We are on Day Four of the 2012 West Valley Endurance Biathlon, in which contestants alternate between pooping and puking during daytime hours. So far, Gbot is the clear winner, but he got a three-day headstart. Mbot threatens to give him the runs for his money. As for me, I’ve had a mildly upset stomach, but nothing that doing laundry twenty-four hours a day can’t keep at bay. Even the antique cat joined the festivities and left two little puddles of bile for me to step in early this morning before attending to other bile piles.
The bots aren’t in pain–except for the diaper rash that comes with the bug–they’re just very lethargic. Gbot’s finally on antibiotics. A downside for me of the P’n’P’ Biathlon is that it’s been accompanied by a Busytown Mysteries marathon. After nine hours of watching the same ten episodes ad infinitum, yesterday evening I finally insisted that something, anything, else be put in the DVD player. I am an evangelical fan of Richard Scarry books. But the film adaptations, I can’t stand. The bots, on the other hand, think it’s the best thing since Max and Ruby, another show I can’t stand.
I can’t put my finger on exactly what’s so teeth-grittingly bad about it. Maybe because Lowly Worm, who is a good-natured, skinny sidekick in the books, has an incredibly annoying voice. And then there are Pig Will and Pig Won’t, who bicker constantly. Mbot loves them. He wants to go live in their world.
Meanwhile, in my world, Husbot is feeling bad for me. “I know this is when motherhood is hardest,” he empathized on Day One. Then he proceeded to pick Mbot up from school two days in a row and taken him on adventures all afternoon before dropping him at Grandma’s. Grandma brought Mbot home tired and fed. Meanwhile, I experienced the two quietest days I can remember in a long time. Even today, with both bots home and leaking at both ends, it’s another quiet day (except for the swoosh of the washing machine and the constant tumbling sounds from the dryer.) I convinced the bots to trade in Busytown for Christmas specials and Ace Ventura, Pet Detective. I have set them guilt-free in front of the boob tube. The hardest part of motherhood? No. The hardest part of motherhood is all those other days–three hundred and perhaps fifty-five of them a year–when everything is a whirlwind of normalcy, when I am taking care of two healthy, active bots, trying to get on with career and cooking and cleaning, too, and no one’s saying, “This is the hardest part of motherhood.”
I just agreed with Husbot. “So true,” I said. But it has been a reminder that I feel less frantic–and happier–when I am concentrating on just one or two things–keeping bots comfortable and the house as sanitary as possible–and not spreading myself across an impossibly long “to do” list.
I hope we’re back to normal by tomorrow. If we are, I will try to remember how this slower pace felt, and try to go a little slower in my own West Valley Multi-Day Mothering Marathon.