That’s what I told my therapist I felt like doing after first bombing into her familiar office and then taking four deep breaths as I settled into an upholstered armchair of indistinct color. Whenever I stop doing and simply start being, all the things I compartmentalize and contain in order to function rise in my head until it feels like it will crack open and tears will come with such force that they’ll spring out of the corners of my eyes sideways.
But I don’t explode. I take more breaths. I start rambling tangentially about my son accidentally hitting his head – twice – and watching for potential concussion signs all night, and about how I was late for work because the babysitter got into a car accident, and how my husband and I are in week two of marriage counseling.
Then I say something funny. Or clever. Or maybe even profound.
The conversation always ends in the same place. First things first. Baby steps. Before I can do anything, I’ve just got to get some real sleep.
But here I write, closing in on midnight after an extra long workday followed by grocery shopping and a kitchen nightmare to clean. I think I deserve these few quiet moments with pen and paper, some chocolate, and a small cup of wine.
The wine is something new. I kept seeing fellow moms’ facebook posts after their children were in bed about that blessed ritual. I figure they’re on to something.
This is the second time in a week I’ve imbibed, and I admit, it does soften the edges. Sipping a dark Zinfandel almost feels like company while my husband is engrossed with his lover, the New Yorker magazine, on the couch downstairs.
I had crammed in my first meeting with the Blogettes, a bunch of local woman bloggers, and I’m trying to use the group’s advice: When you have five minutes, write a post.
“Everyone has five or 10 minutes,” Beth Hayden, the blogging guru says.
I’m thinking: really?
There I was out of the house on a rare night when I had convinced my husband to get home early, and I was already dreading the hell there’d be to pay when I got home. I was a half hour late for the Blogettes because whenever I tell Greg I need to leave at say, 6, to get somewhere by 6:30, he relentlessly shows up at 6:35 to take over at home.
Usually, if I want to step out, I maniacally clean the house and get the boys in their PJs, teeth brushed, etc. before daring to leave. Unfortunately, my share of chores and then some typically awaits my return if I go do something just for me.
I recall one of the first times I left Greg with two kids to complete the last steps of their night-night routine on his own. (In all fairness, he ended up doing it several times without me before I was brave enough to make the same solo attempt. Raphael’s pre-bed medical program was intense.) Greg was my hero that time. He did fine putting the kids down, but I made myself nuts getting stuff done before I left, and I had a hard time relaxing at the party. My friend Jes was hosting a “slumber party” where a very funny lady hocks lingerie and X-rated trinkets while ladies sit around getting snookered on wine and embarrassment.
I remember the sales lady trying to sell some body lotion. (If you’ve been to Colorado, you know that moisturizers and hand cream are an easy sell to a crowd of females whose skin routinely dries up and turns to leather in the arid climate.) The women were all nodding their heads as the sales woman described the routine of putting lotion on after a shower, and all I could think was, “You bitches! You have time to put lotion on?”
At the recent blogfest, the women were nodding their heads like, “Yeah, 10 minute chunks for writing. I can do that.”
I was incredulous.
Granted this wasn’t a meeting of moms with small children, but I noticed I was the only one there sporting that fantastically fast mom-do that is the unkempt ponytail I’ve worn since my first born came.
I looked around and wondered who else but moi hadn’t showered in three days.
And I bet no one else there was wearing the pants her kid had puked on – twice – earlier in the day. (There had only been time for one of us to get fresh clothes, and Raphael won that lottery with a fresh Onesie I keep in the diaper bag for such occasions.)
So I’m not convinced about those mythical extra five minutes. I think something else always has to give. Like sleep.
Speaking of, Greg’s asleep on the couch, and I need to head up to bed.
It’s time to fall over.
Before I go, I have a question: Anyone else wearing throw up?