Monday Eden decided she would start using toilet, all day. In Trader Joe's. At music class. At Silas's school. I couldn't find my potty training book; I had no prizes or stickers; I had no interest in taking a newly potty-trained child to New York for a week (we travel east on Wednesday), and apparently none of that mattered -- she was ready. So, it's been a week of M&M's, cheering, singing, buying rainbow undies, and racing to bathrooms everywhere.
I forgot how exhausting this process is, how much of my brain is dominated, how much energy goes into paying such constant attention.
I appear to be in a general state of overwhelm. Everything seems loud and to have huge needs. Needs that are constant. Needs that involve heavy lifting, and running to bathrooms everywhere (including a massage place that had a fountain with colored lights and a smoke machine in the little foyer -- it was the only open store in the strip mall we were driving past).
I can't quite get my wits about me. I'm foggy and the simplest tasks feel mountainous. Ben's been traveling this week, and I've taken the kids out to eat a lot -- desperation dining is the way I'm thinking about it. Yesterday I took them to Carl's Jr. for lunch. I don't eat at Carl's Jr. but we were driving, and there was one, so we went. And $5.75 later, we were sitting on tall red stools eating hamburgers, cheeseburgers and fries that I didn't have to make.
There have been many things: I drove to the library to return books yesterday without the books. I went shopping to get Silas a birthday present from my mom because her package hadn't come and later that night found her package that had come days earlier that I'd hidden. I put the hazard lights on and got out of my car WITHOUT PUTTING THE CAR IN PARK, so Eden and the car started rolling toward all the used boats and strollers for sale in the parking lot while I grabbed the door and tried to fish my leg around until I hit the brake. Very gracefully, I'm sure.
I'm pretty sure if someone did a study on exhaustion and madness, they would look about the same. Fortunately, Ben is home tonight and tomorrow is Friday. I am inching my way along til then, while Eden puts cat and star stickers on the wall and happily munches M&Ms.