A Cup of Tea

Before I became a parent, my dreams and goals often involved my not-yet-conceived children.  If you are a woman of a certain age with children in your life plan, this is probably not unusual.  I thought about babies.  A lot.

Now that I have babies, I still think about them.  A lot.  But it’s more in a “Oh god, what do I need to do next to make sure they are fed-clothed-warm-healthy-safe-and-oh-hell-happy-I-guess?” sort of way.  So, you know, the shit has gotten real, and my dreams and goals have moved on.

They have streamlined and simplified, these dreams of mine.  My husband and I used to talk about places we would travel.  We made lists.  Greece, Ireland, Hawaii, Alaska.  These days we’re daydreaming about a trip to Kingston.  Ontario, not Jamaica.  Seriously, the height of our traveling goals right now is to spend ONE NIGHT away from our children, just to see if that little restaurant we used to go to in university is still there.

I don’t expect it to be possible until the summer, at the earliest.

A lot of my other dreams, and a goal I try to tackle almost daily, involve cups of tea.  I just want to finish a cup of tea in the morning without having to reheat it in the microwave.  I dislike drinking reheated tea only slightly less than I dislike drinking cold tea.  But I haven’t had a fresh morning cup of tea from start to finish without distraction since… I don’t even know.

Even right now, I’m trying to finish this post before the little one wakes up from his nap, so I am forgoing a cup of tea.  Also I’ve already drunk a lot of microwaved caffeine today and another attempt might make me jittery.  -er.

Yesterday I made myself a cup of tea.  Hadwyn recently switched to one nap, so I can’t even wait till he’s down in the morning to have tea with just Connor to worry about.  I had to boil the kettle twice before I remembered to pour the tea.  Then I got one sip in, and Connor needed a bathroom break.  I reheated.  One sip later, Hadwyn needed a diaper change.  I reheated.  Another sip, and they were both hungry again.  I reheated.  Hadwyn realized he could just reach the top of the kitchen table, and the one thing he could grab was Connor’s full cup of cranberry juice, which he poured into his own face in its entirety.  Turns out he’s not a fan of cranberry juice, particularly via nostril.  I mopped the baby and the floor, and reheated.  The tea, by this time, was barely palatable, but I was determined to give it a go, mostly because I needed that caffeine, little as it is, to get me through the rest of my Sisyphean nightmare.  I had just sat down to try to slug it back, when my phone rang.  I’d missed my dentist appointment, it was in my calendar an hour late.  I rescheduled, but I did not bother to reheat.

I complained about this inability to finish a cup of tea to a woman I was knitting with a couple of months ago.  She also has two boys, though hers are now school-aged.  She looked at me like “what did you expect?” and told me she hadn’t gotten through a cup of coffee until her youngest was at least three.  I grumbled, but she’s right, and really I don’t expect any differently.  My children are my choice, and I love them and wouldn’t trade them for all the cups of tea in the world.  The tea is not important, and parenting them is.  The venue to complain about the tea and the parenting, of course, is incredibly important for keeping my sanity.  So thank you, if you are reading this.

Through the holidays and these first weeks of 2015, our days have been variations on yesterday’s cup of tea attempt.  Busy with work, appointments, chores, viruses, birthdays, and LIFE.  I’ve been so focused on getting my business up and running again, chipping away at the tasks in all my free moments, that it took me longer than it should have to realize that I can’t be full-steam-ahead right away.  Not yet.  I’m going to have to keep inching forward for the foreseeable future.  I hope you’ll keep checking in on me.

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  1. Ann Moore
    Posted January 22, 2015 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Good for you! It sounds to me like your priorities are just what they should be (in my mind, anyway). I have a suggestion for you that I used twenty odd years ago and still use today when my little grands are here. Ditch the fancy teacup and get a stainless steel insulated mug. Tea (or coffee in my case) stays hot all day! It won’t spill either.
    Keep writing. You have a gift.

    • Alexis
      Posted January 23, 2015 at 9:06 am | Permalink

      Haha, you’re right! I should definitely make that switch for the time being. My pretty mug collection will have its day. Thanks again for your words of encouragement. I should have noted in the post that while I was writing and Hadwyn was sleeping Connor was with his Grandma for the afternoon, affording me that break, and it was wonderful. He’s with her for lunch again today. I’m very lucky!

      • Ann Moore
        Posted July 16, 2015 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        AND SO IS SHE!

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