In case you haven’t yet gotten the picture, life with Irish twins is darn near impossible, and it’s hard not to question my decision to travel this path. But then, it’s not entirely my fault that I ended up here, is it? I mean, how was I to know that I’d get pregnant after doing the pull and pray? I guess that’s what I get for being agnostic.
I’m kidding, of course. He never pulled out. We intentionally chose this fate.
In any event, my life these days is characterized by the type of mindless activity that leaves one wondering whether they underwent a c-section or a lobotomy. Mental stimulation is few and far between and comes only when I’m faced with the sort of existential questions like, “Why are there 2 yellow cups in the rainbow stacking deck?” It’s a real thought-provoker. Which is why it should surprise no one that I’ve decided to soon reenter the workforce — a decision that I had a shockingly difficult time broaching with my husband. How could I relay my feelings to him without seeming like a bad mom? How was I to explain that this privilege I had been afforded felt more like a jail sentence than a benefit, and that I was in desperate need of something more? I felt like I had to choose my words wisely. Should I tell him that I was feeling depressed? Deflated? Like a New England Patriots’ football? I wanted to speak his language.
In the end, my husband told me that I should do whatever it was that made me happy. He’s supportive like that. So I resolved to start my job search — a process that is sure to be long and arduous, since it will take a special kind of position with a special kind of company to take me away from my kids. In the meantime, I’ll continue to do what I love most and horrify you all with the particulars of my days.
So without further adieu, here is the state of my union.
I wake up every morning looking pretty good. And who’s surprised? I’m a natural beauty. Like a Victoria’s Secret model, only uglier and with a worse body. But by the end of the day, my appearance is akin to a college coed doing the walk of shame. My shirt harbors remnants of vomit, along with other stains of unknown origin. My hair, which started out in a neat bun, is now disheveled and unkempt, playing birds nest to a piece of lint, flanked by two errant kernels of corn. And my skin that was scrubbed and moisturized at dawn is now gleaming with beads of sweat; the rigors of running back and forth between kids too much for this gorgeous-yet-out-of-shape body to bear. Chances are, I closely resemble your drunk aunt…if your drunk aunt also happens to be homeless. And I have nothing to show for it but two kids that are yet another day older; for which I say a silent thanks be to God that I managed not to kill them…or myself.
In all honesty, I was looking great until I started drinking again; then all of the alcoholic calories started loitering in my back. It’s a good thing my husband likes those lower back dimples, because I now have 3 inexplicable rows of them. Like a game of tic tac toe, only the person with the X’s forgot to play. And despite the fact that I’m actually back to my pre-pregnancy weight, things…fall…differently than they used to. Which I got to find out in real time the other day. My husband was in the bath, relaxing to the soothing sounds of Future Radio, and I had decided to put on a little show. Before he knew it, I was tub-side, twerking. And before I knew it, he was videotaping me. Which I took to be nothing but a good sign. He wanted to remember this moment forever. And upon watching the video myself, I’d soon find out why.
First, the good news: my moves were top notch. Music video quality, really. Though I’m not even sure that phrase is a compliment anymore in the wake of Drake and “Hotline Bling.”
And now for the bad. It looked like my butthole was ground zero and my cheeks and upper thighs were fleeing from the scene of a terrorist attack. It was total and utter chaos. Were these actual interconnected parts of my body or mini waterbeds that had been attached to my backside via some kind of pulley system? After all, the video did make me want to go to sleep…for good. I mean, don’t get me wrong, my skin and whatever it is that was underneath it (certainly not muscle, and I don’t think even fat is that buoyant) moved with the kind of exuberance and fervor that you’d embrace in a motivated, albeit slightly neurotic, intern. But on my derriere? No. Just no. In my defense, I’m fresh off of back-to-back pregnancies that ended in back-to-back surgeries, the latter of which was precipitated by months of bed rest. But that rationalization provides only so much comfort when you’re genuinely trying to determine whether you just watched video playback of a dance move or an ill-contained wave pool. I’ll never go to Typhoon Lagoon again.
My husband tried to comfort me by pointing out how good my butt and thighs looked when I brought myself back to center mass at the conclusion of the clip. And all I could think was, great, I look fantastic when parked at a dead stop. But put this baby into drive, and I’m likely to have my license revoked. Who cares though, right? Who needs motion? Just tell my kids to excuse me while I stand around like those statue people on Bourbon Street. Minus the street. Plus the bourbon. However much is required to make me forget that I watched that video.
Unfortunately, that wasn’t even the most upsetting part of my week. That title goes to the realization that Brooke wants her parents to get a divorce. At least that’s what I took it to mean when she ran off with my headband and hid it from me. My marriage is strong, but no marriage is strong enough to withstand this stage of hair regrowth sans a containment device. After all, we’re still early in the regeneration process, and the sides of my hair stick out in a manner eerily reminiscent of devil horns. Which would explain my children’s disposition, as my descendants and all. And that’s not even to mention the hair that’s freshly fallen out in the wake of this second pregnancy. It looks like one section of my hair got orders to to retreat from the front line of the battlefield, and the rest of the hair didn’t get the memo. Thanks, Obama.
And, sadly, the bad news doesn’t stop there. After two years of hiding out in the caves of Afghanistan, my period finally decided to return and recommence its reign of terror. The onset felt oddly similar to the intro at a basketball game. The production team shoots off bursts of fire, and the crowd stomps their feet in the stands, causing the arena to shake and rumble. And then, through the darkness, an unwelcome visitor emerges through the tunnel. Now all I needed to do was appoint a terrible commissioner over my vagina and I’d have the makings of my very own basketball league. Only this particular game would ensure that no balls would be venturing near my hoop.
Anyway…after two years with no period, I was pretty sure I qualified as a born again non-menstruator, and since I had just assumed I’d be perpetually pregnant until I hit menopause, I was ill-prepared. And who could blame me? History was on my side. That being said, I was unsure of how to proceed. Should I start over and use pads again or dive headfirst into tampons? Was this like riding a bike? I didn’t know. All I knew was that I wanted to wage war on the tiny gnome that was stabbing my uterus from the inside. This was new. And unwelcome. I had never experienced PMS symptoms before — something I promptly pointed out to my husband. And he agreed. After all, he said, I was equally bitchy all 30 days of the month. He’s nothing if not complimentary. In any event, my first period back came and eventually went, but not before toying with me for a few days. It would disappear from sight for a period of time, and then BAM! It would reappear from out of nowhere. Like a game of menstrual peek-a-boo.
I didn’t feel like playing.
And lest you think that my misfortune ended there, let me reassure you…it did not. Despite the fact that my pediatrician told me that I was unlikely to catch Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease from my daughter, I —of course— did. Before long, I had red dots popping up all over my nose, as if an invisible giant were using my body for a game of Operation. And the fever…oh, the fever. I ended up spending an entire day in bed, shivering, drooling, and trying my utter best to survive. I don’t want to say that I looked like Lamar Odom in a brothel, because it’s too soon, and that’d be insensitive. But I didn’t not look like Lamar Odom in a brothel. Regardless, I eventually mustered up the energy to trek over to the bathroom and survey the damage.
Unfortunately, in my determined quest to reach the mirror, I overlooked the ominous puddle of water looming ahead. I hit it like a patch of black ice — my legs flying out from underneath me, as my world went into slow-mo and Russian opera music played in the background. My eyes darted around me, trying to see if I were anywhere near the memory foam bath mats I had carefully selected for our wedding registry. But, alas, I was not, and I resigned myself to my inevitable fate. I started picturing the gruesome scene that lay ahead. My body rotting on the bathroom floor, as Pat found it days…okay, fine, minutes later, since he was just in the next room. But still. They had already nicknamed my husband P Diddy back in high school, and my best friend Brooke could pass for a prettier, white Faith Evans, so “I’ll Be Missing You Part 2” seemed like a foregone conclusion. I hoped they had Pandora in heaven. Or — who am I kidding — hell. And as I was contemplating my certain death, it happened. I peed. You see, after having children, your mind no longer controls your bladder. Your bladder controls your bladder. And my bladder was scared af. So I lay on the bathroom floor, urine flooding my pants, as I meditated on the unique marvels of parenthood.
Otherwise, things have been good! Weekends are my sanctuary, as they’re the only time that I get to unwind with my husband and have conversations that go beyond those three sentimental words that usually make up the bulk of our weekday conversation: “It’s head time.” After all, this man is my life and the cornerstone of our family. He’s like Chris Harrison to The Bachelor. Mr. Wonderful to Shark Tank. Rufilin to Bill Cosby’s cocktails. Domestic violence to the NFL. And I revel in and cherish our shared time. He once told me that God must have spent more time on him than me, because his freckles were more strategically placed than mine. And ever since, I’ve been waiting on *NSYNC’s follow-up: “God Must Have Spent A Little Less Time On You.” You can see why I so enjoy our time together.
The other day, we decided to become adults and get life insurance. That way, our kids would only be like half sad if we died. So we’re taking out a policy on Patrick, since he’s the breadwinner, when out of nowhere, he suggests that we take out a policy on me as well. Now, I’m no fool. I watch Lifetime. I know what comes next. So when my husband “forgot” to lock the front door on his way to work the following week, I knew it was so that his hit-man could gain easy entry into the home. And we may as well have an island between us while we’re cooking dinner together, and he’s using the knife to chop and prep. I don’t need there to be an “accident.” I’ve seen Fatal Vows a time or two.
Apart from that, we’ve never been closer! And my life is vastly improved in other respects as well. As anyone who is friends with me on Facebook certainly knows, Al Golden is no longer the University of Miami’s head football coach. And it didn’t happen a second too soon, since he was still trotting out the goal of winning the Coastal. For those unaware, winning the Coastal division of the ACC is akin to being the tallest midget. And I mean no offense to any midgets who may be reading this – I can assure you you’re still a bigger person than Al. But seriously, who goes into year 5 with such a pitiful goal? That’s like telling your adolescent child, “If all goes well, you’ll get a C on this test!” “God willing, you won’t fail your driver’s test more than once!” “You’ll grow up to be a candidate in the Republican primary!”
Anyhow, he’s gone now, and I eagerly await the hire of our new coach. Maybe a bit too eagerly, since I now have carpal tunnel syndrome from hitting the refresh button on the UM football message boards, as I obsessively search for new information. In fact, that’s probably what I was doing when my daughter notoriously ate duck poop — something you can read about on The Huffington Post, since I have zero desire to recount the horrific tale here.
In the wake of the aforementioned incident, I had rushed to take a shower. Not only did I feel positively disgusting, I had new resolve. Where I had clearly failed as a mother, I would not fail as a wife. And while I thought that I did pretty well in that category in most ways, there was one area where I was severely deficient. I figured this was as good a time as any, since my mom was visiting and could tend to the girls. With a newborn in the house, long showers were a luxury, and this shower was going to be long. So with great trepidation, I cautiously climbed in and prepared myself for some hard-nosed lady grooming. I first worked through the outer layer of brush with a pair of scissors, then tackled the remaining stretch of lawn with the razor. But Brooke kept periodically popping in in order to have nonsensical conversations with me. I just kept being like, child, leave your mother be. Can’t you see I’m trying to avoid divorce? But she was undeterred. She couldn’t see the forest for the trees. Pun most definitely intended.
After roughly an hour, I emerged from the shower, now closely resembling a toddler. Having given birth to a Patrick clone, my daughter and I finally had a shared trait. The road to get there had seemingly been endless, but I had arrived at the other end of the rainbow, ready for my pot of gold. I decided to reward my efforts with a Lush bath and, after great thought, settled on a French Kiss Bubble Bar. It was my attempt at demonstrating solidarity with Paris, in a first world kind of way.
Twenty satisfying minutes later, I stepped out of the bath, toweled off, and joined my husband in bed. Our tired bodies met in the middle, as we settled into our usual sleep position — his arm protectively draped over my midsection; his legs affectionately intertwined with mine. He, the big spoon, and me, the little — mirroring our usual positions in life. I’ve always appreciated how his 6’1 stature dwarfs my 5’6 frame. It’s always made me feel protected and feminine, which is a trait I don’t usually possess in spades. And as we lay in bed, holding each other, I drifted off into a peaceful slumber, reflecting on the tremendous fortune that had been bestowed upon me. Sure, my bank account may be empty; my sleep, patience, and spare time meters running on E. But my life — my life has never felt more full.
But if I turn up missing, you all know what happened.
Just look for the girl at the gym doing squats.