Jan. 12, Feast of the Baptism of the Lord.
When I upturned my Advent wreath to knock all the dried wax crumbs out of it, a half-eaten pretzel fell out.
This is a suitable metaphor for living with an extremely active and suspiciously intelligent but mostly mute almost-three-year-old. Just as I'm trying to go along my way juggling the average life difficulties, something unexpected and inexplicable falls out. Like a pretzel in an Advent wreath.
Or salt in the gingerbread train. Or a mascara wand in my face cream. Or a sodden stuffed puppy in the bathtub with my hairbrush. He also likes to stand on cardboard boxes simultaneously rendering them useless and endangering his own safety, empty the drawers of folded clothing, push the chair stealthily to access long-forgotten candy and leave the discarded wrappers all around the house and chocolate ground into the carpet. Sneak several gulps of my energy drinks when I'm not looking, unravel the yarn and wrap it around his wrist fifty times 'til his hand is blue, go through twenty sheets of paper in one sitting and then rip them up one by one, savoringly, deliciously. Coloring--on everything, with everything.
I hear there are a mystical species of children that exist who sit quietly and color or look at a book and don't help themselves to all the contents of the refrigerator when they want a drink. Hm.
I do like my quaint decorations, crafty endeavors, and fresh flowers. Guilty! But not staying on top of it, every minute of every day, results in a cataclysmic implosion looking like this:
Last night's meal somehow made its way onto the floor and in the fabric of the chair (why?); garbage is in need of constant rotation, but seeing as how the trash bins are down two flights of stairs and around the back of the building, it's not something I attempt with a toddler in toe if I'm not already going out; most everything within little-person reach is on the ground (because . . it belongs there? Whu? I just don't get it.) Orange peels, egg shells, ripped up paper, and wads of tape. Things that are fragile or projects that are important to me must be set immediately out of reach, and so are usually piled on top of the pretty things for safety, but successfully obscuring said pretty things and contributing to the mess. Oh, and the laundry. Always. Needs. Doing. What the heck? There's two of us here!
I'm putting myself out there to be judged and teased with these photos, but I'm feeling rather brave today. Anyway, I don't believe in being fake; and impressions of being more put-together than I am may be possible if I only show the carefully staged and cleverly focused photographs. That's not me. I'm not a housekeeper and only a little better as a cook. Do you remember the Amelia Badelia books from your childhood? About the silly maid who had to be told everything very clearly because otherwise she would misconstrue it--pull out a pen and paper when told to "draw the curtains," mix up a cut calendar in the cake batter in place of dates? That's kind of me. Idiot savant. I can read the heck out of a book, and am fairly good at writing one. As for knowing how to do anything else, it's more or less a toss up.
The antibiotics my doctor gave me for mycoplasma (pneumonia) seem to be working. After three days of taking them, I can't believe that I'd forgotten how it felt not to feel bad; not to feel bad for me, which means a great deal of supplementing with energy drinks and medications, but still. Functioning. But there's no way of knowing whether I'm just having a good spell and will feel poorly again tomorrow, or the day after that, or the day after that. Anyway, I've been thinking about my general unwellness and realized that if this does turn out to be something, especially fibromyalgia, which is more or less untreatable (I hope not--I think not), my lifestyle is going to have to change permanently. It's forced me to appreciate not living in a picture-perfect climate. It's actually kind of liberating.