Monday, July 8, 2013

Showers Are Optional

I am in the shower.

My six-week old baby, who was contentedly sitting in his bouncer seat on the bathroom floor just thirty seconds ago, is purple-faced and screaming.

My almost three-year old daughter, Lucy, is yelling urgently from the living room, “Mommy! Mommy, I need you right NOW!”

I can’t remember the last full shower I’ve had. I have an OB/GYN appointment this afternoon and really need to shave. I just need a few more minutes, and I’ll be done. But, hell, what if something really is wrong?

I jump out of the shower, scooping up the baby against my wet skin. I run to the family room, my dripping feet slapping against the floor as I pray that I don’t slip.

Damn, the floor is dirty. I really need to mop and vacuum. Is that pee?

Lucy is laying on the carpet, with her underwear and pants around her ankles. She’s watching “Yo Gabba Gabba.”

ME: Lucy! You scared me! What do you need? Why are your pants down?

LUCY: I had to pee-pee. And, I want you to change the channel.

ME: Where did you put the pee-pee? In the potty?

LUCY (with a sly smile): No, I put it in my panties. But accidents happen, Mommy. That’s okay.

ME: Oh, Lucy. Let me put on clothes, then let’s get you dressed too.

LUCY: Okay, Mommy. Why are you naked now?

ME: Because I was in the shower…remember?

LUCY (laughing): Oh, yeah. Your boobies are really long!

The baby starts to cry again.

I try to be patient. I hope I have some clean clothes.

I remember that I wanted this. How badly I wanted this.

Having a baby is life-changing and having more than one can be a challenge, but this blog certainly isn’t a “how-to” for successful child rearing. There will be no Pinterest-worthy crafts or clever parenting advice found here.

This blog is about the naked truth (literally more often than figuratively) of my life and my family told in short essays and snippets of conversations. It’s about the incredible frustrations and joys of motherhood. It’s about the humor of every day and sometimes even the sadness of the past.

I am pushing 40, and I never thought that, at this point in my life, I’d be a stay-at-home mom. I have had three babies in four years, two boys and one girl. My firstborn son, Andy, died in 2009 when he was just 20 weeks old from a neuromuscular disease called spinal muscular atrophy. (You can read more about Andy at Lucy was born in 2010, just 13 months after we lost her brother. Will, our baby boy, arrived in May 2013.

You would think that their births – and Andy’s death – would have taught me to be more patient and less controlling? The opposite is somehow true. I always seem to be making some kind of "to do" list, simply because there's so much we CAN do everyday. I am driven to remember each moment with my kids, capturing the little wonders of their childhood in photos, memorializing it here on this blog, posting about it on Facebook, and maybe even celebrating it with cupcakes.

We don’t always (read: never) go by my schedule, and many of the items on those lists of mine don’t get crossed off. I’m not the mom that I thought I’d be – perhaps I’m too broken for that. My neat house is now overrun with toys, and someone (I’m looking at you, Lucy) keeps peeing on the floor. I am hopeful that, soon, I once again will be able to shower without interruption or an audience.

But, Lucy says she loves me (long boobs and all), Will snuggles into my arms to sleep, and Andy watches over us. As long as I keep my sense of humor, I will make it through another day. Some tears may be shed, but there will be a lot more laughter.

And, one day, I just might get the vacuuming done too…


  1. You forgot your wonderful, loving Irish husband!! Lol!!

  2. Karyn, I'm trying my hardest not to include him in this mess. He's not too keen on "public humiliation" and all of that! Ha!

  3. My husband LOVES it when I leave him out of it. The whole world must think I'm a single mom, so I do drop his blog nick name (Darling Man) into the occasional post just so they know I'm not driving my kid crazy by myself.

    Lucy certainly has a way with words. I see a future writer - or comedienne - there!