Monday, January 28, 2013

Survival Mode

With two babies under eighteen months, one acquires tailor-made resources to get through the minutes, the hours, and the days of taking care of two little babes.

The following are but a few of the resources that have made my life livable.

There's too much to list for why Jericho is essential to my survival. I shall be brief. One morning Jericho left super early to travel out of town for the week. I came downstairs hours after he left, groggy and grumpy and grumbling. I discovered that before he left, he'd unloaded the clean dishwasher. It was the most beautiful thing I've ever seen. I actually teared up.

As with Jericho, wayyyy too much to list in a blog post of the never ending service the GPs render. They babysit so Jericho and I can have nights out with friends or even just a quick bite across the street before making the one-hour drive back home. The GPs Smith asked if they could come over for dinner one Sunday. I told them I didn't have much to supply us all for dinner. They brought it all from their house. I decided to take a nap before they got here and I woke to my mother telling me dinner was ready. They'd come over, made dinner and helped take care of the babies. Why did I ever move out of their house?

I have visiting teachers/friends/neighbors that comes to my need at the drop of the hat. They steal my babies from me at church. No arguments here. I have this one friend that had a baby about the same time as me. We share many things. We have adorably crazy little babies. We have the same post-pregnancy physical ailments. We run into each other at Wal-Mart at the same odd hours at night in our sweats. We both cry for legitimate and humorously illegitimate reasons. We don't fold clean laundry. And we both hold very dear the remedial powers of a greasy cheeseburger.

[Speaking of greasy cheeseburgers]
I received two words from a cashier at McDonalds I never knew I'd hear and never knew would make me so sad. Two words that made me want to exclaimed, "That don't mean you know me!!!". She said to me, "Back again?" Two simple words that made me want to cry. In my defense, my McD's runs are not that frequent. I didn't recognize her so I'm making myself feel better by thinking this cashier just happened to be there both times I went within those couple of weeks. Or maybe it was within one week. It's all a big Diet Coke blur.

Does this gross you out to hear that I frequent McDonalds? Why do I even go to McDonald's? I shall explain. I generally have the attitude discussed by Jim Gaffigan. It represents all that is wrong with the stereotypical fat American. In my world, I go for survival. I go because it's practically in my backyard. I go on a morning when sleep was fleeting the night before and the babies are on the same fussy/noisy/need-to-go-to-sleep schedule. I call them our Family Drives. We listen to Harry Potter. I get an impressively large Diet Coke. Sometimes a biscuit, depending on the hour. Sometimes two cookies [for a dollar], depending on the level of emotional turmoil. And then I drive through my wonderful little town until the Diet Coke is gone. Everyone always chills out. The babies always go to sleep. I get to see their sweet faces while they sleep and while I listen to a book and wind down from some of my stress.

That is why I go to McDonald's. If there was such a thing as a drive-through Panera, I'd go there. But until they make one in my town, I'm sticking with the McDonald's. Judge as you wish.

It's called survival mode. It's something I heard other moms talk about but never truly understood until I was in it. I have a feeling mine might last a while. Now if only I could figure out how to incorporate the gym as a survival mode resource.


  1. So true! It feels like permanent survival mode, until one day a child is wearing underwear, dressing themselves, and speaking in intelligible sentences. Then it's nothing but up from there. Until they turn into teenagers, I've been told. It will feel like forever, but it will end!!

  2. You're gonna miss this
    You're gonna want this back
    You're gonna wish these days
    Hadn't gone by so fast

    Hang in there, Kelley, you are doing a great job!
    Your Friend,

  3. I'm sure it's awesome having so many resources to help you out! It makes me worry about my sisters when I read things like this, I wish they were closer to family so they could get breaks on the little things every once in a while.
    Also, I still eat at McDonald's every once in a while's a big 'ol Dr pepper and a Medium fry for me :)

  4. I've been thinking about this aspect of my own life lately -- how a husband who's willing to shoulder the workload along with you, and grandparents who are close and good at helping, how big of a difference they make. I don't think I would have survived with my sanity intact without them.

    I don't judge you at all for McDonald's. Christian and I end up taking the kids to Chik-fil-a once every week or two, and if the CFA near our house is too busy, we hop on down to McDonald's. Because where else are there highchairs aplenty, and a place to play after everyone's done eating? {Answer: nowhere.}

    When I get extra frustrated during the day and it still seems too long before Christian gets home, I stick all my kids in the car and just drive. I like to get on the highway because I feel like I'm going somewhere as fast as possible, and that feels good. I also like to drive into rainstorms, if there's one available. The atmospheric angst is soothing. Does that sound crazy? Maybe it is. But so is having so many kids so close together.

    Sorry for this novel of a comment...


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