Atlantic Ocean: I


I’m on the screened in porch on the front of our beach house. We drove here from Baltimore during probably the worst part of tropical storm Hanna this past Saturday afternoon. There was one point, going north on I-95, over a bridge, (who knows which one since I couldn’t see anything) where I truly did wonder if we were all going to fly over the low, jersey barrier edge. Wind gusts howling, rain pouring in sheets. All because we were bored and wanted to get out of the house and on the road to our vacation. And so we did. Avoided the Chesapeake Bay Bridge because of construction, drove straight up 95 to Delaware Rt. 1, and down 1 to the beach. Despite terrible Hanna on 95, the minute we were on Rt. 1, the weather shifted to calm, cloudy, clear. The drive was fast once we were on the side of the Atlantic Ocean, and we arrived safely at our rental house.

In retrospect, perhaps we should have waited until the storm had passed entirely. Especially with small children. But honestly it is hard to tell what is real when you’re not seeing horrible weather outside your window and the reports on the telly are conflicting and dramatic. We decided to take our chances and it worked out this time. I’m just going to be grateful for our good fortune and leave it at that.

My whole family: hubby, Mimi and Beenie are in bed, napping the afternoon away. The girls are due to arise any second. Hubbo hasn’t quite caught up sleep-wise to the ridiculous amount of work necessary to get through the morning with two year-olds yet. I’ve been so well trained at this point, as long as I can suck down two good cups of coffee in the morning/afternoon I am good to go. I believe the reason I’m able to focus and get through every morning, starting thankfully around 8 a.m. through around 12:30-1p.m. is because I know I will be rewarded with non-mama time. Naptime. Two to three (if the nap gods look kindly upon me) hours of writing, reading email, having coffee and some snacks, cleaning, lining up things to do in the afternoon or following morning, and the rest of it. When I am denied precious naptime, my thin veneer of sanity and composure cracks and my darker side emerges: sometimes a little depressed being a hausfrau, panicky about having little time to myself, upset about not being productive creatively, freaking out because I don’t know what I’m going to do when it is time to put the girls in daycare at age three and have to go out and get a crappy office job somewhere. But today is not a dark day. Today all napped and I left the house and walked around in the sun wearing almost enough sunscreen on my face. I found some flip-flops and beer, olive oil and other sundry items, fulfilling my role as hunter-gatherer while my little family rested up for the evening.

We may try taking the girls out tonight for dinner. Beenie does fairly well as a human in society. She likes being treated like a grown-up and has oodles of composure far beyond her two years. Mimi is a bit closer to the primate she started out as. Though as she is mainly driven by food and its ingestion, there’s always a chance she will be able to focus long enough to inhale what has been placed before her on a table. Never a relaxing thing, taking our laides out for food, but it would give me and B a chance to go out together. Just not alone.

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4 Comments

  1. hey mama, glad you made it to the beach and are getting a few minutes of r&r. should be sleeping at my new casa by wed or thurs, though god knows when i’ll get all my shit moved in — haven’t even gotten any boxes yet, let alone started packing. everything is in disarray, but it won’t last long. call me when you are back on earth. xoxoxoxo

  2. 20f20t said: “When I am denied precious naptime, my thin veneer of sanity and composure cracks and my darker side emerges: sometimes a little depressed being a hausfrau, panicky about having little time to myself, upset about not being productive creatively, freaking out because I don’t know what I’m going to do when it is time to put the girls in daycare at age three and have to go out and get a crappy office job somewhere.”
    To this I say: Amen, sister. Don’t forget “terrified that if I don’t get to follow a thought to its natural, logical conclusion, that I may completely lose the skill so undervalued in a mother of toddlers–the ability to think clearly.”
    Doesn’t it suck that even wonderful naptimes are often haunted by the shadow of the afternoons that don’t work (creatively, calorically, intellectually)? It’s as though we know another napless day is coming, that we’re due for one because we’ve been WAY too human and adult for the past half hour, so we spend precious moments dreading the possibility that today is THAT day. The day of all mommy all the time. The day where cracks in the facade rupture with and explosion of toddler-infested goo.

  3. oh naptime. sweet, horrible naptime. naptime writing, you get it. way too much, and not enough. you’re right, the lack of ability to complete a thought, a project, practically anything is enough to drive a person batty.

    when the girls started sleeping on a sort of regular schedule, around 8 months old, i started craving cigarettes and writing. i started up both during naptime, piddly as it was back then. the tobacco only lasted a week or two before i started feeling really wrong. the thought in my head was, fuck it, i can’t finish a goddam thing. nothing. but you know what i could finish? one cigarette per day. until it made me ill. that hasn’t happened with writing yet.

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