Order From Chaos

Despite my absence here for the last month and a half, I have not been master goddess of my domestic realm. I am always surprised when I take a break from blogging, I mean you’d think that the extra 1-2 hours per day would get me something. And of course it does, it gets me a slower pace of life, a calm that I do appreciate when I can manage to acknowledge it. But it does not get me a cleaner house or happier children. At this very moment (and most others) the kitchen is a mess, the table is stacked with four loads of clean laundry waiting to be put away, the floors are disgusting, and I have no idea what I’m cooking for dinner. I feel that depthless falling feeling lately. The list, by which I mean The List, is miles long and filled with projects like “replace linoleum in the kitchen,” “put up the year’s worth of salmon,” “rebuild collapsed woodshed roof,” and subsequently “cut and stack five cords of firewood for the winter.”

And I can’t even get the fucking laundry put away.

The disappointment of times like this always starts me to grasping for a cure, and lately my obsession has been the Waldorf concept of Rhythm. The idea is that a flexible but regular schedule is essential for children; that knowing, generally, how their days will unfold gives them a sense of peace and stability.

Duh.

One of the things I hate about parenting dogmas is how impervious they are to differences in personality. Although I think a predictable schedule is generally agreed to be good for kids, I suspect there are kids who will never adapt to a schedule and furthermore don’t need to, as well as kids who’s lives could be turned around by a strong rhythm. Those are the kids who thrive on Waldorf, and “prove” the success of the ideology.

What I am realizing lately is that I was one of those kids, who’s need for a predictable, peaceful and quiet daily routine was never satisfied as a child. And as happens in a developing brain when a need is unmet, I am consequently malformed.

I have always had a near obsession with routine and yet an inability to actually execute it to any satisfying degree. I need it because I didn’t get it as a child, but I don’t know how to do it, because I didn’t get it as a child. My journals are always studded with multiple attempts to corral the chaos of my days. Literally,

“Summer Schedule
6:00 wake up, coffee
7:00 breakfast
7:30 walk
9:00 outside chores”
etc, etc.

I write it all out, earnestly believing every time that the mere act of writing will create the calm rhythm and self disciplined schedule I crave. Later I am convinced that it hasn’t worked because I just haven’t gotten it right, haven’t divined the Perfect Schedule. Inviting yet another attempt.

That’s me– forever believing that there is a formula for perfection. Not universal, but personal to me. If only I could figure it out.

Having kids of my own I have only stepped up this madness. Desperate for a handle on life, I feel sure that I am just missing something. If I could just get the kids to eat right, they wouldn’t have these stubborn screaming fits. If I could just get the house clean and stay on top of it, we would all feel so much more calm and relaxed. If the 2yo would just consistently sleep enough at night. If I got the kids enough exercise and peer play every day. If… If….

And then the kingpin– If only I could get us on a schedule, then I would (magically) have time to fit all this in to every single day.

Then, then! Life would be all soft watercolors and silk scarves. Hallelujah.

Looking around online for Waldorf rhythm is excessively discouraging. The blogshine that I always rail against is rampant in the Waldorf crowd. One that I read this morning went on for an entire post about their morning ritual of waking softly, lighting candles and singing morning songs and how sweet and perfect it all was. Well, perfect pink wool felting mothers of the world, damn you if you’re lying, and damn you more if you’re not.

I started this post weeks ago, in the midst of an obsession. Now as I come back to finish what seems worth finishing, I am trying to divine the lesson. Did I learn something? I do in fact feel like in the last few weeks I created some kind of order in my universe– the house is clean, the laundry is caught up, the kids are happy. But as usual, in retrospect, I find myself wondering if I created that order and peace, or if it created itself.

Do I follow a pattern of sinking to the bottom and then pulling myself up by the bootstraps? Or does life follow a pattern of chaos and hard times, which lead inevitably to a relative peace and better times? Or is it (more likely) both? Do we feed off of each other, me and life, and oh– don’t forget the kids, in their own two separate cycles.

Waldorf appeals to my depressed self because it is based on the premise that if you do everything “right” (and they’ll tell you how) your life and your children will be sweet and quiet. It taps directly into my innate compulsion to believe that there is a Perfect Way, I just have to figure out what it is. It feeds heavily on my propensity for mama-guilt, because if my life is not so perfectly sweet and quiet, it is my own fault. I have failed myself and my family.

Like any religion, it takes a human being in their weakened state of sad, disappointed confusion, and props them up on the idea that there is a prescribed way out. Just follow the master plan, and it will all be taken care of. The idea that there is in fact an underlying order, a secret to life, is so incredibly seductive to us. We want so desperately to believe, to be Believers.

For whatever cosmic reason, me and the kids were at a real low. I was desperate, I was vulnerable. I delved into the ‘rhythm as panacea’ concept, even started doing a Waldorf circle time with the kids every afternoon. I summoned my will and attempted to implement a stronger routine than what we already had. I checked out Over the Rainbow Bridge from the library. I berated myself appropriately over their movie watching, the overflow of plastic toys and my own yelling mad self. (This last one works wonders– beat yourself up about being a mean mom. Just see how sweet it makes you. Wow. It was from this place of yelling at myself for yelling at the kids that I told them I wanted to chain them up so I could just please fucking carry the fucking groceries the two blocks up the fucking hill to our house.)

The problem, for me at least, is that feeding the belief in achievable order interferes with the work I really need to be doing. Accepting the chaos.

Submitting.

Shit, there it is again. Not submitting to motherhood this time. But submitting to life. The universe. Everything. The greater-than-me. The things I can never know, and never understand. The mystery. Submitting to the fact that I am not ruler of this world, or even my world. There is no plan so perfect that it will tame my wild children. Thank god! My life is not reducible to a calm, clean, quiet procession of handcrafts. It is an uproarious mess of bewilderment and kitchen projects. My kids are LOUD because they are full of piss and vinegar, they run around the house breaking shit because they are full of nearly explosive curiosity for how the world works.

We are movers and shakers, a whole fam damily of them. Our life together is bound to be complex.

I’m not altogether done with the rhythm concept, or Waldorf in general. Of course, just because they have not created The Master Plan doesn’t mean there isn’t some valuable takeaway. Just because a solid rhythm would not singlehandedly create peace on earth, doesn’t mean it wouldn’t help create a bit more peace in our own household. Or at the very least, in my own brain.

As usual, I walk a weird line between wholesome organic crafty mama and ranting punk bitch, and it’s sometimes hard to know quite where to set my bags down. I guess my real work in this life is to just be without need to label, to search without need to find, to try without need to master, to take what comes as it comes. Chaos, order, chaos.

That’s not too much to ask, right?

Punk Homemaker’s Journal

Yes, I did get a good chance to climb back out of the hole I was in. I got time to be creative, finish a project, have dates with friends, and generally re-connect with myself as a grown-up. As I’d hoped, the break mellowed me back into a much better, more joyful and more appreciative mama. Thank goodness for the power of renewal!

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I did have a line-up of goals for ‘after the break’ when I would be a repaired and re-energized person. I have fallen into some serious sloth and indolence over the last few months, at every level, and I feel ready to do something about it. I know it’s not a good idea to take on too many goals at once, but what if they are all things that you had managed to do in the past and just need to re-instate? Doesn’t that make it a bit more realistic?

Number One on my list is screentime. I’m feeling okay about mine, but the explosive quantity of movie time for the kiddos over the last four months has been bothering me to the point of soul-destruction. I am sure that I over worry about it– plenty of kids watch 3, 4, 5 or even 6 hours of actual commercial-laden television every day and live to tell therapists about it. My kids watch 1-4 hours/day, 2-3 hours on average, of relatively good quality dvds. You have no idea how much it kills me to admit to that ‘4.’ Granted, four is a bad day, but nevertheless, jesus christ, how has this happened?!?!? We have gone in and out of better and worse phases, but I feel the kids themselves are on a better phase right now, and I need to catch onto their coat tails.

Because, don’t you know, getting them to shave down their movie watching isn’t so hard as getting me to shave down on my time to get shit done without someone hanging on my leg! I’m the one in need of weaning here. Mornings are the critical time too, the time when I most hate to see their beautiful wide eyes get sluggish with movie-hypnosis. The time when I most sharply want (need!) 40 minutes of relative peace to get my brain in order! (And then, since they’re plugged in anyway, another 20 minutes to get breakfast made and our bag packed with snacks, water and diapers for out morning outing. Oh god, it’s glorious to just be able to go about this simple task!)

But, it’s no good I say. I have called a pretty complete halt to the first-thing-upon-waking movie watching, and I am making an effort to cut out some from the rest of the day too. Although many of the mothers I most respect manage to do their job with no movies at all, I feel like if my kids averaged an hour and a half per day I would feel good.

Next on the list, and don’t ask me how I plan to accomplish both of these at the same time, is cleaning the goddamned house! This place has really fallen from grace. It’s not nearly so bad as it was this time last year, but I think I am ready to re-new a similarly intensive cleaning standard. For those of you who have asked, and I’m sorry it took me so long to respond, I did not keep up that 1 room/day schedule for more than a few months. But that doesn’t bother me. Turn’s out it’s a lot of work to keep your house that clean, and I am not a clean house person– I don’t feel the need to live in constant cleanliness. I just don’t like utter filth and oblivion. The massive overhaul of last January helped me to reign in a house that was completely out of control, and the following 1 room/day schedule re-programmed my brain to an expectation of relative cleanliness which carried me through most of the rest of the year. I was very grateful for it.

Now, it’s time to push that re-set button again.

Those are the two main things. Then of course there’s the perennial desire to get more exercize, do 10 minutes of yoga every day, resume my atheist prayer practice which fell completely off the radar a couple of months ago, and oh yeah… relax and enjoy my kids.

Wow. How to achieve so many things at once? Of course the answer is that I can’t. A thorough post on accepting limitation and setting priorities is brewing in my mind, but in the meantime there is only one thing that can possibly even nudge everything in the right direction at once, and that is being more organized and efficient.

I do love to make a plan. In some ways, sitting around planning to do is ridiculous. But for me it helps to have a spark, an inspired motivation. And if that takes a little time “wasted” with pencils and paper at the outset, that’s okay.

So when my friend explained the concept of a Homemaking Journal the other day, I was snared. Have you heard of them? I’m not sure what they really are, I did a quick g**gle search which was immediately co-opted by a religious, pink ribbons and needlepoint kind of homemaking. But my vision, formed by the description my friend gave me and built upon over the last few days, is a giant notebook where the specifics of everything I do in my day, all the kinds of things I write about here, are laid out in an organized and comprehensive manner. My friend had made one out of a 3 ring binder, which is of course what makes sense. Take papers out, add more in, move around. But, is it just me? I hate 3 ring binders. They are no pleasure at all to write in, and what good is a giant Life Planner if you can’t curl up on the couch and make lists in it?

As much as I should be using the time to actually do the stuff, I can’t resist this opportunity. I am designing my perfect Journal/Planner and it is going to be awesome. Lined paper, graph paper, calendar sheets and pocket dividers all in a spiral binding so I can get snugly with it. And I thought y’all might have some advice before I do this thing. Here’s my ideas so far:

The front section will be a weekly planner/calendar, followed by some lined pages for general notes, to-do lists, books I want to read, websites, inspiration, ideas, etc. The kinds of things I usually write on little scraps of paper and lose immediately.

Then a Kitchen section, with a pocket for snipped out recipes to try (even though I almost never actually do), lined pages for recipes I make up as I’m cooking (which I do actually do, a lot), notes on how things work, kitchen ideas, grocery lists, etc.

The Garden section will have graph paper for sketching layouts, as well as blank calendar pages for figuring out crop timing. Also lined paper for assorted notes, seed lists, etc.

Then, bane of my life, the Cleaning section. A slim little volume with lined paper to write out my various soap and laundry detergent recipes, and imagine more good cleaning schedules not to follow.

What do you think? What would you add? What are the things you like and need to keep track of in your life?

Since I am going to buy the paper and figure it out and do the binding (at Kinkos) anyway, I am incredibly tempted to make extras for y’all.  Wouldn’t that be a cool project! The annual Apron Stringz Punk Homemakers Journal. Ooo, I like it.

I’m afraid that zine-making was entirely too addictive.

 

Planning an Efficient Garden

I am a master garden planner. I have sketch books, graph pads, notebooks, lists, calendars and homemade schematics of all kinds. When your garden is small, or your season short, planning is everything.

Oh, wait. No, there’s one more mildly critical factor.

Follow-through.

I don’t think I have ever followed a single one of my 10+ years of garden plans. I mean, I sort of follow them. I start out good, with rows of pots germinating just the prescribed number of seeds. But then messy, messy life gets in the way, and pretty soon my garden beds are a jumble of unmarked varieties, empty spaces filled with whatever seed I had on me at the time. Nevertheless, my gardens still manage to be pretty productive, if only because I just change my diet to suit the harvest.

Everyone gardens for a different reason. Some people just want the opportunity to see plants growing. I can dig that, I do adore on some primal level the sheer visuals of gardening. Some people want to relax with a trowel at the end of their office day. That’s cool, I appreciate dirt as much as the next earthbound heathen. But for me, nothing trumps filling my kitchen and dinner table with food. I want to grow as much poundage, or at least nutritional value, as possible.

Our first two years here in New Orleans I cut myself some slack. In such a radically new climate (coming from Alaska) I figured successfully growing anything would be good. And I wanted to indulge the opportunity to grow things I can’t back home. Melons, squash, beans, tomatoes, peppers, eggplant! How truly thrilling for a freak like me. I took my focus off of efficiency and just played. It was good, it was fun (though certainly depressing in no small measure to try to grow anything here in the bug infested swamp). I dabbled, and I don’t regret it.

Now that our last long growing season is approaching (summer is the dead season here– fall, winter and spring are the growing seasons) I feel a return to my more classic gardening moral. Production. For our third winter, I want to be kicking ass with my garden.

I know that for the majority of my readers, talking about garden planning now is irrelevant, possibly rude. But plenty of you live south of the equator (a surprising number! Are there a disproportionate number of Aussies and New Zealanders on blogs in general, or is it the subject matter? And if so, how do I sign up to emigrate?) so you might be right about where I’m at, facing “spring” and the soon-to-be crush of planting.

There’s a weird alchemy about garden planning. By necessity it occurs ahead of the plantable season. Back in Alaska, garden planning happened in February or March, when the world was still hilarious inhospitable looking. Here in the sultry south, after poking around the wilty garden beds in late August under the hot iron of our sun, coming back inside to plan out the planting of peas and cabbage sounds absurd. You have to have faith that the time will come, that the world will be transformed and become genial to your little green starts.

You also have to have some concrete information about when exactly one could reasonably expect that transformation to occur. Of course every year is different, blah, blah, blah. But when we moved here, and the weather system and seasons were an enormous blank slate in my head, I realized just how important regional knowledge is. I had to base my garden plans on a calendar put out by the Extension Service for all of Louisiana, which is of course, much too general. Fortunately I had made a very savvy gardening friend here before we even moved (that’s how I roll, baby). He was the director for the community gardens, helped secure me a space, and even delivered a stack of scavenged materials for me to build my bed with. Yea for him, my guardian garden angel!

Through his expertise and vague recommendations (true experts will always give you vague recommendations), the Extension Service’s dates, and my little experience here, I put together this crudely detailed calendar:

I considered re-writing my calendar more legibly (and in pen) for you, but that’s just not my style. Also, I don’t have that kind of time. Anyway, this is not for you to print out and use, this is just to demonstrate a useful regional gardening calendar. The crops are listed on the left, and the months up top. The big dots are planting dates, the brown lines are the time each crop spends in the dirt, and the green are harvest windows. Note, this is an extreme guessing game! But, you gotta start somewhere.

This calendar is especially useful in a climate like this, with a 9-12 month growing season (depending on how hard you want to fight in the summer). Planning gets very complicated with ‘winter’ and ‘summer’ crops overlapping twice/year, and endless succession plantings twisting your brain up in knots. With the calendar, I can just look down each column and see what needs to be planted in any given week. This is a general calendar, I won’t be planting everything on it, but I can make a detailed schedule for each particular season and proceed from there.

And this year, this year! I swear I am going to follow that planting schedule. I will not plant all 6 cabbages at once just because I have the seeds in my hand. I will not spread 4 square feet of arugula. I will not plant once and then forget all about my calendar. I will practice restraint, organization, timeliness, perfection!

And then maybe the weather/pest/disease gods will look down on me with favor and not take out half my garden.

May my sowing be devout, may my harvest be bountiful.

Amen.

 

I Hate Daylight Savings, A Chronicle of Days

Have they not studied physics? There is a specific quantity of daylight for each day of the year. Mother Nature in her infinite wisdom, gives us more or less, depending on the season, and our unique latitude. We as mere mortals can not make more daylight. When we set our clocks, backwards, forwards, round and round, it’s all just a game in our own heads.

I for one hate this game. As does probably anyone else who arranges their day according to dawn and dusk. We had a nice routine going, and now it’s all fucked.

In fact, that’s what I wanted to write about, routine. But as soon as I started thinking about it, I got all pissed off, because– the wound is still fresh. Three days in, and I have yet to adjust to the clock settings. My Man says, “what do you think the world should revolve around you and your own little sense of time?” Well! My body follows the time set by the sun, thank you very much, and yes, I think in fact the world does revolve around it.

But, anyway. Routine. Yes. Gina at Clutterpunk just did a great post about their Rhythm of Life, and I was inspired to share ours. Like Gina, I feel pleased at whatever bits of routine or rhythm we can scrape up. Like a clean table, routine soothes my mind. And it’s obvious it does the same for the kidlets.

So, before the g*%*@*nmed time change, our routine was as so:

The Little Guy wakes me up at about 5:15. I make my coffee and we sit down for a little morning brain exercise. I take mine typically in the form of perusing the day’s posts in my fancy pants new blog reader (Vienna), while Little Guy sits in his high chair with a tray full of interesting kitchen items. For anyone who hasn’t discovered this yet, jar rings make fab-tabulous baby toys. When he starts to fuss, I close the computer and play with him a bit, then I don whatever carrier is at hand, and we go out for a walk. We don’t go that far, usually. Maybe a half mile. I am loving this little, gentle morning walk. It’s great to open your eyes up to the quiet morning world. Then we come back, I swaddle that baby boy up, and put him into the stroller. Around the block usually puts him to sleep. I know this is a bit weird, the double walk. But I tried a few mornings just strollering the whole walk, and I really missed the closeness of carrying him. Morning is our best time together, just him and me and I try to focus on him as much as I can. But then I want him to have his morning nap in the stroller, not on me, because then I can park him in the backyard and he sleeps pretty good. So…. we do it this weird way, and it works.

Mornings are critical for me. If I get a good morning, I can conquer the world. If before my coffee has soaked in and my brain cells congregated, I have to weather a fussy Babe, a Toddler who wakes up an hour early, a cranky Hubby, or god forbid, anything goes wrong with that first cuppa, I can never really recover until I’ve had another sleep.

On good days the Babe’s back asleep by 7 AM. This is my moment. I group my thoughts together and write. If all goes well, he sleeps for 45 minutes or so, and by that time the Toddler is just about woken up. Then he sits in his swing in her room and watches with captivation while she eats her morning granola (homemade of course). Sometimes I sneak in a little extra computer time while she’s entertaining him and everyone’s distracted, but it’s not usually worth much.

I’ve been doing pretty good with my lessening of computer time. Realistically, that first window is the only time I can focus enough to enjoy writing or even reading. When I steal time throughout the day, it tends to be too random and broken up to be enjoyable anyway… Doesn’t mean I don’t do it, but I’ve been pretty good.

Between 8 and 10 is kind of a blur of getting My Man up and out the door, feeding everybody breakfast, cleaning up whatever I can manage it, and getting me plus kiddos ready for our morning outing. That last is said so lightly.

Ah, leaving the house.

Why is it that the house has to be like a vat of mud that we are all always quagmired in it? Breaking the surface tension of our front door is so ridiculously hard. I would never perservere if I didn’t fear outright psychosis otherwise. It is time consuming to get together everything necessary for one adult and two little people. The diapers, the water bottles, the snacks, the extra pants in case he has a shit explosion, the sun hats in case it’s bright, the sweaters in case the wind picks up. Not to mention where is my purse, and who took my wallet out and shook it upside down, why aren’t my keys in here and damn I forgot to charge my phone.

But it wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t have a Babe ready for his next nap squalling in one ear, and a Toddler’s loud refusal to put clothes on in the other. I just don’t understand why the she has to fight me on this one, since she always loves our outings once we’re out. I guess it’s part of her exerting her Self on the world. And that the concept of the future has not fully sunk into her budding brain yet.

But, by 10-ish, kicks and screams aside, we are usually heading out. Mondays and usually Wednesdays we go to the Parenting Center (a kind of play/resource center) for a music class and crafts, respectively. Tuesdays we often go to the farmer’s market. Other days we might bike to the community garden, or do our grocery shopping. Sometimes we go to the park and just goof off in the big oaks. Another favorite is the Children’s Library, which is about a mile away, and coincidentally a block away from my favorite place to get chocolate croissants, blueberry tarts, eclairs, peach danish…. ummm, oh. Where was I?

Oh yes. Our outing. I try to get home by noonish. So we can get lunch in our bellies at a reasonable time. Then the Babe has been blessing me with an afternoon nap, or very admirable length, somewhere’s round after lunch time. Some days I waste some time online and regret it. Some days I actually get some cleaning done. One thing that’s been great since the Babe started having coherent naps, is having a little time to spend with the Toddler, just she and me.

I’ve been on a real less-movies push lately. I was getting completely disgusted with myself for letting it get to where it had gotten. I would let her watch her afternoon movie, thinking that would be all for the day. But then at some point before dinner, under Hubby’s watch, she’d end up plugged in again. Totaling sometimes three hours a day. It makes me gag just to write it.

So, since I don’t have any control over what happens in the late afternoon (that’s his time, and I can’t tell him what to do with it), the only choice was to nix the after lunch movie. Of course, that was my break since she doesn’t nap, and it was hard to deprive myself. Especially at first. But I started by changing my coffee expectation. I normally would have my afternoon cup in front of the computer, reading y’alls blogs. Instead, I’ve been trying to circumvent any request for a movie by reading to her while I have my cuppa. More on the movie weaning in another post.

In the time between lunch and Papa-gets-home (4 or 4:30), I waver between being a good girl and reading to my daughter and then cleaning the house; doing some project on my endless list; or blowing it all and trying to get the Toddler distracted enough that I can steal some computer time, like a true junkie.

By the time My Man walks through the door, it’s just about time to start dinner. As plain old adults** we used to eat dinner at 7, 7:30 or even often 8:00. With the Toddler, we didn’t need to change that too terribly much, since she always used to go to bed fairly late. But in the last six months, a lot has changed. The Toddler’s 8:00 sharp bedtime, for one. Which has been one of the best things we’ve done all year. It does mean we have to start the bedtime ritual at 7:30, which means the after dinner wiggles have to be gotten out by then. Which means we have to have eaten by at least 6:30. Then, after a a few weeks of the Babe screaming all through dinner, because that’s his fussiest time of day, and he’s tired and just wants to go to sleep ridiculously early, I finally caught a clue and shifted our dinnertime to (a goal of) 5:30. We still don’t usually make it to table till about 6. That’s pretty amazing by my standard. It means I have to start thinking dinner at a time of day that starts with a four. Big mind-bender.

Round about 5:00 is usually my own personal meltdown time. I know kids often melt down at this time of day too, but I mean me, my own grown up self, everything tends to go to hell. It’s the time of day when I realize,

“Fuck. I really need to start dinner now. But I never did _______, or ________, or even ______!”

One of those blanks is always clean the house, even when I did clean the house. I mean I do some every day, but it’s never enough. So at five, when I realize I’ve got to start dinner, I look around and see the kitchen is still a wreck, the dishes need to be done, there’s four interrupted projects helter-skelter on every flat surface, and I forgot to thaw any fish.

It’s a real low point. In the bright shiny morning, everything seems possible. When I survey the wreckage of our house, I feel strong, capable. The mental lists abound, every item eagerly awaiting it’s check-off moment. I can do it all! Today’s the day!

But 5:00 is my moment of reckoning. My truthing point. I can’t do it all. Because I didn’t, and I never do. And how am I supposed to? How do people? What am I doing wrong?

In a rush I throw together something nutritious, yet savory. Because I’m hurrying, and feeling depressed, I leave a wake of even more mess. When dinner is over, all I want to do is go straight to bed. My day is over, I failed. And in fact, bed is where I have to go, to put the Babe to sleep. But I do get back up, because I haven’t sunk so low as to go to bed at 7:00. In moments of strength, I will wash the dishes while My Man puts the Toddler to sleep. Other moments will see me back here, sucking from the tit of eternal possibility.

After the Toddler’s down, My Man and I spend half an hour or so debriefing. Sometimes I stay up to watch a movie with him, and pretty much always regret it. Because when that 5 AM hour rolls around, I mourn every hour of sleep I missed.

My five o’click “cocktail hour” notwithstanding, when my head hits the pillow, at 8:30 or 9, I do have a moment of hope and optimism.

Tomorrow.

Ahhhhh….. Tomorrow will be The Day. Tomorrow I will do it all.

** Did you ever read the Maurice Sendak books A Hole is to Dig, and Open House for Butterflies? If not, find them, they are awesome. The latter has a line, “A baby makes a mom and dad, before that they’re just plain people.”