About a week before we left for our vacation, and over the four days since we’ve been home, I noticed a definite change in our house. I was managing just fine, for the most part keeping up with the never-ending laundry, dishes and general tidying. It was a chore, but it was almost all always getting done by the end of the day. Okay, maybe the next morning. I was meal planning, and a healthful and usually somewhat interesting dinner was ready by 5:30pm. Things were working.

Something has changed. I cannot keep up. It’s not the vacation stuff, we had laundry in the unit and came home with just a few items left to be washed. It’s more than that. The dishes are not done, there are toys EVERYWHERE and the laundry is piling up to the point that the little man doesn’t have a clean pair of pants for tomorrow. I’m not even kidding. The kid will be pantsless. Thank God I can’t get it together enough to make any early morning plans where he might actually need to get out of his pajamas.

What has changed? Why am I no longer capable of managing my house? There is some insidious wave of chaos seeping into our home and I can’t stop it.

We have entered a new phase. If the little man isn’t whining and clinging to my leg in the kitchen while I desperately try to do some dishes so we can actually eat the dinner I’ve managed to cobble together at the last minute now that meal planning has gone out the window, he’s…quiet. Too quiet. Crap.

This USED to mean he was in his room, either dropping a bomb in his underpants in private or making a mess of his books, Megablocks, or some other fairly manageable business. No longer. He’s in the bathroom throwing around toilet paper, he’s in the other bathroom flushing my hair pick, he’s in the laundry room doing God knows what, he’s on a chair at the sink splashing water, he’s letting himself out the front door… I cannot have him out of sight for a second. How the hell am I supposed to get anything done if I can’t take my eyes off him?! Laundry is a fairly in and out task, but dishes and cooking require a bit of time stuck in one area. If he’s not right there with me, I’m hooped. Crap.

I love my little boy and for the most part he’s a funny, awesome little man that makes us laugh every day. The whining and the clinging, however, are soul-suckingly frustrating. I relish the few minutes a day where he’s happily occupied elsewhere, and “elsewhere” never used to be cause for concern. Now I have two choices: increase his attachment-to-Mommy issues by basically chaining him to my leg, or let the house go into complete disrepair, eating off paper plates and living naked while I… wait, in both scenarios the house falls apart. Crap.

Why don’t I catch up on chores after he goes to bed? Well, for starters, I’m pretty damned tired at the end of a can’t-keep-up-with-it day. But the main reason is the little miss. God bless her, she’s a good girl and I am NOT complaining (about her), but she doesn’t go to sleep until at least 10pm. She’s six months old now and starting to notice when I leave the room, so I can’t get much done then either. Not to mention the fact that she eats NON-STOP from about 6pm until bedtime.

Where is Mr. Awesome, you ask? Mr. Awesome runs his own business, which means he doesn’t have a “regular” workday schedule. Most evenings he’s either out at clients or locked away in his office, fixing computers or designing websites. He works damned hard and will come to the rescue if I need it, like if the little man has woken up with another sleep tantrum while I’m feeding the little miss. Again.

It’s late and I’m frustrated. I’m a control freak who does NOT like it when her house is spinning out of control. I am grateful everyday for the health and happiness of my family. I know that tomorrow is a new day and I will make some headway (is that how you spell that?) on my long list of to dos. The dishes will get done, most of the laundry will get at least washed and dried, and dinner will be made.

I just needed a rant. If it’s to be paper plates and nudity, so be it.