Thursday, April 30, 2009

Not Waving But Drowning

There was a moment this afternoon, around 3:30 p.m., when Annie realized that we weren't going to go anywhere this afternoon (pouring rain, Jemma's cough spoiling our plans to go to the gym) and she wailed, "But I don't WAAAAAANT to be stuck in the HOUSE all DAY!" and I was sorely tempted to join right on in, crying in the middle of the living room.  It's just been one of those days, with a morning playdate that involved a lot too much high-pitched screaming and running (Annie's choice, not so much the other little girl), a coughing Jemma, and yes, of course, MORE RAIN.  Jemma has somehow (I assume Annie is to thank for this, via a friend or preschool) learned to use the word "butthead" appropriately in context.  The goat cheese I planned to use as part of dinner had tiny white mold colonies growing on it.  As an extra added bonus, I discovered a load of (forgotten) laundry in the dryer that never got fully dried and now smells questionably mildewy and must be entirely re-washed and dried.  

I tried; I really did.  I brought out the Play-Doh and let the girls use my cookie cutters on it to their heart's content.  We made cookies together.  I took them outside to draw with sidewalk chalk under the roof on the porch, where it wasn't wet.  When all that failed, I made a last-ditch effort to abandon said children for a few hours tonight and seek relief in drinks with Jason. Alas, babysitter = booked.  

Of course, in the midst of it all, I'm trying to keep it all together - hair blow-dried, dinner on the stove, smile on my face - when what I really wanted to do was put into action what I refer to as "Plan Q," where I plain old give up, retire to my room with a book and a beverage, and let the girls wreak whatever havoc they will for the rest of the day.  One of the struggles, I think, when you're fortunate to even have the choice of being a stay-at-home mom, is that you know it's an unthinkable luxury for a majority of women who don't even have the option and you don't think you should complain.  So you smile, you wave and chat appropriately with neighbors, you put the next load of laundry in the dryer and pack some cookies in a Tupperware to send home with the playdate.  You keep it together, right up until you DON'T, and then you probably take it out on one of your children by, oh, perhaps getting right down in their face and yelling "Absolutely Not!" over and over.  (Totally hypothetical.)  Then you feel horrible about THAT for the rest of the day.

But even as I'm typing this, I'm ashamedly aware that close, beloved friends of mine are right this minute struggling with things so much bigger and harder than this - with illness and death and new colicky babies and family stress.  And if that realization doesn't totally make up for a crappy struggle of a day at home with children, it does, as always, put things in perspective.  I'm drinking a glass of red wine, trying to will myself to do something productive with the rest of my evening instead of collapsing in front of the couch, and looking forward to tomorrow:  long run with Sarah, lunch with friends, pedicure, rain ending.  Because things are always changing, and this, too, shall pass.

No comments:

Post a Comment