I spend the whole day with my kids. Yes, they are old enough to be in school but at times like these, school vacation, when we’re not going on vacation, that I wish we were, or perhaps just I will. I spend the whole day being their automated machine: listening to their squabbles, arguments and whines. I try to do fun things with them to keep their minds occupied but it only turns to chaos. So, I say, “Fine, you two do what you want to do in the house and I’ll do what I want to do.” This way, we can all be happy. Right? Think again.
I watch them play make-believe for a while and see how content they are before I make the decision to get carried away with something I want to do, which is writing because I have a great idea for a story. However, I can’t even begin to concentrate and/or let myself partake in another activity with the house being a complete mess. So, I decide to clean first. I scrub my way through a sink full of dirty dishes (which involves putting away the one’s which are already clean from the day before) and launder my way through two sets of dirty clothes (which involves folding and putting away clean clothes for four people so neither Lucy, our new puppy, or the girls can wreck my awesome display of neatly folded clothes which I am proud of).
I no longer expect my four and five-year-old to put away their own clothes anymore. The girls have learned to take to their clean clothes and, without putting them away, instead opt to put them directly back into the dirty clothes hamper! Of course, I don’t realize this until after about three weeks of laundering the same clothes. “Don’t you have anything else to wear or should we go shopping?” Of course, they agree with the latter. From a ripe, young age, they have already got me trained (I think I need to change my tactics).
Meanwhile, Lucy demands to go outside. I take her out for a quick urination-trip to the back yard. Olivia and Savannah see us outside and want to come too. Without even grabbing their shoes, they come running outside. By this point, I have another great idea for a story and need to write it down before I forget. As soon as Lucy and I rush back inside though, the girls immediately follow and complain they’re thirsty. I do what the girls have trained me to do, and I automatically start making juice while they sit at the table. That’s right, they sit. They sit while I serve.
When I finish with the clean-up, I decide to pour myself a cup and join them. I’m then able to get off my feet for one second when Olivia says, “Mommy, can I have more?” “Here, take mine,” I say, as if I were reading her mind. I get up this time to fill another glass for myself and when I return to the table, Savannah says, “More please.” By now, I have adjusted to becoming their waitress and say, “Here, take mine.” By this point, I’m too tired to return to the fridge to get myself some juice. So, I just sit. Finally, I’m off my feet.
I grab the closest item I can to write on (a rip of a paper, the back of a brochure, someone’s homework folder, or my notebook if I’m lucky) and whatever writing utensil is nearest to me (a marker, a crayon, a colored pencil or a pen if I’m lucky) to record my idea for writing. The writing utensil barely makes contact with the paper when the dog starts barking and biting my feet. Irritated, I adamantly stand up from the chair, bring my arms up and yell, “What? I just took you out and gave you food and gave you treat! For goodness sake, get a toy!”
Frustrated and exhausted that I can’t please anyone, not even myself, because I just want to get my ideas written down before I forget. This time, I give Lucy my “evil-eye” look for a long, paused moment while I await her response. As if we are in a starring contest, she breaks the trance by jumping up on the chair where I was sitting, lays down and curls up in silence. What? That’s what you wanted? To steal my chair? Shaking my head, and turning my back to find another place to write, I said, “Well, at least someone is happy.”
Yes, I have taken a back-seat to my dog. I don’t mind though because I’m finally able to write my ideas down. Now that the kids have finished their drinks, I turn on the T.V. to keep their minds occupied. Now I sit. Now I think. Now I’m hungry. (Being at stay-home mom is an exhausting, never-ending game to please everyone at the same time, including myself).
By this point, I forget my ideas of what I was going to write but I just write anyway, the first idea that comes to mind. I have one sentence written. Great. Now I can get some food. Although, I dread opening the door to the fridge for the kids will see me on the prowl and instantly demand something, anything, even if they just want attention. So I just sit……and think……what was I writing about?
To Be Continued…