I can hear him screaming over the monitor. Angrily I roll over to check the time on the clock. 5:48. Seething, I get out of bed, forgetting to stop and pee and march upstairs in the dark to his room.
I don’t know if I can do this again today.
“Mommy!” he screams. “Please don’t leave. Sit right here on the floor, beside me,” he pleads after I tell him that it’s not 7:00 yet and that Mommy is very, very tired and want to go back to bed.
I sit down wearily beside his crib, cursing inside. I wonder if he’s truly scared or if he’s just manipulating me. Also, I have to pee.
I promise him that I’m just leaving for a moment so that I can pee. “I’ll leave your door open. I’m just going right across the hall to the bathroom.” He starts to scream as I leave.
I turn to him and in my angriest voice, which surprises even me, I tell him to shut up and that I’ll be right back.
I only feel slightly bad that I told him to shut up. I hope he didn’t notice.
After he’s finally settled I go back to sleep for what seems like ten seconds, but rather it’s about 40 minutes. 6:58 is what I see on the clock as I hear Carson screaming for me again. Just to spite him, I want to let him scream for two more minutes until 7:00. Or to spite him, I want to go up to his room and scream at him to please just shut up and wait for f*cking 7:00.
I go in, scoop him out of his crib, saying nothing. The day begins.
I look around the kitchen and notice the crumbs and fruit flies. My floor looks as if I haven’t swept or mopped since ever, despite having done both just two days prior.
There is a pile of dirty dish towels, in desperate need of washing and smelling like spoiled milk.
My washing machine is broken, full of water and wet towels.
“Uh oh!” Ella squeals as she tosses her sippy cup, full of milk over the edge of her chair.
The cup is no longer full of milk.
It’s empty, the white milk in a puddle on the floor. Splashes of white milk dot the cupboards.
It doesn’t matter. The floor is already dirty.
“You don’t even like me anymore. I can’t even joke around with you anymore.” In one respect, I hear Tate’s words and I feel badly that he could even think this. Of COURSE I like him. Of COURSE he can joke around with me, but after days of little sleep and constant battles, I need adult interaction. I need HIM to listen to ME.
Immediately his words make my heart harden and I feel my face redden with anger. “How dare he,” I think silently to myself. “All I do every minute of everyday is GIVE. What about me? What about thinking of MY feelings.” I say nothing.
Ella is almost walking. She takes two or three hesitant steps, her arms out in front of her body for balance before she falls on her bottom. Over and over she stands up and tries again.
I smile at her and want nothing more than to swoop her up and feel her soft skin against my face and smother her sweet little neck with kisses.
In an instant I can go from feeling such rage to giggling in spite of myself.
He asks if I need a break, just to get away. “Go for a walk,” he tells me. I can hear the annoyance in his voice and I want to shout back at him, “you have NO idea what it’s like to be home everyday with these kids. I do EVERYTHING for them. You have NO idea.”
I do need a break. I do want to get away.
NO. I want to RUN away.
“It’s too hot to go for a walk,” I say instead.
I consider not hitting publish.
But I do it anyway.
(Haven’t I written this post about a hundred times before?)