There are mornings when I wake up and it feels like the world is against me. And when I say “world” I mean, of course, The Menchildren. Manchild 1 is, say, feeling contrary. He doesn’t want to eat breakfast and doesn’t want to get dressed and doesn’t want to use the potty but he does want to make me sad because it’s fun and he likes it. Sigh. And Manchild 2 wants to eat and then nurse and then be held and seems to have forgotten that the direct link between our bodies was severed months ago and it’s high time he learned how to not be held 24 hours a day. Seriously. Don’t they know we’re on the same team? That we all have the same goal? (Okay, I’m not really sure what that goal is, but I think it has something to do with Captain Mom – that would be Me – being able to drag them all over Brooklyn whenever I want . . . .) That we have a team uniform (easy-clean cottons, for the most part) a team name (Heiselt) and even a team cheer (inspired, for the record, by Dr. Seuss’s Mr. Brown Can Moo, Can You? simply because of the power it had to reduce Manchild 1 to a pile of giggles). But no. No teamwork here. I’m playing 2 on 1. And yes, I am  bigger and slightly more capable, but they have the advantage of uninhibited screaming on their side. They seem to have forgotten that it is in their best interest for me to put several miles on my legs before the sun is too high in the sky because the unspent energy has the ability to turn me into a witch.

Those are the mornings that the smallest victory still feels like defeat when I think we should all go back to bed and try getting up on the other side. But let’s look at the bright side, shall we? Try to find that silver lining? Hmmm . . . okay. So the only thing I can think of is something about contrasts, something about how you can not know the sweet unless you have tasted the bitter. Which is to say: it makes those other mornings, the mornings when The Menchildren sit nicely while I get them dressed and eat their breakfasts without excessive whining and use the potty on cue and don’t tell me 2,502 times that they don’t want to go out today ever so much more lovely. And as we’re heading out the door a mere 15 minutes behind (the admittedly over-ambitious) scheduled departure time, I think, “Whooyeah! Look at us go! Our team rocks!” And as we pull away with the stroller and head down the street, I can’t help but say, “Dibble dibble dopp! Gooooo Team Heiselt!”

Doesn’t it feel great to be Captain Mom when the team is on a hot streak?

Yes. Yes it does.

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