Monday, October 1, 2007

A break

I need a break.

The weekends are supposed to be a break for a stay-at-home mom. My husband was off call this past weekend. But the work never ends--it's errand time, shopping for kids' shoes time, time to do laundry and then fold it away. And oh yes, tend to the kids. The kids, who are ATTENTION MONSTERS. Their dad is around all weekend for them, yet they cling to me. No, let's amend that--the Bean alternately clings to mom and then dad, bouncing back and forth between us. The Legume mostly prefers mom, but is sometimes content with her dad. We spent the whole weekend trading children back and forth, me taking whoever was screaming at the time and my husband taking whoever seemed most content at the time.

So Monday is also supposed to be a bit of a break for me. The Bean-girl goes to preschool on that day. The same girl who demands to be "up on mommy!" every five minutes when we're at home, who is continually climbing all over me--now she's a model of independence at school. She runs off from me to paint and sit in Circle Time without a backward glance at good 'ole mom. I'd call it a Jekyl-and-Hyde transformation, if it weren't that calling her Hyde seems a bit harsh.

It's suppose to be a break.... But it isn't. There's grocery shopping to do, and a long list of dreamed-of tasks to be completed before I pick up the Bean... And I feel time ticking away inside my chest. The Legume has suddenly become sleepless during the day, and is in a cranky mood for it. I manage to read a few stories on a literary web site... But no, it doesn't feel like a break.

Then we pick up the Bean, start the round of dinner, bath, storytime, bed... And the Bean-girl is both exasperating and charming; I take a bath with her, she splashes water in my face and giggles, we read stories and she makes me a laugh... My husband, bless him, does the best he can with us all, and that is truly a lot. The Legume is crazy at night as always, and eventually passes out after her inevitable colicky screaming fit. It's just another day in our household and in my life: repetitive, tedious, tender, funny, irritating as an itch under your shoulder blade and then suddenly warm and cozy as your quilt in the winter. It's over, the kids are asleep, I'm here at the computer... and damnit, I still need a break.

And I suspect that I will not be getting any real kind of a break... Not for a long, long time.

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