This weekend David and I finished painting the garage. It turns out I'm a really, really, patient person, as evidenced by the fact that I finished the job in spite of David's self-described "neurotic" behavior about wanting me to avoid drips on the floor and stray brush strokes on the weather stripping. David can also count himself as patient, seeing as he didn't try to hit me with a frying pan even after I said, "David, it's just a garage," every 2.5 seconds for the duration.
In case you are wondering, we figure it is best for our marriage if we never try to assemble furniture together.
But, neuroses aside, this weekend I realized something: While it might not be helpful in dealing with a super detail-oriented husband, being laid back can be an asset when it comes to motherhood. Particularly when one is a mother to twins. If I obsessed over every little sniffle I'd be wrapped up in a straight jacket by now. As it is, I figure our parents survived eating lead paint chips and riding in the car without a seat belt, so what's the harm in letting my kids drink Crystal Light instead of all-natural, organic, gluten-free, vegan apple cider? Heck, we all have to die of something. And by next Tuesday I'm pretty sure the general hyperventilating about aspartame that is going on in parenting circles will have subsided, so I can give my kids fake sugar in good conscience. After all, three minutes ago real sugar was the big bad wolf. I'm just getting a jump on things for when science meets sanity again.
How did I come to this realization, you ask? All it took was a gathering of some old friends that included a handful of recently minted first-time moms who have their pediatricians on speed dial to convince me I have a sincere talent for taking things in stride. Baby is coughing? Let's wait and see how he's doing in the morning. Baby rolled off the bed? Check that one off the list of "Things That Happen to Everyone". After months of endless night-waking, baby is finally not making a peep? Do not disturb that baby! I mean it! Back away from the door, don't make unnecessary noise, and for heaven's sake, do not poke him to see if he's still breathing. He's fine.
And this is how I found myself cutting the fingernails of a cute little five-month-old tot, because his mother was nervous about hurting him. "Gimme," I said, plopped the baby on my lap, clipped his claws in 60 seconds, and handed him back, safe and whole. Not a scratch on him. For now, anyway. Because, honestly, at some point he's going to fall off the bed.
It happens to everyone.