“Bye Jack, I’m going to take Billy for her walk” I stand next to the high chair to give Jack a kiss on top of his head, he leans into me, I crouch in too, he wraps his arms around my waist and gives me an indescribably delicious hug. I keep thinking it will end, I look down at the side of his face leaning on my stomach, his eyes are closed, there’s a slight smile on his face. When the hug is over I feel a comfort inside me, satisfaction. These moments don’t come around too often, they can’t be forced or bribed. I don’t talk about these things often, maybe because they don’t need to be understood. They are the roots of my life, deep bonds and connections I have with my babies, my husband, my brother, and my dog. There is a solid framework, unbreakable, untaintable.
As I sat in the kitchen this morning, I looked at the time, 6:53AM, no sound coming from the nursery. I’m tired today, yesterday was extreme, with going to Early Start, the parents meeting, always so draining to me. I think it’s beneficial and I want to be supportive, it’s just a lot to take in. There are a lot of emotions surrounding raising a child with disabilities, let alone the emotions that come up from parenting in general. The idea I put into my head about applying for the SFAI Alumni show has stirred up many emotions and turmoil as well. The deadline is next Friday, I need an artist statement, need to decide what work to enter, take pictures of the work. The whole time wondering what I’ll say and what I’ll enter, what makes sense? Then I start thinking I should be doing more with my career, entering more shows, seeing more shows. Panic sets in, worry, I wake up at 4AM every morning confused about why I can’t go back to sleep. I could just go on like I have been. Working in my studio every chance I get, taking care of the babies. Just making it through each day, why have I added more pressure to myself? What does it mean to be a working artist? Can I ever expect to be represented by a gallery? Will I ever sell? Are these things important? Right now the only connection I have to the outside art world is Facebook. Which I really enjoy being part of that community and seeing what everyone’s up to in their studios. But should I strive for something more? And to what end? Something to ponder.
I decided to bring the bottles down to the nursery this morning so I won’t hear any crying or whining, I just can’t take it. It’s mainly Fiona, she’s gotten into having little “Tantrums”, high pitched screaming, tears, moving away from me when I touch her, shaking her head. This happens when I get her out of the crib, I’m changing her diaper, getting her dressed, and need to make the bottle and breakfast. Screaming at the top of her lungs. It’s horrible, so stressful and annoying. Then she wants me to hold her and carry her, not sitting, standing. My shoulder has been feeling really great lately because I haven’t had to hold the babies as much, when I woke up this morning it was aching again. If I give Jack any attention her screaming starts again. Jack can handle it, he’s a good eater and if I put on the Wiggles DVD he’s happy. This is why today I’m bringing nice warm bottles of milk down to the nursery, I hope it makes them happy and I can avoid any crying today. Let’s see, I hear them now.
Perfect little Angels. Not one cry, Fiona drank her whole bottle. Now I know the tantrums are from hunger, thirst, or fatigue. The trick is to rectify the problem before she gets upset because after the tantrum starts she won’t accept food or drink, the things she needs. The jealousy tantrums are another animal, not sure there’s anything I can do about those except to teach her she needs to share me with her brother! That will probably just take time and a lot of patience, deep breathing, and knowing she will grow out of this stage. It’s super mellow in our house today, Jack and Fiona are playing nice by themselves, every few minutes needing my attention, I play with them, read a book, take them outside to play or draw with chalk, then I go back to washing dishes, making food, cleaning, or writing. It’s peaceful. I like this. I know going places is healthy, socializing the babies, but it’s nice to just stay at home too. So much less stress. It’s that same question, how much do I put on my plate? How much effort is too much? Too little? And is there any way to answer these questions?! Only experience I suppose, trial and error