Friday, March 20, 2009

Theme of Blog: Writer Complains, Chides Self for Complaining

These last four days or so have been difficult. In spite of the mostly gorgeous (warm! sunny! park! scooter!) weather, our semi-frantic schedule is catching up with us. I'd say it's been a solid two or three weeks since we had a day, any day, with nothing on the calendar. Jason's trying to balance a lot of new stuff at work, I'm trying to keep up with my training for the Riverbank run and some new writing possibilities, and the girls are basically not cooperating. Since Jason left for work on Monday morning, I can think of about three times when a request I made of either child was agreed to and cooperated with. The other 49574 times, my requests about basic things like getting shoes on or not standing on the coffee table or please stop spitting in the car or don't kick your sister have been ignored, run away from, or openly defied. I am so, so, so, so tired of calmly repeating the same phrases over and over again; so tired of it, in fact, that yesterday afternoon found me in tears when Jemma spent "naptime" yelling requests and stories from her crib, and then Annie began yelling at Jemma to be quiet from her own quiet-time location in her bedroom.

After I cry, or I yell, or I deal poorly with a few tough days, I inevitably feel guilty. What's my problem? I have these two healthy, beautiful children and I have the luxury of staying home to raise them with all sorts of diversions and activities. I feel even worse when I think about how other people successfully do it with three, or with four. I start to compare myself to other moms, suspecting that they never yell at their kids, never cry in the car on the way home from the gym, never wish they were somewhere else during the day.

But yesterday, I started imagining what it would be like for the average office worker to be met with the kinds of reactions I've been met with this past week. What if, when Office Worker smilingly reminded her co-workers that there was a meeting in the conference room in five minutes, the co-workers began crying hysterically while running to hide behind their chairs? What if, while Office Worker attempted to have a six-minute phone conversation with the husband of a friend, the co-workers took their shirts off and tried to smother one another while yelling at top volume, followed Office Worker into her office and pounded on the door, and took all the toilet paper off the roll to show how ignored and neglected they felt? What if Office Worker had to eat every single meal for four days straight with people who kicked each other under the table and made spitting noises with their food until Office Worker had to excuse them from the table? Hmmmm. Would Office Worker love her job? Would Office Worker be so, so glad she had left her other, fulfilling, challenging job to take this job?

This morning, I was at the end of my rope, barely hanging on by a thread, and so grateful to have Jason around for a couple of hours. Annie staged some sort of dramatics before school (because she's having trouble with transitions lately, because she's closer to five than four but still hasn't gotten the memo that getting dressed follows breakfast but precedes getting in the car to go to school, because our routines could not possibly be any more consistent if we lived in a mental institution, because she couldn't wear her wedding dress to school) and Jason finally bundled her off to learn about sea creatures or whatever it is this week. I watched the car back down the driveway, turned around, and saw Jemma standing there, still wearing her heavy-potty-diaper from last night with a Snow White dress-up shirt on top.

"Squeeze you?" she asked. I picked her up and she wrapped her arms around my neck and hugged me as tightly as she could. Then she led me to her room and read me Dinosaurs by Sandra Boynton while I changed her. "Di-saurs Plump! Di-saurs Leeeeeean."

Of course Office Worker will keep her job. Of course she is glad to have it. She will just talk to the boss about getting a little more time off, here and there, when the ridiculous schedule lets up and she sees him again.

1 comment:

  1. THIS. Was a great one. :)
    "Office Worker" made me laugh out loud.