My Perfect Family. Tonight.

I don’t write about my family being perfect very often.  Ever.

I am often overwhelmed by my three children.  They whine, cry, scream, throw things, pee on the floor.   In response, I whine, cry, scream, throw things. (It ends there, I promise.)  I argue with my husband over things.  I wonder if he “gets” me. Our life is a constant state of change and I am easily rattled.

At the moment–at this moment–every one of them is asleep.  Husband on couch.  Three kids in the room they share.  H and E in their toddler beds, M in her still-newish twin-size big girl bed.

There was something on the news that made me want to check on them.  That happens a lot.  You know. A sad horrible tragic unbelievable story airs on the news and you must see your children asleep in their beds.  At that moment.

So I go in to their room, quietly, fix the blankets that cover them.  E had taken off her pajamas before bed.  They “hurt.” Whatever that means.  She peed 20 times on the potty–or tried to, pretended to–before finally settling in.  She has figured that out, smart girl.  She demanded her “baby” be brought to her before she would sleep.  Her head is lying next to the doll’s and it is about the same size.

Her brother, H, has his three bears close to him. His long hair covers his eyes.  He is grabbing each side of his bed, the same way he used to grab his crib rails.  I lean in and smell his breath.  He doesn’t let me brush his teeth ever.  He fights me every night, wails, pulls away.  I always give up, having polished his lips with strawberry toothpaste.  His breath is sweet and sour and tells me his cold is still bad.

M is wearing butterfly pajamas that I bribed her to wear after a long argument.  She doesn’t like “long sleeves.” This morning I got into her bed with her when it was time–or past time–to get up. She is always quick to snake herself into my shape.  She hugs me ferociously.  I know her intensity well.  She snores now, the way her father does.

My husband is sleeping on the sofa.  He has finished dinner at about 11:00.  The television was on and I was asking if I told him how M is convinced someone at school doesn’t like her…  And I realized he was asleep.  This happens.  I am telling a story when I realize my husband has drifted off.  His days are long.  He pretends he is not tired, but he is often asleep shortly after he arrives home.

I have my laptop, one open window on a chilly night, the moon, the electric fireplace, toys on the floor, a sauvignon blanc opened earlier in the week.  I am the only witness to this perfection.

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This entry was posted in Family Life, It's All About Me, New York City Living and Coping. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to My Perfect Family. Tonight.

  1. Judy Purcell says:

    Love your description! Every Mama yearns for that moment when EVERY body is asleep, and she has quite time for herself. I’m a Granny now but do remember – seems like it was yesterday.

  2. Maria says:

    Love this Wendy!

  3. emily says:

    Love this, Wendy. I can totally relate!

  4. I think you just described the bedtime ritual battle that every mother feels. That battle — grrr!!!! — when we feel like puling our hair out because our strong-willed children insist on making bedtime “war time.” But then. Then, they fall asleep and everything seems so perfect, so precious, and makes us fall in love with them a little bit more.

    Beautifully written, Wendy.

  5. Deanna says:

    Love this!

  6. Kelly Freer says:

    Hi Wendy…I love that you’re a breath smeller…I feel every one of those emotions, frustrations, connections, disconnections, several times each day.. I’ve missed your musings and am glad you are popping up on my feed! Once again, brilliant, evocative writing! xoxo

  7. Amy says:

    Thank you Wendy. Nothing better than sleeping kids and taking a moment to savor all that is good.

  8. Mathaniel says:

    I had the chance last night to spend the evening with only 2 of our 4 kids, my wife had the other two, and it was amazing how much less chaos there was in the house. This transferred to post bedtime too for some reason.

  9. I love how real this is. Perfect even when it’s not perfect.

  10. rissabell says:

    I’m laughing so hard about you not peeing on the floor…!

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