September 29th, 2009

You May Think You’re Done, but You’re Wrong

Angie McCullagh

You know how at the end of the day, when it’s time for the kids to retire for the night, and you’re secretly looking forward to it, craving some space, counting down?

And you bathe them and read to them and put them in pajamas (singing happy little ditties to yourself all the while) and all the children have to do is close their eyes and drift off into a nice, long sleep. But they won’t. In fact, they don’t want to stay in their cozy beds, but to jump on top of them. Or on top of yours. Or anything that will prevent shut-eye, which is what they (and you) really need.

Yeah. I know how that is too. Because Milo and Belle are engaging in such tomfoolery almost nightly. And there’s nothing worse, really, than thinking you’re Done. Done being mommy for the day, ready to, if not put on your miniskirt and red leather boots and go watch a band in the city, then to at least lay on the couch with a remote or good book. Except that you’re not really Done.

Belle’s favorite trick is to grab me with her sticky tentacle fingers, so tightly that, when I try to gently move away, she drags after me, like a trail of slime behind a slug (which, I guess, makes me the gastropod, but if the antennae fit…)

Milo likes to ask when I’ll be back to check on him. So I offer a time, usually ten to fifteen minutes out. And then I blow him a kiss and try to leave. He foils me though, by throwing his arms toward me for one more hug and begging me to stay. And often, if I don’t make it back to his room on the dot of when I said I’d be there, he shoots out of bed and comes looking for me.

And, yeah, I love you kid. More than anything. But I have celebrity gossip to catch up on and emails to answer and songs to download and chocolate to eat, and I’d stay if I could. But I can’t.

I psyche myself up to be Done and it’s almost impossible to go back. To change that mindset from…Sweet Freedom!!! to, Okay, one more story, a few extra kisses and a back rub. Six-and-a-half years in and I think I’m finally learning. Learning that I won’t actually be Done ever. And I can live with that, I guess, as long as I can occasionally wear my red, leather boots while lying on the couch reading my favorite book.

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Any kid will tell you, there’s nothing worse than cold snow creeping in between your mittens and coat, sending an icy chill right through all the veins in your wrist! But it ALWAYS happens. Solution? Take an old adult sock and put a hole in it for the thumb. Then put it under your child’s coat and mittens. Voila! Just the barrier you need.