I’m new to this blog, and I guess I’ll start by talking about the New Me (trust me, the Old Me probably would not have quoted Janis Joplin).
It used to annoy me when mothers (or advertisements) would say, “having a baby changes everything.” The insinuation seemed to be that you weren’t a whole person who’d had whole experiences until you had a kid, or you were sort of shallow and didn’t really Get It.
But now I know what they were talking about. There is the obvious: loving - more than I ever understood possible - two little guys who have completely taken over my life, caused me to gain 30 pounds, forced me to get up at the crack of dawn (and for a long time, all night) every day, stolen my weekends and every minute of “free time.” Finding out that being a Mom is absolutely without question the toughest job I’ll ever love. And learning the joys of watching a child grow and discover and laugh and learn and love.
Then, there are the less obvious changes. Like the fact that I secretly covet a minivan. I used to hate them, deride them…I vowed I’d never drive one, or be friends with anyone who did. Then there was the 94 degree day I was in bumper to bumper traffic on Route 3 with two screaming five month olds and nowhere to pull off, and I ended up on the side of the road, kneeling on the armrest between my front seats, with my head out the sunroof while trying to feed them each a bottle.
I also covet a McMansion. Gone are the days of loving “charm” and antiques. Now what I crave in a home is a giant finished basement that I could pad with a rubber floor and gym mat walls. A home with no nooks or crannies in which to find dried apricot pieces or stickers wrapped around decaying apple slices. I remember seeing ads for houses and condos and thinking, who gives a damn about an EIK? Who eats in their kitchen? Ha. Goodbye to redecorating my dining room to “replicate the ambiance of a hip, urban restaurant” (yes, I actually wrote that crap for a room makeover contest I was trying to win. Hey, the prize was $10,000). Instead, I long for an eat-in kitchen, or a dining room with a concrete floor and a drain in the middle…and one of those sprayer things that hangs from the ceiling like they have in restaurant kitchens so I can spray down the whole room after my toddlers “eat.”
And what do I daydream about? Not running into Marky Mark on a deserted island after a few cocktails and a week at a spa. No. These days I daydream about being alone in my own house. Working out. Taking a long hot shower. Putting my makeup on somewhere other than my car. Staying over at a hotel. Alone. With an Us Magazine and room service.
On the other hand, what is the best part of my day, of my life? Walking in the door after a day of work and having my twin two year olds come running, yelling “Mommy!” with the best smiles in the world, laughing, and asking for “one mow hug!”
Next time I’ll write more about the change that has surprised me the most: how much I want to stay home with them full time. Well, okay, full time except for a monthly overnight with earplugs, Us Magazine, my unread stack of New Yorkers, and room service.