on Commuting

So my driving…definitely more of an art than a science, often imitated never duplicated, and possibly a metaphor that translates to other areas of my life.

Have you ever made a bad move while driving? Ever cut someone off, merged late, passed without fully looking? Maybe accidentally a handful of times you can count on one hand right. How about because this rare impulsivity of “just going for it,” followed by a quick recovery is as good of an outlet to the morning’s chaos as any? Probably not because you’re not an idiot. But let me tell you, consciously making a tactful yet fucked up move followed by the ever-forgiven, apologetic hand wave results in a serious dopamine boost.

Lets pretend for the purpose of this post that I’ve already dropped my kids off at daycare, and my commute to work is my one opportunity to maximize me-time, cope with the morning’s insanity, and take control of my life…add some speed, music and a vehicle, obviously it’s gonna be good…reeeealll good.

My mom says driving with me is “frightening.” Why thank you mom. I will take that as a compliment given my current routine, barely-making-it state of mind. In fact I will take your “frightening” and raise you “reckless.”

Judgements right? Well…like any good art piece, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

so here we go: I’ve dropped off my kids, I’m walking out of the daycare…alone (holy shit that feels good), and I stop for a moment to remember what I’m working with.

grey, dirty (washed twice a year) leased (because that seemed like a good idea at the time) 2013 Mazda3…hatchback. When I first got her I named her Sophia Grey, but now I think she’s more of a Grey, wait no, Ey; because what dirty already grey Mazda hatchback has time for that many letters? Not mine. I’ll save the interior for another day.

So me and Ey hit the road. Exiting the daycare I have two options: the longer route with more visibility for the inevitable left turn, or the one that’s slightly more efficient but very blind… “Let’s do this,” I  think to myself as I creep half way into the street (I’ve almost been hit a handful of times making this turn, so at this point I’m basically an expert right?!). All clear from what I can tell (20 ft line of sight in either direction), annnnd…BOOM!

I make the turn. Just in time to be honked at by an encroaching SUV who I’ve unknowingly (kindof) cut off. Hand up…wave “Sorry!!!” I shrug and mouth like they can see my face. Adrenaline and intoxicating thoughts of “Fuck yeah snitches!! I’m a force to be wreckened with!! I’m a bad ass biatch!!!” and then all too soon “shit… this is awkward.”

At the next stop sign, traffic is bumper-to-bumper, and my new friend is right behind me, waiting for me to make what was once their right turn into heavy morning traffic. The tension is real.

More adrenaline as I look for a gap wide enough between cars so that I can turn without being followed longer than necessary by the current situation. All clear, I make my way down the hill, weaving traffic, speeding through yellow lights, passing in both lanes…this is living.

My “recklessness” continues…on side streets, highways, freeways, city streets, no discrimination here…until I arrive downtown. Nearing my workplace I turn down the music, take a deep, deeeep breath, and prepare myself for…the irony.

31 and still going…

Okay I know this title is ridiculous…but that’s kind of why it’s fitting. This business of being 31 is serious and hysterical at the same time… like hysterical in the sense that you want to laugh and cry all at the same time.  Serious in the sense that sometimes you literally aren’t sure if you are going to make it to the next moment, and then when you finally do you are suddenly aware of this impending pressure to do more, live more, work more, play more, be better…that pressure sometimes borders on unbearable.

chaotic-mom

Hi! I should introduce myself…my name is Madeline and…wait for it… I’m a real life full time, 40+hr/week plus commuting working mother of 2, wife – or should I say football coach’s wife (which adds another obstacle to surviving), oh and also person…yet to be defined in this madness. Every morning I wake up, in disbelief that I have lived another day.

I know what you’re thinking: “first world problems…”, “tell someone who cares…”, “we are in the midst of a shit show of a president who is literally in bed with Russia, missile testing with tension by North Korea, Islamic insanity, China leading the fight against climate change…wtf?! and you think having a job worth keeping, a husband representing the American dream, and a two kid family is something to be ‘surviving’?? Honey check yourself.”

But hear me out, this shit is hard! If after I’ve dumped all over this blog in my attempt to represent the “person” component of my life, you have some advice or can appropriately put me in my place, by all means let me have it. Because whatever I’m currently doing isn’t working, and I need help!

Here’s a snap shot of just my morning:

Waking up at 6:30 a.m. (if I’m lucky) to my 13 month old batting his eye lashes at me to join him in the excitement that his world is still right where he left it, he typically stands up next to my head to look out the window. Two seconds later I am greeted by small baby grunts and the smell of the previous evening’s digested dinner. Time to get up. I go across the hall to the baby’s room (yes he still sleeps with us) and wrestle to change him while simultaneously keeping the shit contained in the diaper, dress him…check point!

Next it’s to my 5 1/2 year old’s room. The kid who fought for one more show, a longer shower, and delayed bedtime tooth and nail, now -of course- is refusing to wake up. Light on to encourage him to get his little butt up, I head to my room to start the process of dressing myself.

“Jeans? no, dress? no,” and thoughts of “who am I meeting with today?” and “is that too sexy?” and “does that say success and confidence, or I think I’m better than I really am,” and…”Shit where’s the baby?!”

Found- in the bathroom playing in the toilet, or in the kitchen playing in the garbage. “Fuck what time is it?!” 6:45. Wash the baby’s hands and face…”babies really are like puppies…”

Back to the big kid’s room, he’s still sleeping, with the light on… “Get up now!” I’m that mom…

Back to my room, finally pick out some slacks I’ve owned embarrassingly too long, and a top with sequins around the neck that was once a maternity shirt, “definitely not too sexy.”

The 5 year old comes out of his room dressed in a tank top from when he was 4 (why do I save everything!?), athletic shorts, and some flip flops. “Hey remember you can’t wear those at daycare” met with “I know I’m just wearing them to the car…” (gritting teeth…) “okay.”

Feeding time: “do I have any more cereal? eggs? fruit?” I settle on scrambled eggs, toast, and a cut up nectarine. Baby in high chair, 5yo at the table, I am heading to the bathroom to wash up, hair, makeup, etc. 2 minutes later I hear two tones of mimicking screams back and forth and laughing. I stay focused…styling hair that was slept on wet is always a fun adventure “pony tail? eaw no. messy bun always says I don’t give a shit today…do I?” I settle on a side part and low side bun… not my best work but I don’t have more time. Make up simple: blush, highlighter (because its something) eye liner, mascara “I’ll do it in the car”, lipstick “in the car”…k done!

Back to the kids: baby eats eggs and leaves everything else. 5yo eats some eggs, all the toast and fruit followed by “my tummy doesn’t feel good”–his cue to me that he’s done eating. “Okay…go brush your teeth.”

He army crawls the whole way down the hall to the bathroom, and then I hear the water running and drawers opening…(he’s added styling his hair to his list). What time is it?? 7:15. “Hurry up, we have to go!!” 5 minutes later he comes out with soaking wet hair and smells like hairspray…”Mom can you help me?” (gritting teeth again) “okay…”

Finally we are ready to walk out, grab the purse, gym bag, laptop backpack, baby, bottle, 5yo’s extra shoes, everything’s done…I hobble out of the house only to find I left the keys… “wait here” I tell the 5yo. Drop all the stuff by the car, run back inside, grab the keys, back outside, lock the door (wait do I have my cell? yes). Kids in their carseats. bags thrown in the front seat because it was closer and trunks are overrated, and we’re off!!

Screaming game continues…