Friday, February 11, 2011

Where's My Damn Cape, Already?!

They say that no good deed goes unpunished. The mama-twist on this?

No good time goes unpunished.

Last night, I went out for the first time in three weeks. A dear friend and I settled ourselves in at the pub, had a couple pints, drank very responsibly over the course of four hours (we had fries, too) and chatted away on all manner of things. We left relaxed, but certainly without a buzz on, and I rolled into bed at 11, confident that Kiddo's recent tendency to sleep in until 6:30 would work in my favor.

Wrong. Wrong. Wrong.

At 4:30, Kiddo called out "Mama, I need you to hold me." I told Joe to just put Kiddo on our big bed. Big mistake. At 5:30 I'd spent the last hour with Mr. Wiggles, who was not a cooperative co-sleeper, while Joe snored away, oblivious to my rather grumpy and envious thoughts about the snoring. At this point, I told Joe to take Kiddo onto the little bed, but neither of us got any sleep. Instead, Kiddo wanted to "get up and play", to "go downstairs and eat", anything but sleep. At six, I grudgingly begged to sleep  for another hour and promised Joe he could sleep in tomorrow. Ah... at least the chance for one more hour of sleep. I was lucky, right?

Oh, no. Not so much. My next hour of sleep featured a dream in which I was running around my house, half dressed and doing some remodeling work, only to have my son's entire preschool group of parents and teachers show up, angry at me for having dropped the ball on some project they were doing for a hospital. I won't go into all the details, but it was not a relaxing sleep. Waking from this, I rolled out of bed and headed downstairs to make a cup of tea. I had time for this luxury-- tea first, breakfast later-- because I wasn't teaching today. But looking across the table at Kiddo, my heart sank. His hair was dirty. How could it get so dirty overnight? I couldn't send him to school like this, so I grabbed up the towels, cleared the counters (because we still wash his hair in the kitchen sink, beauty shop style, to avoid hysterics) and shampooed Kiddo's head. Threw the wet towels down to the basement laundry pile, bolted my breakfast and jumped in the shower. It was 8:15 and we needed to be getting ourselves ready by 8:30 at the latest.

I'm very quick in the tub when need be, and was able to deflect Kiddo's questions about the toys he kept bringing into the bathroom. "How does this fit, Mama?" I assumed he was talking about the pegboard he was playing with. I refused to look at the toys, explaining that "Mama has to hustle so we can get to school on time" and kept on with the shower. And then, at around 8:20, it hit me-- no one had made Kiddo's lunch.

Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t.  (I didn't say it aloud, but believe me, it was a mantra floating through my head.)

I raced through getting dressed and dried, thanking whatever stars had aligned that Kiddo hadn't planted himself in the bathroom this morning as he sometimes does. I had enough to deal with besides more three-year-old observations on "Mama's Sliding-Down Boo Boos", which is what you get when you're forty and had nursed the precious bundle of joy who would later make such, um, unflattering observations. I began to direct Kiddo through his getting ready for school. "Go potty, please." Only my son can figure out a way to pee sloooowwwly, I am sure of this. "It's time to get on your fleece jacket, now." I am flying around the kitchen, grabbing leftover pasta and grating Parmesan onto it before packing it up in his lunchbox. The jacket is still not on, Kiddo just standing there.  AM I SPEAKING ESPERANTO, CHILD? "Get your jacket on now." I am now peeling a carrot, and he is still fiddling around. This is where I am starting to slide a bit. It's now 8:35 and we have five more minutes and at the rate he's going.... The voice raises, and I forget everything good in the world-- the robins that have returned to the neighborhood, the sweetness of the newly-budding plants beginning to bloom, the joy that comes with having a family --- "Put your damn coat on right now!!" I growl, giving my son the evil eye as I cram a napkin, fork and place mat into his lunch bag, toss the whole thing into his tote, and begin to get my own coat on.

"Mama, why is it a 'damn coat'?"

Really??? This is your question? Not "Mama, how many more minutes on the clock before you blast off like a rocket and begin orbiting the earth?"

Our walk to school seemed better, we'd both gotten out the door on time after all, and were able to take our time. Things were looking up. Or so I thought. Because when we got to school, he was playing too rough with the little friend he's supposed to have a play date with this afternoon.

And then, horror of horrors, he spit at her.

I just about died, but Mama can't die on the job, so instead, I used my stern voice and had him check in with his friend, who looked deeply offended-- and with good reason. Thank goodness the child's adult is a lovely, no-nonsense woman who trusts me enough to know that this isn't tolerated. I still have no idea where he saw this spitting thing and got the idea in the first place, but I knew there were no hard feelings, because the nice woman offered me a ride when she saw me walking toward Hawthorne so I could get some dinner shopping done.

And now here I sit, too tired to do much else. No good time goes unpunished. I have taken very good care of Kiddo and Joe over the past three weeks of their both being sick. I have made home-cooked dinners nearly every night, so they could get better. Nothing out of a box. I have taken out the garbage and recycling to help the Big Guy out, and have made lots of time for transitions and fun so that the Little Guy could keep feeling better. I have proactively parented and partnered as well as doing my professional job. It all feels a bit taken for granted right now. If I'm supposed to be Supermama, where's my damn cape already?!

At least I'll get to sleep in Sunday.

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