If you go to my Facebook page for my blog, you’ll find this photo in the header –
“LIVING THE DREAM” that sign boasts. It sounds so pretentious. “Look at me, and my fabulous lifestyle! Come, drink mimosas on my sailboat as we discuss the hardships of finding the right wine fridge to fit into the downstairs wet bar.”
But my sign is actually a sarcastic one, one we can all relate to.
See, it started when one of my many Jennifer friends had her second baby. “When would you like me there?” I said in a phone call. Because at that point, I had four kids myself, and I knew the hardest time was when you brought home that new baby to a two year old. And so I ended up at Jen’s house, teaching her how to juggle two.
“You never said this would be so hard.” she said.
“I know. No one ever does. You’d never have the second.” I stated. “Welcome to the club, you’ll be lying to other moms soon.”
We took turns chasing the two year old around and cuddling the new little one. I introduced her oldest to Blue’s Clues and impressed Jen with my perfect synchronization with Steve as he did the “Blue’s Clues” song. After watching it for – at that point…oh…ten years? – I was the master of Blue’s Clues. A skill that sadly, does not work well on a resume.
But one afternoon, as the newness of the little sibling had worn off for the two year old (as it always does) and schedule changes and sleep deprivation hit everyone in the house, there was this moment. This moment where Jen was wrangling her screaming two year old who was upset over whatever 2 year olds get upset about (gravity, the sky being blue, the sun setting) and the new baby was crying because of whatever new babies cry about (hunger, diaper, being kept awake by their 2 year old sibling) – and there we stood in the middle of her house – me holding a crying newborn, her holding a screaming two year old and I started laughing.
“Well you’re really living the dream now!” I told her.
Thank God we have similar senses of humor. Because we both laughed at the absurdity of the situation, and kept using that phrase afterwards to describe absurd situations.
“Maura flooded the upstairs bathroom and it was leaking through the downstairs ceiling! – living the dream.
“I went to get the baby out of the crib only to discovered he smeared poop everywhere!” – living the dream.
“And then I realized I had snot down my shirt sleeve, and I didn’t know whose it was!” – living the dream.
Then, one day, I walked into a store. And there they were, amongst all the “beach house” themed home decorations. These signs screaming “LIVING THE DREAM!”
I started laughing out loud in the store. Then promptly bought two and sent one to Jen.
Because we’re living the dream one hilarious, head-banging, ridiculous parenting moment at a time.