falling off the moving sidewalk

Traveling with small children is challenging. Aside from keeping physical needs met and tempers in check, you need to tote a lot of stuff. On top of your own clothing, laptops and personal items, you have to pack clothing, diapers, toys, books and gear for the little ones, who aren’t able to transport this stuff on their own. And depending on their size, you also have to be able to lug along the actual children.

At the start of our trip, we parked in the Boston airport central parking garage, where, for whatever reason, it is impossible to find baggage carts. It was going to be tricky just to get to the terminal.

We put Theo in the stroller, had Phoebe walk with her little Hello Kitty suitcase, strapped one carseat to a suitcase, and put various backpacks and other shoulder bags (including the other carseat) on our backs and shoulders. John pulled two wheeled suitcases, and I pulled the third suitcase with one hand and pushed the stroller with the other. We were an awkward caravan, but somehow we got moving, down in the elevator and over to the pedestrian walkway to the terminal.

We got on the moving sidewalk, which moved us along at a nice pace. John and Phoebe were a few paces ahead of me, and stepped off at the end. I was ready to do the same.

Then the front wheel of the stroller turned as it went over the bump, and jammed into the base of the stationary railing just over the threshold. The stroller stopped, with its back wheels still rolling along merrily on the conveyor. The stroller blocked my way to step off, and I couldn’t manage to dislodge it with my one free hand. I had to run backwards in place to avoid being propelled into the back of the stroller, while trying to get the stroller unjammed with one hand, and keep my suitcase from hurtling forward with the other.

It wasn’t pretty.

Such is my life these days, especially since having kids. There I was, smoothly rolling forward, carrying on at something I’ve done dozens of times before. Maybe my hands were a bit full, but I never questioned that I was in control. Then one little snag hits, and wham! I’m flailing awkwardly, dropping my load, caught in the machinery. Trying not to be crushed by my baggage or to crush my offspring. Running clumsily in place to avoid falling on my ass.

These past few weeks I’d been moving along quite well, accomplishing things. And now all the other things I’d been letting slide are starting to come hurtling back towards me, but my hands are too full to get a good grip. Our house continues to be chaotic, and I have work, home and family obligations to attend to. Missed bills. Taxes. Wedding gift for the wedding we already attended. Birth announcments for my 7-month-old. Thank you notes. Home repairs and car repairs and yard work.

Meanwhile, I’m feeling pretty wiped out from the efforts of travelling, my push to submit the abstract, and the damn stomach bug. I’ve had this low level headache that I just can’t seem to shake. Things have also been rocky with Phoebe, who is adjusting to being home after the trip, sleeping in her own room and the 3-hour time difference. She’s still traumatized by her recent bout with the stomach bug.

She is also showing signs of being a three-year-old. There have been tantrums. Basically daily. And maybe not just Phoebe.

So, I continue to not be caught up with my blog reading. To make things trickier in that respect, my feed reader (Safari) has gone all wonky on me, and my laptop apparently keeps going into overdrive because of something related to that. I can’t access my feeds, so my blog visiting has been rather erratic. Once more, I apologize for being generally absent.

9 thoughts on “falling off the moving sidewalk

  1. Breathe.

    Great comparison. Given the choice between stairs and an escalator, I always take the stairs. I guess I’ve learned my limits.

    Thanks for the reminder that I have a bill to pay today.

  2. Let the majority of the job jar tasks stay in the jar. Just do what you must. Breathe.
    The admonitions above are things I wish I had listened to when my girls were babies.
    Speaking for me, I am glad just to see your post. Reading mine is irrelevant.

  3. What they all said. Breathe. Chill.

    No one is grading you. The only standards you have to live up to are your own and you are being WAY too hard on yourself.

    Wedding gift: online
    Birth announcements: email (this is the 21st Century, yo)
    Thank yous: email (see above)
    Yard work: screw it
    House work: until someone calls DHR, you’re golden


  4. When we went to FL a couple of years ago, we looked just like that.

    I think you’re doing fine. Life isn’t quite the same after kids and you have to cut yourself a bit of slack.

  5. i find that my life fits in quite well with your moving walkway example, and I think you do WAY more than I do (which some people in my life might think physically impossible)

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