Remember that Mormon ad from a million years ago… A little kid is happy because he got A’s on his report card and all his joy gets sucked away by the voice of a parent, getting mad at him for some minor thing he has done wrong. Sometimes (most of the time), I feel like that little boy.
Our house is a very busy place. Everyone is juggling some combination of work, school, and social commitments (except my youngest who is only 10 and Buster the Schnauzer who is… well… a schnauzer). Emotions run high. And here I stand, rooted like a bull’s eye in the center of the madness, throwing out statements that are bound to infuriate the masses. Wild, crazy things like:
- “put on your mittens” (in my defense, it is -14 C)
- “wrap the cheese before you put it back in the fridge”
- “eat something”
- “let the dog in/out/in/out” (admittedly, Buster is a high maintenance pet)
- “time to go to bed” or “time to get out of bed” (equally aggravating sides to the same coin)
I continually ask nagging,
annoying questions… the same questions over and over. Questions like:
- “What is that weird smell in your room?”
- “Where is my phone charger/hairbrush/bank card/VISA card…?”
- “Where are you going? When will you be back?” (often the question is posed to someone leaving with keys to our only car in one hand and a back pack over one shoulder)
- “Will you be here for dinner?”
- “Can you pick up ______ while you are out?” (the answer is always no but I keep asking, which I recognize as a sign of possible insanity)
You can see why I am attracting disdain like black pants draw in dog hair. Eyes are rolling at me all day, every day. Doors are slammed (which is usually blamed on a mysterious wind that blows arbitrarily through the house). My name is pushed at me in long, drawn-out exhales that clearly express how exhausting my existence is… M….O….T….H….E….R….
For about an hour each evening, I am useful in a non-offensive way, as I curl up on the sofa with our youngest and watch an episode of Gilmore Girls with her before bedtime. During that hour, I get on no one’s nerves, ask no questions, request no information, and make no inappropriate comments about anything. She snuggles against me and we nibble something “snacky” and when she talks to me, she calls me “mom” or even “mommy”. And I get all warm and mushy on the inside.
Then the episode ends. Even as I push the off button on the television remote, I feel it coming. My mouth opens and I start talking about tooth-brushing and flossing and bedtimes. “Mommy” is gone and I am back to being M….O….T….H….E….R.