Monday, May 9, 2011

The Edge of Crazy

Have I mentioned that I have a seventeen month old boy? My sweet little bundle of baby turned into a two foot whirlwind who has very nearly pushed me to the edge of crazy town. It's hard to explain this sort of crazy if you don't have a toddler of the male persuasion. I find that I can barely put into words the mind-numbing tiredness, the loss of memory, the inability to put more than three words into a sentence that I'm experiencing these days. Basically, my whole day is spent trying to keep this little person alive, which means saving him from self-destruction and death-defying acts about once every twelve minutes. I am severely underpaid.

Lately, Sam has learned some new things. Things like climbing up onto the sofa, climbing up into a chair, how to stand on unstable things like small coolers and plastic firetrucks, and how to open and shut heavy sliding doors. Grandparents have declared all of these things, among others, to be evidence of an obvious budding genius. I have other ideas about this, some might even call them concerns. Like, how long will it take for my son to figure out how to climb onto the roof? start the car? open an email account? thumb a ride? I can't help but worry that while my brain seems to be slowing down, his is developing at such a rate that by next month, he may be writing this blog for me or possibly building a bomb.

No one told me that having a seventeen month old could actually cause me to lose my mind. I understand a little better that old saying about people in difficult circumstances (i.e. banished to Siberia, kidnapped by pygmies, living undercover in the witness protection program, etc.) being "driven to drink." I've been driven to a bag of chocolate chips more times than I care to confess. (On Saturday I bought two more bags just for emergencies. It's Monday and I have one bag left.)

Some symptoms of my very possible loss of sanity: I frequently find myself to be on the edge of tears and laughter at the same time. I imagine going on vacation all by myself. I daydream about how much free time I'll have when I'm in my sixties. I constantly make the same to-do lists over and over and then subsequently lose those lists. I enjoy staring into space. ETC.

I do find a small measure of comfort in knowing that seventeen month olds become eighteen month olds and those eventually become two year olds and they go to school at some point and they all graduate one day and move out and start their own little families. I don't want to wish these days away but I am more than a little relieved that I won't always have a seventeen month old. In fact, my sanity depends on it.

This past weekend, just in time for Mothers' Day, I saw a card with J.D. Salinger's quote "Mothers are all slightly insane." I enjoyed the cleverness of his pithy little saying that was so obviously just J.D. being silly. And, then, after half a bag of chocolate chips and some serious wall-staring, I decided that J.D. was right. Only now I'm wondering if "slightly" really covers it.


  1. 1. you are due for a childless vacation to california. Lynsday and I will great you with some cookies and a margarita.

    2. you are also due for some mother's day out. Perhaps you could give yourself a morning or two of quiet and controlled sanity every week by signing your climbing wonder up?

  2. Yeah, what VivaGood said. Well, except you can switch out following in number 1: California=Alabama
    Margarita=Cheesecake Factory

  3. Lex,
    1. I'd like to take you up on that offer of a trip to Cali.
    2. It's still worth having kids, despite this post.
    3. Now you know why I haven't Skyped you yet.

    We'll talk soon. I promise. Miss you, friend. DL

  4. Oh, yes, I hear you loud and clear. The joys of Leap Pads being thrown at 60mph into a playroom, mini race cars rattling in the dryer?!?, building blocks being hurled from beds, tee-tee ALL over a toilet, ink drawings on the hardwoods (in the foyer), food flying from noses at the dinner table as they sneeze and then laugh about it, socks stuck in between the trim of a door?!?, etc. It all sounds ridiculous, but somehow it is all so normal and familiar at the same time. It drives us nuts, but somehow we long for it when we are gone.
    You might as well double your fun by giving Sam a partner in crime - don't you think??

  5. I can relate to every word of this post, quite literally. Look on the bright side - at least you don't have to decide which child to rescue by assessing in a split second who is in the most imminent danger. Or who is closer to pulling down to the floor something of great value, like your laptop or camera or freshly scooped bowl of ice cream.



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