I’m about to invite you into our home. Join me as we walk through the front door. Oops watch out! You don’t want to trip over the mountain of shoes that have been sitting here all four seasons. Don’t mind the newly painted scratched up door with the broken frame! Maeve discovered a fun new trick where she immediately locks the door behind us as soon as we step outside. This includes, changing the doorbell battery, collecting mail, etc. We thought we were safe keeping a set of keys in our pockets, but luckily for Maeve, she taught herself how to reach up and slide the bar lock. As we walk through the hall, please don’t mind the never ending, constantly reappearing greasy little fingerprints that oddly enough, are strategically lined up with Maeve’s height.
Try to ignore the frayed carpet leading up the staircase, and avert your eyes from the scratches all over the freshly painted white banisters. Maeve has discovered that the stairs are an ideal place for a Hot Wheels track.
Let’s go into the living room and take a seat on our two year old broken couch/trampoline. I remember being so excited to have not one but two chaise lounges with built in storage. It didn’t take long before our little Incredible Hulk managed to pull the cushion lids off their hinges. The unwashable stains are a nice added touch. Our tv stand is lined up with no less than one hundred toy cars for decoration (the cars are definitely a theme here). See a chip of paint on the bookshelf from where Maeve rammed her plasma car? No need to worry, she is on the case! She will have an entire section peeled off in a matter of minutes.
Okay – I’ll stop. I’m sure you get the idea. It is just so incredibly frustrating and exhausting. You must think that we are neglecting Maeve by not paying close enough attention. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I feel like I always have eyes on this girl. I’m proud that more often than not, I can usually anticipate her next move. She’s a smart cookie. She waits for her moments and opportunities. The last few weeks she has been especially destructive. She’s bored. Like everyone else, we can’t really leave the house, and I’m running out of ideas. Our tiny little house is feeling even tinier. Some days it feels like the walls are closing in on us.
I was so excited to finally have a new front porch installed a few weeks ago. I’ve been dreaming about sitting out front watching all the cars go by, sipping a cup of coffee and enjoying the sunshine. Wrong! Out of nowhere, Maeve has become deathly afraid of something across the street. We cannot figure it out. She is terrified to be out front, and sprints from the car to the front door as if her life depends on it. Unfortunately whatever it is can also be seen from our backyard, which has normally been a life saver during these boring Covid days. Now she will only stay on one side of the backyard, hidden under the patio table.
When we moved into our house, I think we both felt like it was an old, outdated fixer-upper. It was exciting to think of everything it would become. In hindsight this was foolish considering neither of us is particularly handy, or skilled enough to complete this mission. I’ve been working so hard to try and fix up the house over the last year, and I can’t help but question – why? Everything. Gets. Destroyed. EVERYTHING. Its a tiny semi-detached home, and we are so grateful that we are fortunate enough to have amazing neighbours. They claim to not hear anything, but Maeve’s jumps, foot stomping and screams all hours of the day and night are only going to get louder over the years.
Don’t even get me started on the cleaning. I cannot keep up. Sticky floors and furniture feel as though they will forever be a part of my life. Being home as much as we are this year, I feel like I am following Maeve around with cleaning products and I’m still falling behind. The newly painted hall, bathroom, and kitchen are already ruined. All of our floor vents and now unusable central vac are full of Hot Wheels.
Will we ever have nice furniture again? Will our walls ever not be covered in greasy little fingerprints? In the grand scheme of things, I know that this shouldn’t really matter. I just thought that at my age, and this stage of my life, I would no longer feel like I lived in a pig pen with frat house style dumpy furniture.
I’m sure this all sounds like a lot of complaining. It is. None of this is intended to ‘shame’ my daughter, it’s just a realistic perspective of life with Maeve that can be so unbelievably exhausting. She can’t help it. These urges to take things apart are driven by curiosity, likely not meant to be so destructive. We will never be able to keep up with the Joneses, and really, there’s no point in trying. So if you come visit and think it’s disgusting, believe me I am trying. I’m really really trying. Always experimenting with a new DIY project, pretending that it isn’t going to be demolished in a week. Who would have thought a 37 pound child could cause so much damage?!
As amazing as Maeve is, her feisty adventurous personality comes with a price. I feel horrible saying it, but I would be lying if I said that there is so much about life with her that isn’t slowly making me lose my mind. I don’t want to admit that, because she brings so much happiness into my life. But man. I’m tired.
I am a stay-at-home mom in my 40s, still finding it hard to believe that this is my title in life. Mom of two young girls and married to a pilot (in other words… part time single parent). I am ‘Auntie Boom’ to Willowjak, and have the tattoo to prove it! My youngest was diagnosed with autism at 2, and finally a rare genetic disorder called DDX3X at 5. I’m almost always tired, and I feel as though my goal in life is to survive. I’m sure that I am not alone on this quest.