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Category: Family Life

Whatever I Did Couldn’t Have Been That Bad

It was a gift. My mom brought it with her one day late last winter when she came to watch the girls while I went to an appointment. It was a harmless present, she said, and gave it to Saoirse with a smile on her face because she thought SK would love it. I gave my mom a look one would not call appreciative. “What?” she asked, seemingly innocently, with an expression on her face that was supposed to seem surprised, but I knew. This was payback. This gift was retribution for the stomping and yelling and general attitude of my teenage years. My mother was laughing because she knew she could leave this house, shut the door, and walk away while I still stuck inside, hands clapped over my ears, cowering in fear from the sheer horror that was the gift. And SK loved it. She had it with her all the time, followed me around the house with it, gleefully played with it first thing in the morning, right before bed, standing right beside me while the stereo played softly and I hunched over the cutting board, preparing food for dinner, trying not to use the…

Laughing as I Type This

I was talking to a new acquaintance the other morning. She told me that she’d be the person dropping off her son at preschool, but that his grandmother, who watches him during the day, would be the one to pick him up. She works from home, and I mentioned something about that being a wonderful set-up because of the flexibility. “Oh, yeah,” she said, nodding fervently. “I love it. It’s perfect. You need something outside of the kids, you know?” I smiled, and cleared my throat. Quinn fidgeted on my hip, anxious to get down on the ground to crawl, and I was suddenly conscious of the honey she’d smeared on the shoulder of my shirt, now crusty and smelling faintly like old cough syrup, during breakfast that morning. I thought about how, in the two hours Saoirse was at school, I had to run Quinn to her baby gym class, then get to the grocery store to do the week’s shopping before driving back to the school in time to meet SK, praying all the while the milk I just bought didn’t curdle into…

Round Two

I should be grateful that I get to spend some one-on-one-time with my youngest daughter, I know. I should feel blessed that we can swing these mom-and-me gym classes while solidly denting the bank, but not breaking it. I should be excited to spend 45 minutes without laundry or chores or errands, just watching Quinn crawl up those short stairs, and roll around a ball pit, and toss a basketball toward a little hoop. But this is what makes me want to bang my head against the padded gym walls. Because I haven’t drunk enough coffee for small talk at 9:30 in the morning. And Quinn starts crying halfway through the gym class because she just gets so–pardon my French, but if you saw her, you’d understand–pissed off that she can’t walk around like the other toddlers. And I wonder if it was really worth putting on mascara for this today, or if I should have just stayed in my gym shorts, because they were way more comfortable than the pants I’m wearing. But then she turns around to look for me…