September 8th, 2009

Mommy Needs Her Own Bouncy House


I don’t do well with large groups of children. I mean, I muddle my way through birthday parties and Children’s Museums, but it’s well known around this household that, when we get home, Mom has to lie down.

It’s very dramatic. I dim the lights and lay a cool cloth over my eyes with one outturned wrist across my forehead while I listen to Ottmar Liebert. In my “peignoir” (think 1930s negligee).With a long cigarette burning away in my nightstand ashtray.

Except that really, I’m face first across my unmade bed, occasionally moaning, shooing Belle and Milo away, wondering in which country it might be 5:00 and when I can drink a glass of wine.

Individually, you could say I like children. Er, more or less. But there’s something about a swarming, bubbling, screeching group of little people under the age of 12 that makes ten years of my life pass in an hour.

Predictably, the venues I find most exhausting (usually involving bouncy houses) are inversely related to the places Belle and Milo love most.

“Fifteen more minutes, mom? Pleeeease?”

“Thirty seconds,” I say, swaying like a badly engineered bridge on a windy day.

“Ten minutes!”

“One! And that’s my final offer.” I say, because I’m a flexible sort.

Walking out to the car, Belle and Milo, rather than sagging from the stimulation of it all, seem energized by the pushing and sweating. “Wasn’t that the best thing ever, mom? Wasn’t that the most awesome time we’ve ever had?”

I’m thinking cinnamon rolls and mugs of coffee and a good book are just a wee bit more enjoyable than mammoth rubber castles and slides. “Sure,” I say. “I’m glad you had so much fun.”

When we get home and I’ve fallen onto the bed and either handed off the kids or forced them into their rooms for “quiet time”, I vow to sequester us forever so we never have to interact with large groups of children again. Ever. I’m thinking home schooling or a compound in Eastern Washington.

Many more birthday parties and I’m gonna have to move into one of those bouncy houses myself. A bouncy house wrapped in a bubble and lined with foam padding. With Ottmar Liebert pumped in and a wardrobe of peignoirs at my disposal.

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This Weeks Tip

It’s a Mom’s lot in life to have nice things break. But what’s more worrisome are those pesky shards of glass on the floor when little toes are around. A surefire way to get them up? Take a piece of white bread (preferably soft), sprinkle a little water on it… then wipe the floor with the bread (wet side down.) Thanks to its porous texture, the bread picks up all the little pieces that went unseen.