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Once a week, Mr. V plays trivia with some of his friends from the school where we live. It’s one of those same bat time, same bat channel things. And for five school years, I’ve stayed home with the kids that night of the week. It’s fine – it’s his thing, not mine.
But it’s something he loves, and I enjoy the scattered times I’m able to go, too. We decided this summer we’d try to get a sitter who could come that night of the week. It’s worth the money for me to be with Mr. V in his element and get to hang out with some of our friends sans kiddos.
The last time we had the sitter was three weeks ago, due to her vacation and ours, and this week she was supposed to come.
For a variety of reasons, our wires got crossed and she didn’t. I didn’t know for certain that she wasn’t coming until the clock on the wall ticked past 7:15 and Mr. V finally thought to check his email.
Also at 7:15? Three tired children were having meltdowns as we tried to figure out what was going on and put them to bed. The baby was wailing, Libbie was screaming, dinner dishes were still on the table, reeking of salmon, and Mama had HAD IT. Then the baby decided to sit on my lap, yank off my earring, and bite me on the shoulder.
That is when I went and hid.
Oh so many days I feel like I am not qualified for this parental position. I don’t like to play on the floor, I am really excited about my child going to kindergarten, and I hear myself and wonder, how did this get to be my life?
How am I the person who just said, “I didn’t know I had to tell you NOT TO RUN AROUND NAKED IN THE HALLWAY.” (That would be the hallway OUTSIDE our apartment.) Or, “Look, I found Finn McMistle and Jeff Gorvette!”
I love them so much it makes my heart feel like tissue paper, each hard word I say making it crumple. I just want to be fun and sweet and have everything be happiness and butterflies. But that’s not parenting.
Which is why sometimes Mama needs a night out. And having the exit ramp closed, having to retreat home … well, that can be enough to make a woman throw a temper tantrum.