Diaper Combat


At night, after the children have fallen asleep, I am shell shocked, ears ringing combat echo and reflexes softened with fatigue from marshalling the troops for 12 hours. The battle haze is slow to settle and does not offer quality speech-traction.

The mirror reflects the trauma; who I am on the inside does not line up with that tired, messy woman staring back at me. That embossing on my black tee-shirt is courtesy of someone's small runny nose. The extent of intellectual conversation for many many many days on end pings between discussing how to divide 60 by 3 and finding a new place for the dolls to live because Middle has declared her graduation from such infantile relics. Sometimes I read a recipe to liven things up. Or grapple with the intricacies of sorting out the chaos of the hair-tie drawer. Or muse over the muddle of king and queen sheets in the cupboard. Or frown over a puzzle of the Taj Mahal that someone tipped out by accident. I try to engage with f-stops and html but keep being pulled back from the edge of momentum by a need wrapped up in soft skin and little hands. I yo-yo between laptop/book/camera and child catering demands. ISO settings are trampled on by spilt juice, a grazed knee, a toy too high to reach. Website design is punctured with drawing bunnies and kittens on the chalk board or scrubbing felt pen off the furniture. Every single intention in a day is religiously fractured into interruptions. And this is what it is all about. It needs to be. It is about being available and responsive and supple. I do it by choice.

But after a decade, sometimes, at the end of the day, the pumpkin soup of my pureed thoughts do not stay on the spoon of communication. Nothing meaty nor chewy is on offer. My thoughts are so used to being stirred around in the inner pot of motherhood that they cannot remember how to take form.

When I wake in the mornings, there is a sense of impending soup-dom. Of being sucked into the suspension of articulation while I care for my little ones. In this tiny sliver of time I try to buy time and establish a sense of rapport with life beyond the walls of our home. To start the day standing upright in my head, rather than still lying wetly in the puddle of unused words and unprocessed thoughts. To the only dear person I am safe to say just about any words to, I try to air the night's remants of dreams and the previous day's scum of triumph or attitude.

Misunderstanding likes to rise out of these Dressing Gown vs Suit chats. Snatching a dawn moment with someone perched on the edge of the bed, beautifully presented and scented, clock-watching and preparing to propel into their world of adenalin and mental gymnastics while you sit cradling your tea in the midst of rumpled sheets tends to mess with your words.
I catch an awareness of the goofy pom poms on the sides of my insane bedsocks. Of my turkey hair. The thoughts slurry into hurried frustration. A child's head bobs up the stairs. The day has begun and the rise of arty-wordy-thinking me-ness resentfully slides over to make room for the other me. You know, that one that ought be gracious and wise, smell nice and say few cross words, make cookies, kiss owweees, read stories and generously play hilarious games on the lounge floor. But truth be told, that Me is a little squashed by the grumpiness of the arty-i-can't-think-straight-can't-get-a-single-sentence-out-Me. So it becomes a muddle of Me-Mes, a foot in both worlds and neither side doing a great job.

I am grateful to be able-bodied enough to work in this amazing career of stay at home mom. It is an absolute priviledge. This is cabin fever talking.

The amazing man who provides for our family is of course hard-pressed to fulfill my starving breakfast appetite for lightening verbal discourse before the taxing snap and whir of the corporate merry-go-round bears him off.

I am tempted to tack a note to my forehead in the evenings of his return.

Gone mothering.

Back in 15 years when my brain is no longer wearing a nappy.

Wait for me. I miss you.

Greg  – (July 8, 2009 at 4:22 PM)  

Dear Readers,

The woman who writes this blog - who posted this post - is truly amazing. She finds wonder in the little things, makes profound sense of God's design, and helps me Get It everyday.

She's lovely. And witty, even in her fogginess.

She's mom to my three kids. And they sparkle because of it.

She's my wife. And I love her.

Simoney  – (July 13, 2009 at 10:41 PM)  

WOW Amy, great post and, wow, Greg, NICE comment! Amy you are amazing. Lets do coffee again sometime! xx

Widge  – (July 18, 2009 at 12:29 AM)  

WOW! That really is great writing!! I loved the pumpkin soup part...totally relate to that. I ate nearly a whole bag of eskimos the other night which is what drew me to read your blog when I came accross the cool photo :)

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