On Wednesdays, I rush home from work to see half of Jake’s soccer practice, so when my husband called to tell me practice was cancelled, I automatically looked at my gym bag which I keep in the car (along with the 100 other items that make it my second home.). “Maybe I’ll go to the gym,”I pondered aloud. A short silence. “Or you can come home early – I made dinner.” The image of my little boys rose up and caused a smile. I always missed them when I was at work. I pictured the four of us eating dinner around the table,talking,laughing, followed by some quality family time and then some work time for Mom.
But I knew it was a mirage.
I knew, yet I wavered. “I should really go to the gym.”
“Okay honey, do what you want. Just call me.”
I drove and drove, and when I finally drove past the gym, a little voice told me: you made a mistake. I pushed the voice away. I missed my boys and my husband. I could go work out tomorrow.
When I walked through the door, Jake greeted me with shining eyes and a big smile and it made all the bad stuff drift away. Children are like tiny miracles that put life into perspective.
They are also tiny tornadoes .
The little one was sleeping. Bad sign. With an hour nap that late at night, he would be running around the house on crack till 10:00pm. So, we woke him up, and the fun really started. Little one cried through dinner. Older one wasn’t hungry, which entailed playing bribery and begging games to get him to eat enough for nutrition sake.. I cracked open the bottle of wine, and there went my calories for the day down the drain.
After no eating, they wanted to play hide and go seek. And jump on the bed. And jump on the couch. And pirates, with hooks and swords flashing and dogs running and barking back and forth while I fought through the fray to get ready for the next day. Minutes seemed like hours, and I thought to myself, I could have been at the gym. I would have sweated out the stress of the day, had a shake for dinner, and walked in with the boys in their pjs and closer to bedtime.
That is one of my verbal tag creations in mommyhood. Bad Mommy is all the terrible things I think and do that I never thought I would ever do. Like the time I screamed at my son to “Get in the van, NOW!” while he kept protesting and I threw him inside and then realized it wasn’t my van, and the little girl inside started screaming because this strange little boy was being made to get into her car seat.
The time my husband was away for 6 weeks and I was trying to work from home and I felt a sharp jab against my leg while my little one made violent noises, and I never looked down, not once, while he said, “Mommy, look what I have.” And when Ifinally looked down he held a steak knife in his hand while he jabbed at my leg. He had somehow managed to break open the dishwasher and find the sharpest weapon at his disposal.
The time I was too busy and too tired to respond when Jake came in with his teddy bear and said he had to put the powder on since he was changing his diaper, and I never even bothered to get up and look in the room. Of course, the white cloud of smoke drifting through the house finally alerted my husband and we came into the room and the kids and the carpet and the dogs were covered with white powder. I still see it today weeks later.
So, Bad Mommy wished she had gone to the gym. Why is it that I crave seeing my kid’s faces and being with them when I am away, but only really want a good quality 15 minutes before I need a break again? And why is playing hide and go seek and jumping on the bed only fun for 5 minutes and then I am bored out of my mind and tired and just want to make up an excuse to do anything else?
Oh well. I guess blog time is confession time and I am not here to make myself look good, just tell the truth. Of course, they just came running into the office in matching footy pajamas with milk mustaches and they are so damn cute! Maybe I will read them a book. For five minutes. Then back to the computer……