Someone moved the Spock ear. I feel cheated yet somewhat relieved. Chuck and I barely have time for bedroom breaks these days, never mind complicated intergalactic rituals. Still...
I keep having flashbacks to a bowling trip I took around this time last year. I went with a single mom friend of mine who brought her five year old and toddler; I took Junior and Everett. Cam, who had just started walking, stayed at home with Chuck.
I spent most of the time watching my friend's toddler try to stick his fingers into and around the bowling balls. He would climb the stairs when she wasn't looking and race toward the arcade. He pushed all of the buttons on the vending machines.
He even managed to make it all the way to the end of one of the alleys—to the pins!—despite the fact that we were both watching him. Constantly.
I kept thinking, This is coming. Next year at this time, when Cam is two, this is going to be me. It made me sweat. It made my heart and head hurt because I knew from experience that it meant I wouldn't sit down for a long time. Nor would I have a chance to chew my food or actually converse with friends if we had a play date.
Simply put, I knew toddlerhood and I knew it would eat me alive.
It has. There's no other way to put it. Cam is hardly the easy-breezy-because-he-has-to-be third child. Rather, our family is the china shop and he is the bull that stormed through the door. We love him—obligatory blah blah blah—but sometimes after he goes to bed, the four of us sit down and slip into a shell- shocked daze. Like, What the hell just happened?
Cam is defiant. He's rambunctious. If he wants something, he helps himself to it—this includes beautifully decorated cupcakes that were lovingly arranged in the shape of a heart on a tabletop at a wedding we just attended (I'm sorry! Again!). If he doesn't like what you're saying he holds up a hand and yells DOP! DOP! (Stop!)
And he wants ONLY ME.
This is where I'm at the week before Mother's Day: frazzled and frantic. My energy reserves are on low—oh fuck, they're on E—and to be honest, I'm a little traumatized by some of our previous Mother's Day "celebrations" (if you're interested, search "crying in car" on this blog).
I found this picture a month ago in an old issue of Country Living magazine (the British edition) and I've been thinking, THIS is where I want to spend Mother's Day.
Alone in a pretty teepee. In my yard.
I've come up with some conditions: The kids can wave to me from the window of the house, but other than that I don't want any company. No, wait, let me clarify: I don't want any adolescent company.
I also don't want any kid-prepared food. Just because it's made with love doesn't mean it's edible. In fact, it probably contains bodily fluids of some kind. I'll take something store-bought or restaurant-made thank you very much.
And alcohol. I'll take a pitcher of vodka, some fresh limes and a big bucket of ice.
It's perfect, right? I'm home for Mother's Day but not really. I can accept gifts and trinkets but the children can be whisked away. If I drink too much I can walk home, and I have access to running water should I want to shower away all those ticks and mosquitoes.
You think I jest.
Tomorrow I'll take pictures of the teepee I've started to build.
About me: I'm 42 and added another gherkin to our pickle party of a family. My husband Chuck, our 9-year-old Junior, our 6-year-old Everett, our toddler and I live in a town in Connecticut I affectionately call Mulletville Lite (aka my childhood hometown). My friends call me Nutjob, and they're right. In my husband's spare time he dresses up as a Viking and chases ghosts (and I'm the nutjob?). When I'm not busy working as a graphic designer, I lie in a ball in the corner.