Guilty As Charged Written by Sarah V. Hayes

Posted by Sarah V. Hayes on Apr 12th 2023

Guilty As Charged Written by Sarah V. Hayes

All day, I’ve felt like I’d been carrying a bowling ball in my stomach. A rotating ball: combined with hunger pains, cramps, swollen feet, week knees and aching hip bones/joints that feel like they don’t belong to me. Normally, I have a difficult time following a conversation but compounded with the monthly asteroid effects of the so-called “normal” feminine menstrual cycle, and it becomes not only impossible, but extremely quizzical to react to such confrontation. So, I prefer to just stay mute (which is easier said than done in most situations). Consider the act of silence, a work-in-progress.

I’m sure most remember Snoopy’s “mute” teacher, Mrs. Donovan from the Charlie Brown series. Nobody could understand her as she stated…”blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.” Like the cartoon, my house suddenly became a scene from the show. In my case though, the voices were coming from my two kids.

Now, I had always been a good student; showed up on time, listened to and followed directions and received, relatively, good grades. Now, I feel roles have suddenly changed and I have become a magician. “Whatever I say, you do.” More like a game of Simon Says, my children will listen to me (hypothetically, or magically, speaking. The truth is though, at some point, all parents become like Mrs. Donovan….”Blah, blah, blah, blah.”)

Right now, though, all I’m able to do is focus on how miserable I’m feeling. But being a day before school vacation, and the questions keep coming at me like darts being thrown at a dartboard. And I’m the dartboard. Miraculously, I’m still standing.

“Listen to this drama,” one tells me, as the other is asking if she can spend the night at a friend’s house. “And guess what happened today?” one shouted as if I was a mile away. Meanwhile, our two dogs are playing tag around the kitchen-island. The English Mastiff can’t help but run into my legs forcing me to hunch over to quell the pain.

Without noticing, one of the kids asks, “Can I have Bella spend the night?”

Then the other kid chimes in and asks, “Can Ava spend the night on Saturday and I go to her house Sunday? Oh, and don’t forget we have to go shopping on Sunday!”

Which brings me to the question that was asked before I stood frozen like a deer-in-the-headlights. The question also gave me fuel to write this story, so I shouldn’t complain.

In her deep and forceful voice, the youngest says, “Oh…and can you NOT have her friend ride my bike?”


Busted…and guilty.

I looked at my husband. More of a demand than a question, I yelled, “Can everyone just go DO something!”