The other day we were in the car. I was driving as my daughter slept in the back. We were stopped at a light and I guess I must have been lost in thought because somehow my finger found its way into my nose (I swear I am not usually a nose picker. I really just did it this one time. And the other time I mentioned in my previous posting). Suddenly I looked up to discover that there was a guy on the side of the road taking pictures for what appeared to be google maps and he was pointing his camera right at me. I immediately removed my finger, the light turned green, and I sped away. Panicked, I took the nearest opportunity to pull over and call my husband. “ JD?” I squeaked, “Ummmm you know google maps, you know how you just click on an address or a location and it zooms in and shows you a picture of that place? Well… can you remember how close up those pictures get? I mean how detailed are they? Could you like… see someone picking her nose in the car?”  JD laughed, “No, it’s not that close. I think you’re fine.”

I felt immediate relief, but then my next thought was, “Man, I’ve really let myself go.” When we got home I parked in the driveway and just sat there as Sage slept in the back. As I waited for her to wake up I started making a little mental list of all the ways that I have recently become sort of… well…gross.

Like sometimes I skip a bunch of meals because I just don’t think to eat. But then I find myself suddenly hungry and in the car with no food. So occasionally I have been known to root around in the cracks of the seats looking for old cheerios and raisins that my daughter has dropped. The other day I found a half eaten piece of toast under her car seat and I actually became excited like “Now THIS is what you call a good lunch!”

Or there was our trip to the swimming pool last week. I couldn’t find my bathing suit so I just packed a bra and a pair of old biker shorts. When I saw myself in the mirror, I felt like I was watching an eighties workout video. Then when I jumped in the water and discovered that my ensemble was see-through I felt like I was in a really, REALLY low budget porn.

Everywhere I go I hold a pile of crumbs in my hand. It really is the weirdest thing. Sometimes I don’t even know where they have come from. It think I spend like 25% of my day crawling around on the floor gathering things that my daughter has thrown or dropped. Sometimes when we go to a restaurant now and I see food on the floor  (other peoples food) I have to stop myself from picking it up. It’s like the act of having a kid has turned me into a human vacuum cleaner, I just can’t stop the impulse.

And forget about personal maintenance. I get dressed in the morning only to discover halfway through the day that I have a chunk of dried play dough hanging from my pants and an avocado handprint on my back. I haven’t had to buy new shampoo or conditioner in six months. Most of the time when I bathe I am too busy trying to entertain Sage with a game of shower curtain peeka-boo to even consider washing my hair.  And anything extra like applying lotion or makeup is completely out of the question. We had a houseguest staying with us and my daughter saw her using makeup. She was absolutely mesmerized. “What’s that?” she asked in complete wonderment having NEVER seen makeup before.

I have even begun instituting my old collage laundry rule: The clothes at the bottom of the basket are the cleanest. Because they are the ones you wore right after doing a fresh load of laundry. And you are always frivolous when the laundry is fresh. You are like “I’ve got all these clean clothes, I’m just gonna wear this pair of undies for like 45 minutes, just till I’m about to leave the house. And then I’ll change into another pair that makes my ass look better.” So…that means that when you’ve run out of clothes, all you have to do is fish around in the bottom of the basket and you’ll find something that is basically clean! It’s kind of magical!

My husband, daughter and I make glorious messes almost every day. We finger paint to music, we make concoctions in the kitchen, we use funnels to pour rice and sparkles into birthday balloons, we squeeze fruit with our bare hands to find out what kind of juice will come out. And I wouldn’t trade those experiences for anything. BUT after each of these messes I whisk Sage away to the tub for a bath while I myself continue to roam around basted in paint and sparkles and fruit juice for days. And sometimes it’s not because I can’t find the time. It’s because I have started residing in this alternate reality where all I can do is focus on weather or not my kid is eating enough chickpeas or weather or not I am showing her enough magic tricks or teaching her to be good at sharing and manipulating small objects. And in this reality clean clothes and sustenance and personal hygiene just don’t seem to take precedence.

So this incident with the nose picking and google maps really does need to serve as a wake up call.  This needs to be my second chance, my opportunity to get my groove back. Because despite the gross name, I do aspire to be a MILF or at least…presentable.

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