This conversation just happened.
“It’s the long Easter holiday weekend. I’m looking forward to our camp at the beach with the kids, aren’t you?” he asked.
“No. I’m not,” she said. Actually, it was more of a ‘she snarled.’
Surprise. “Why? What’s the matter? It’s a holiday! Time to relax and enjoy family time,” he said. Still clueless.
“Are you kidding me? I’ve been at home with four children going on four straight weeks now. First, they were home because the pinkeye epidemic cancelled all the schools, then it was time for school holidays, then two went back to school but the other two have runny noses and an ear infection.” (pitch and tone of voice getting louder…higher…screechier…bordering on manic)
“Oh,” he said. Subdued. “I see.”
But she’s not done. Hell no. She’s still going. “I don’t think you DO see. You leave the house everyday. You only have to be with these demons for an hour or so at the end of the day. I have to listen to them, referee them, organize them, clean up after them ALL FREAKIN DAY. And when I lock myself in my cave so I can write, they keep knocking on my door, pestering me. Wanting to breathe my air. I hate this.”
He listened. He pondered. Then he had a bright idea. “I understand. You need a break. Why don’t you go out for the day on your own, leave them here with me?”
“No. I don’t want to have to go somewhere else to be happy and alone. This is my cave, my space. I hate going places. I want to breathe and think and savor my space by myself. Right here,” she wailed.
He had another bright idea. Because he’s a decent man and he does try. “I’ll take them all out for the day and leave you on your own. How about that?”
“It’s Easter Friday. There’s nothing open in Samoa today. Where are you going to take them? What are they going to eat? What are they going to do? All day?” she demanded.
“Don’t worry. That will be my problem. You can just sit in your room and ummm… breathe your air…talk to imaginary people in your stories…or whatever it is you need to do, without anyone bothering you.” He was trying extra hard to be helpful and hopeful and understanding.
Too bad it didn’t work.
“Nooooo! What kind of a mother would I be if I kicked all my kids out of the house? You can’t take them and just wander the wilderness all day – because I want the place to myself. That would mean I’m selfish and horrible. Its the holidays. I should have fabulous activities planned for them. A good mother would think its fun to be with her children. I don’t want to be a bad person.”
He was well and truly bewildered now. “So what the heck do you want then?! I don’t get it.” He threw his hands up in the air. “Having us here is driving you nuts. But chasing us away makes you a bad person? You can’t be the worlds best mother AND want to get rid of your children at the same time. It doesn’t work that way. What do you want?”
“I want a freeze machine. So I can zap them like Han Solo in Star Wars. That way I can have them all at home with me but keep them in cold storage. Just defrost them when I want a hug. Or need them to do the dishes. Totally painless of course.” And then she mused on that happy thought for a while.
While he was horrified. “You want to freeze your children?” Then an even more dreadful thought. “And your husband too?”
“Whaat?” He shook his head in disbelief. “Who does that? Who even thinks of stuff like that?”
Who indeed. ..
Please tell me somebody, somewhere in the universe – has frozen thoughts like this? #BadMother conversations like this one?!