necks become food encrusted even though you just wiped them. You get the idea. I started sewing when Ada was a baby because once I finished a project, it stayed finished. The skirts did not have to be remade and stuffed toys stayed stuffed (for the most part, at least).
So here we go again. I am going to find myself a project and carve out a piece of the dining room table to make it happen. It may happen slowly, but it will happen, and once done, will stay done. Until the next project, that is.
"No problem," she said. "I have three myself. Have a good day." And she waved and walked back down the path. That little thing might be enough to salvage the day. And it might be enough to go see this woman for the financial planning help Chris and I sorely need.