Sunday, January 10, 2010


Zombie - noun. A person held to resemble the so-called walking dead; especially: automation.

I can relate. I often feel like a zombie, bungling through my day in an exhausted haze, powered by caffeine and the grace of God. I know it isn't true but I imagine that other moms live in cleaner houses, cook better meals, accomplish things when their children take naps, and aren't overwhelmed by the task of washing, drying, and putting laundry away in the same day. My dryer is like a second closet.

I'm a "mombie." Noun - a mother with a baby and a teenager who gets less than five hours of sleep... on a good night. Words like dishwasher safe, microwavable, 100%  machine washable, and 10% off make me happy. I know I'm not alone. You're a mombie too if:

You wake up early to see the teenager off to school and feed the baby breakfast. You don't bother getting dressed. It will be noon before you are able to leave the house anyway. You pull your root-showing, trim-needing hair in a ponytail and forget it. You will brush your teeth "when you get a minute."

You change a diaper and put the baby in his bouncy seat. You ignore the overflowing garbage and dishes in the sink and get breakfast together: Gerber oatmeal cereal and applesauce. You save the baby food jar because you're going to need it someday. You are going to find the time to make your own baby food.

You notice the dogs are out of food and water. You refill both dishes. You are the only one capable of completing this complicated task.

You are starting to get alert and begin making mental lists of all you will get done that day. Your morning goes according to plan until you get a text from your teenager telling you there's an emergency. They have forgotten their diorama on the kitchen table and they need it right now. When I'm in a hurry I have the saber dance song playing in my mind - the frenzied music that plays at the circus when all the clowns keep coming out of a Volkswagon or someone's juggling bowling pins on a ten-story high unicycle.

But back to you. You're in a hurry. You rummage through the dryer and pick the first articles of clothing that match. You still don't brush your teeth. You're not planning on getting too close to anyone anyway. Maybe you'll find a Tic-Tac or a stray piece of gum in the bottom of your purse. You get to school and deliver the diorama. The office staff recognizes you. You wonder if you are the only one.

Back at home, you are losing steam. You have consumed what little energy you had. You change a baby, feed a baby, burp a baby. Repeat. You work in reading a story or two. This makes you feel like a good mom.

You just get the baby rocked to sleep and the doorbell rings. You don't care if it's Publisher's Clearinghouse but you answer it. It's someone selling magazines to raise money so they can go to Hawaii with their softball team. You're not interested in donating. You're lucky to get to both the grocery store and bank on a good day.

Your teenager gets home demanding food. You ask how their day went and they say it was "fine." It always is. You plead, cajole, and threaten to get them to do their homework. You check it and make them correct their mistakes. This too makes you feel like a good mother. Your teen asks to go the mall with her friends and you say yes. You worry but you let her go anyway.

Your DH gets home. You are never so happy to see another adult in your whole life. You say to the baby in your voice reserved for small children and puppies, "Do you wanna go see Daddy?" He does. You are happy for the break.

You hit a time warp and the next hour passes in a blur. Your teenager comes home from the mall, demanding food again. You haven't had time to make dinner yet and they find this unacceptable. But you will not be baited into an argument because you love this kid. Of course you do, or you would slap their face off when they say, "so you're just going to starve me?" because you tell them to make themselves something to eat.

You give the baby a bath. You have learned this process takes three towels. One to dry the baby, one to dry you, and one to dry the floor.

You nurse and rock your baby to sleep and put him in his crib. Later, your teenager goes to bed on time without complaint.  You feel superior to other mothers in this regard.

Much later, you check on your kids one last time before you go to bed. They look like angels. Your heart swells with love. You don't know what you did to deserve such blessings.

You finally brush your teeth.

You think "tomorrow will be even better." Tomorrow you will wake up with the energy of an eighteen year-old. You will get everything done in the day so that you have time in the evening for your hobbies. Saturday morning you will clean out the garage and take the kids bowling in the afternoon to celebrate your accomplishment. And you believe this. You're a mombie.