Two Idiots and a Handgun
Cocoa Bison

The White Flag

Having a one-year-old child is like having an induced case of very bad ADD. This is the age when I gave up my utopian idea of working diligently in my home office while young Peter played by himself nearby. And now Elizabeth is one.

As I write this, Elizabeth sneaks over to the electrical outlet I've forbidden her to touch. Smiling sweetly, saying No, no, no she tries to pull out cords behind her back, seemingly thinking I can't see what she's doing. Yesterday, after I had given up on the idea of trying to do much at all except watch her, she ran out of her room for a couple of minutes. I admit I was relieved at the momentary quiet and continued to skim the Ikea catalog, expecting her to reappear momentarily. When she didn't, I investigated. I found her covered with red and orange ink. She'd been in Peter's room biting the tips off (washable!) markers. What a mess!

I am possessed by the unfair conviction that if I was only smarter, if my brain only worked better, I could keep track of the kids, meet their needs, answer their questions, etc., and still be able to read, hold onto the thought I'd been pursuing, and general work with them around. I remember how hard it was to surrender to this with Peter. And I'm at that point again.

And yet, having been here before doesn't make it any easier. This time I have grander ideas. Surely mothers must have evolved to be able to think coherently when being interrupted five times a minute. (Counterargument: Babies evolved techniques to soak up every available ounce of adult attention. If you have more to spare, they know .) Or maybe the right nootropic foods would do the trick. Surely, there must be something. I cannot quite shake the idea that if I was smarter, I would able to work through this.

Shortly it will be time for surrender.

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