All time all the time

As it turns out there’s a lot of living to do after age 39. With some luck, financial responsibility, and good health, my husband M and I find ourselves wondering, What else should we do?

So M bought a mountain bike, and I put A on a 2020 waitlist for a full-time preschool.

we should all just really have as much fun as we possibly can all the time, in whatever situation we find ourselves in.

But that doesn’t stop us from fantasizing about lives that are not our own. What each of us actually wishes we could do is

It would be nice to try on other people’s lives for just a little while.

A thin line that exists between have to and get to. Building houses. Taking care of kids.

My husband and I certainly wish we could switch roles sometimes. What are you going to do today? He asks

I indicate towards the children playing on the floor with a dramatic sweep of my arm

“The same thing I do every day, Pinky,” I say. “Try to take over the world.”

*

He takes down his mental to-do list. You know, he says, I feel jealous that you can just do whatever you want every day.

Except, I say, that it is not according to my free will. I do what needs to be done, and the day happens. I am jealous that you can want something to happen with a day and actually do it.

The mom life: There is no time, and time is all there is. Sometimes I strap everyone into their seatbelts in the car, then come back inside to make my tea or eat or clean the house frantically for 10 minutes.

I have found that one can do quite a lot in the moments where the baby is in the car seat before the key is turned and again after the key is turned off before the child is removed from the car seat.

Right now I’m voice texting while baby A hits our dog with a ski pole. Now the two of them are sharing leftover peanut butter they found on the floor. It’s OK – toddlers need to learn how to share.

Just to update you on what the baby is doing now, she is stuffing the dirty laundry down the back of my shirt. As I like to say: If it isn’t complete chaos, don’t change anything.

I’ve stopped writing to help A put on her backpack. All she wants inside is a Ziploc full of lunch meat that she stole off the counter.

Now she’s back to throwing wicked back arches because she would rather stand in the front seat and drive (“key!”) than go anywhere (“ski!”). Now longer and stronger, she has an impressive stem move that renders my old defenses useless.

When baby A was still inside of my womb her cousin, age 3, suggested we name her ‘Flower party’. I probably should have gone with that.

I will admit to one dirty little secret: I don’t clean during nap-time. Those minutes are my minutes. Anything that has to do with scrubbing will be done while the baby is awake, which is nuts.

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