Sunday, May 23, 2010

If mom folds five loads of laundry, goes grocery shopping, washes dishes, and bathes the children and nobody is there to see it, did it really happen?

Before we get started you should know that the Mister is out of town for a week and I am not at my best. This was my bedtime conversation with Oliver, who is very upset, missing his dad, and having trouble falling asleep.

It's just hard because dad makes all the fun and you just do, like, some things in the house and like, you're kind of boring because you're writer and all you ever do it write books and stuff.

pretending to be very neutral participant in this conversation
I play sometimes. I just have a lot to do.

I guess sometimes you're not blogging. But dad plays games and plays, like, the matching game and builds towers. But its hard to have two kids because we're always like, "Mommy do this, mommy do this."

It is hard, but it's great too. I love having two kids.

Well, I just wish you weren't so boring. It's hard.

The conversation continued in this vein for quite a while until I sang one last song and insisted he go to sleep.

Obviously I am horrified in about 27 different ways, not the least of which is because I spend so much of that time when I am ignoring my kids and supposedly writing books lurking on Facebook and trying to find the perfect pair of pumps online (they have a square heel and a square toe).

I am bothered too because this is the beginning of that age-old pattern of fun dad/task-master mom. He plays airplane, I insist on hair-combing. He builds towers, I limit the cookie intake and remind them to say "thank you."

I am chagrined by the sudden knowledge that my kids have heard me bitch about motherhood. At some point Oliver learned that I think having two kids is hard and that is not something he should really have to take on at the moment.

Mostly I am bothered because he's right. I am not a great player. I am sort of grouchy and boring. I'm distracted. I put them off. When given the choice, I almost always choose making dinner over playing with the kids while the Mister makes dinner.

I am often exhausted by simply maintaining basic order and getting everyone out of the house on time (for the record I don't even care if the shoes are on the wrong feet or if the outfits make a bit of sense), but also, I find playing boring.

Go Fish, restaurant, family, pirates—these are all games I am often asked to participate in. Sometimes simultaneously. And I do. For about five minutes. Then I notice that the floor needs sweeping or I feel like checking my email or I just zone out and forget to call Oliver "matey." I adore my kids ferociously but in all honesty, I prefer the company of adults.

Which was all fine and good before my kids got smart and perceptive and developed the power of speech. Now I can't ignore them and pretend they don't notice. They tell me. They think I am boring. They've caught on.

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