Parenting is a contact sport

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Got my first black eye today...from my 1 year old.

The day started on a promising note. Three-year check up at the pediatrician for Angel. Growing well, on track developmentally. Little cough, no big deal.

Off to Manhattan to spend some time at Toys R Us Times Square then meet up with a friend of my sister's for lunch.

The TRU trip was going well. A little time with the product demonstrators (one good, the other...not so much). Then off to the book section. I LOVE that both of my kids love books so much - even at such a young age. A little of my nerd is rubbing off on them!

So, we're in the book section and we find some great ones. I'm on the floor with Angel reading through some sound chip book and my husband is holding Victor at the shelf above. Victor throws one of the books nearby...that should have been my warning (he's into throwing things these days). The next thing I know, I have a nausea-inducing headache and I'm grabbing my right eye trying not to scream and scare both of my children (and the throngs of passers-by milling about this tourist trap on a Saturday morning).

It was an accident - Victor was looking through an Eric Carle board book (I believe it was Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do YOU See?). I should have bought the damned thing and put in in a double frame...one side for the book, the other side for a picture of my shiner. So, he was flipping through the book, chatting away and suddenly dropped it. Freak accident. It falls from about 5+ feet up (remember, my husband is holding him and he's about 6 feet tall, I'm sitting on the ground) and hits me directly below my right eye. I don't even know how it really happened. All I know is that I am in pain. SERIOUS I-think-I-might-be-dying-right-now pain.

Vain as I am, my first thought was literally, "Well, at least if I have to have plastic surgery I'm in Manhattan rather than Long Island." At first I thought it would just be a bad bruise. Then my husband observes that I have a "paper cut" opening up beneath my eye. It took everything in me not to call him an idiot on the spot...right in front of our kids, as loud as humanly possible. A heavy-ass book being dropped from 5+ feet is NOT going to give a paper cut (especially a board book - it has NO paper you IDIOT!!) A concussion, maybe, but definitely not a paper cut.

Somehow, through this entire ordeal my children remain unphased. I don't think they even looked up from their books (another sign that they are not-so-secretly plotting to kill me....but I digress). I make my way to the ladies room to survey the damage. The pain is a bit less nauseating now...just a constant nag, threatening to become a migraine. I get to the mirror and bingo - there's a good cut there. Not sure what the technical term would be, but it was the kind of wound that opens up from blunt force. Not too deep - thank God no stitches needed (I hope!). As I dabbed at it tenderly with a tissue and cold water, I could actually see the skin begin to close.

So, I pulled out my handy Neosporin, covered the area so I wouldn't be nursing a shiner AND a nasty infection, and headed out to face my tiny assassin. He was ready for lunch.

Just another day in the life of a BadAssMama.

Just one day

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I believe that every mother should get just one day with no responsibilities.

No diapers to change.
No humidifiers to fill.
No clothes to set up, put on, take off or wash.
No bathtime.
No pureed peas.
No wiping boogers.
No kissing boo boos.
No making dinner
No fighting at bedtime.
No time outs.
No crying.
No cleaning up.
No grocery shopping.
No worrying about who's sick, who might be sick or who's getting sick.
No temper tantrums.
No screaming.
No working all day then coming home for the second shift.
No watching the same movie over, and over, and over.
Ditto with books.
No 3am wake up calls.
No sleepless nights.

I love these things (well most of them). They are the stuff of my life - the ingredients of a family. But...they are exhausting. And I need a break.

So - I declare that all mothers EVERYWHERE deserve one day with NO responsibilities. No guilt. No regrets.

We can get back to work tomorrow.

Regression

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I fear that I am once again nearing my break point. After several blissful months of almost-full-night's-sleep, my 13 month old is wailing every morning at 3:45.

It all started with a business trip. Since the baby was sleeping through the night and I began to have a semblance of a "normal" life again, I decided to get back on the road for work. It was almost time for the bi-annual update with my primary business partner and I had been asked to speak (and receive an award!) at a conference in Southern California. So, I decided to kill 2 birds with one stone and take an extended business trip. Backup was arranged to help my husband with the day-to-day details of feeding and clothing 2-under-the-age-of-4, and I was off.

Fast forward - business update was a success; conference, inspiring. But, I have a cough and hoarse voice that I can't shake. My first night back, the baby wakes at 5:15. My husband leaps out of bed like an Olympic sprinter to whisk him downstairs for a bottle. I say nothing because I am jet lagged out of my mind and don't want to criticize. Night 2, Victor jumps from a 5am wake up call to 3:45...and decides that THIS is the new normal. This was 10 days ago.

He wails like a fire engine until I finally give up and get him at around 5:15 every morning. After 5 days of antibiotics, I am still coughing and hoarse (though I have lost the eerie feeling of drowning in my sleep) because I am averaging less than 4 hours of sleep each night. My job, while still rewarding and challenging, has become even more intense as of late. And I am left feeling run down and ungrateful.

I AM truly grateful for my children, their health and ALL of the many blessings in my life. I hate that I have gone from weeks of upbeat and forward looking blog posts to one that is reminiscent of the sleep deprived first 6 weeks of life. Yet, here we are.

I am a mother. I am an executive. I am exhausted. And I'm still trying to figure it all out.