By Hillary Westover of Hillary with 2 Ls (please)
When you come to my house, you should probably wear socks. You see, the vacuum has steadily made its way down my list of priorities and has settled just under “shaving my legs” and above “scrubbing the oven.” Crumbs and sand and fluff abound, is what I’m saying.
When you come to my house, you should never use the first tissue, especially if you have to reach into the box to retrieve it. A certain preschooler puts tissues back into the box if he hasn’t “used it up” completely. We’re trying to break him of this habit. Unsuccessfully.
When you come to my house, you should suit up before you ask for baby snuggles. The baby is the leakiest baby. At the very least, you should make sure there’s a receiving blanket between your clothes and her mouth. She will spit up on you, and it’s best for everyone’s sanity if the spit-up doesn’t land directly on your clothes.
When you come to my house, you should turn a blind eye to the piles of papers, books, kids’ toys, unread mail, and other assorted tat that collects and multiplies on every available surface. I would love to have counters clear of clutter, but this season of my life is not an uncluttered one. I’ve made my peace with it. You should too.
When you come to my house, you should not expect witty conversation or riveting discourse on current events. My brain is oatmeal. Thick and glue-like. My sleep is broken and fleeting. My thoughts are basic and fragmented (when did the baby last eat? did she feed on both breasts or just one? which one? take a quick peek under the shirt; when will my boobs be normal again? when will I be normal again? when was the last time I felt normal? what is normal?). Welcome to fifteen seconds in my head. Lather, rinse, repeat. All day.
When you come to my house, you should wipe the toilet seat before you sit down. Someone is asserting his right to stand when he pees. That someone is short enough that he can’t point his plumbing down into the toilet bowl; he sort of shoots right across the surface of the seat and leaves puddles and chaos in his wake.
When you come to my house, you should try not to be scared of the wild-eyed, sleep-deprived woman babbling at you about the weather (the extent of my current conversation skills), or the preschooler who is vibrating with joy at the prospect of someone to play with instead of the crazy lady who used to be fun but now spends her days with a screaming infant attached to her chest, or the tiny bundle of rage who should be cooing adorably if diaper commercials are to be believed but instead is spewing spit-up and fierce cries from her adorable little Cupid’s bow mouth.
But you should come to my house.
You should come to my house and pretend that your feet aren’t sticking to an unidentifiable substance on the floor. You should make me feel like a brilliant conversationalist. You should hold the baby and dodge her spit-up and fury. You should make us feel normal again, just with the magic of your presence.
The days are long and seemingly unending. Your visit is a bright spot in the sea of dirty diapers and hour-long negotiation-filled meals and sore boobs and one more episode of Paw Patrol and “watch this, Mommy!”s. You should sit on the (sticky) couch and drink a mug of lukewarm tea and make me feel like a human being.
Because one day I’ll do it for you.
This post was originally published on Hillary with 2 Ls (please).
About the Author
Hillary (with two Ls please!) is a coffee-loving, gin-drinking, cancer-surviving, baked goods enthusiast. She’s stumbling her way through this parenthood thing, trying to avoid screwing her kids up too badly, and dreaming of the day when she can use the bathroom without a captive audience. Read more at Hillary with 2 Ls (please) and follow Hillary on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.