Ten years ago I joined a mountaineering group on a whim, and spent two weeks in the Himalayas, summiting three peaks. I cried every day for those entire two weeks. It was freaking hard. It was new. I had no idea what I was doing. I was tired.
But, the hardest part of that trip was surprisingly the people. Not the actual people. The actual people were lovely. It was being with people all day and all night with no breaks. No time alone. We went to sleep together and woke up together in the same large tent. We ate all of our meals together. Heck, some of the time we peed together, because you were tethered to each other, while summiting. Had to pee? The group stopped and looked to the horizon, while the person who needed to go, either squatted to pee - trying not to get anyone’s boots. Or peed off to the side - depending on the equipment they were working with. It was gruelling physically - long hours on your feet, early wake-ups - but nothing compared to the constant “peopling”. Well… parenthood has been feeling a whole lot like that lately. The gruelling, the tired. Ever peed while being physically attached to another person? Every parent reading this is like:... yep! Every day. Kids have been fighting bedtime and waking up early. There is a kid in front of me, or on me at all times. By the time they stop hee-hee-hawing and mooing in their bedroom, it’s 9.30pm, and I’m falling over from exhaustion. When I sneak into the kitchen at 6.30am to fuel up on coffee, there is a kid. “Hi mommy!”. I get up at 6am instead. “Hi, mommy!” I grit my teeth, and make coffee with a small human attached firmly to my thigh. I try not to spill coffee on their head, and vouch to get up even earlier the next day. They have to sleep at some point, right? 5.30am.
“Mommy! Can I have toast?”
For fuck’s sake. It would feel a little bit better if they at least showed some signs of being tired. You know… in a race, if you are pushing hard, and someone overtakes you with a huge smile on their face, bouncing into the horizon, you feel even more defeated. It’s not so much them passing you, it’s how easily they are able to do that. Psychological warfare. Well played, children. I’m almost proud. Send coffee.