One Wednesday night a couple weeks ago, I was trying not to fall apart while I made supper and counting down the hours until I could go rock climbing with my cousins. Lily had been clingy and whiny all day and Sunshine had been asking a thousand “whys” and pestering her sister at every opportunity. When my husband walked in the door, I was in the kitchen with the girls, trying to throw together a curry for supper.
“What’s that?” Sunshine asked from her perch on a chair at my right elbow, watching as I scraped the surprisingly pale flesh from a dark purple eggplant.
“Eggplant,” I said shortly. It had been roasting in the oven for an hour and was supposed to be soft now—the recipe said “mash and add to the curry”—but it was about the texture of an apple. And hot. I dropped a piece, grumbling under my breath, and stacked it on the cutting board to chop.
“Why?” asked Sunshine.
“Because it is,” I said. “Go play with Daddy.”
He’d changed out of his work clothes and disappeared into the living room to check his email. Lily began pushing buttons on the toaster, which she was sitting beside on the counter. I dumped the knife and cutting board in the sink, rinsed my hands quickly, and put her on the floor. She wrapped both arms around my leg and began howling. I clenched my teeth, took a deep breath, and put her back in the corner of the counter.
“Oh, I have a rugby practice tonight at the law school,” my husband called from the other room.
I thought, I’m going to scream. I looked at the clock. Okay, hold it together until bedtime now. “All right. I’ll go rock climbing tomorrow night,” I answered him. That solved our problem about what to do for those two nights—both of us had about three different places we could have been on Wednesday and Thursday.
Somehow, I served supper, cleaned up, and then checked Facebook while the girls played. I updated my status to “A tall glass of wine, a big piece of dark chocolate, a hot bubble bath, and absolute silence, please.” Then I put the girls to bed, worked on my writing assignment for two hours, and went to bed myself.
The next day, I laughed when I saw what one of my friends posted on my status update. She said, ” “I’m sorry to say I was slightly relieved to see that someone else was having one of those days. :)”
Yes, we all have days like that—days when the girls make a mess as soon as I clean it up, get more Kraft Dinner on the floor than in their mouths (yes, I feed my kids KD), days when they fight more than they play, days when nothing happens the way I want it to. And yeah, it does help to know that other moms go through it too.
Those are the days when I pick up the phone, or pack the girls into the stroller to walk down to the beach, or grab one of my favourite mommy books (for the bath that never happened), or just throw the to-do list out the window and sit down to read their entire bookshelf of stories together.