On Identity and Houses

I was an artist once. I used to watercolor and draw and spend entire weekends suspended in time. Having a baby will alter your identity, no doubt about it. But buying a fixer-upper will annhilate it.

So badly I want to fast-forward three months. By then the remodeling will be complete and we’ll (probably… maybe?) have the house in some kind of order. The Giant Baby will have already figured out all of the places where Mommy hides while playing Hide and Seek, and also the places that get her into trouble. We’ll have floors and a functional shower and the hanging smell of forty years of nicotine won’t greet us in the mouth when we walk through the door.

Perhaps by then we will have established a regular eating routine. Maybe we’ll be on friendly terms with our kitchen instead of a first-name basis with the Wendy’s drive-thru employees. Maybe we’ll use the dining room table for sharing meals instead of as a receptacle for sharp, swallowable, and breakable items to keep away from Sally Longarms. And maybe by then she won’t refuse to eat every GD thing I attempt to coax past her lips.

Maybe life will feel sort of normal again. Maybe it will feel like today.

Today was the reprieve in a string of frenetic, emotional, stressful days. Today was a sun break amidst the storm: The Girl and I spent the day by ourselves, being regular and finding things that make us giggle. I decided to stop stressing about her sudden change in eating habits. I decided to move deliberately instead of restlessly. I chased her around Target. She said hi to strangers. I tried sharing a Yumm Bowl with her but she refused, so I ate my lunch and she ate a spoon. She helped me reorganize kitchen. We watched Friends. We played our nighttime game up and down the hallway. She gave me sweet little hugs and I died some. She passed out happily and early enough that I still have a smidgeon of energy left to finish a comic, put a few words together, and soak up the deliciousness of remembering that the artist is still inside me somewhere.

Time, please go faster.

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