Thursday, January 8, 2015

Don't screw with my 5:30pm Mommy Break Time

At 5:30 at night,  I need a break. Most days, I've had my kids under my care for a few hours by then; I've schlepped them around in the cold and rain and general awfulness out-of-doors. I've helped them with homework, in the process teaching myself complex computation with fractions, or else earning a bleeding ulcer from agida. I've cleaned up juice and crackers and poop and pee from the floor, courtesy of Terza and I've served up roughly two hundred thirteen portions of snacks. I've counseled them through crushing defeats, moderated innumerable feuds, assuaged unbearable slights. I may have even celebrated, with preternatural gusto, some successes.

That's to say nothing of the day of work which precedes retrieving my kids. So, at 5:30, I'm ready for a little break. I'm ready to crack open my computer, respond to a few emails, take care of some annoying bits of business so that I won't be up until midnight doing it later. I need the break in order to make it through the rest of the night, which involves dinner and bedtime, otherwise known as Everyone Yell Loudly For Three Hours Time.

So, last night, at 5:30 when Terza announced in her most adorable voice: "I need my snuggly" I hardly even looked up from my computer. .

"What's that?" I asked.

"My snuggly bunny, Mommy," she said, really laying on the cuteness. She titled her head to the side and pouted her lips together in a patented don't-you-just-want-to-eat-me-up look.  "I need my bunny from my crib because I want to snuggle with it so I can get so cozy and toasty and warm."

For a second, I almost caved to the cuteness. It was really highly concentrated stuff, top shelf. But then my fatigue won out. The thought of getting off the couch was just too much to bear.

"OK," I said. "I'll get it for you in a minute."

Her cute-as-a-button face melted instantly into her Hell-hath-no-fury face. She was obviously vexed that I'd grown immune to her charms.

"No you won't!" she shouted.

She was a hundred percent right. I would not get the bunny in a minute, or even, probably, five minutes. It could be a good twenty minutes before I got up to get the snuggly bunny, so essential to my daughter's warm and cozy master plan. It would probably require one of the big kids to  have a major problem which prompted them to yell for me incessantly from the other room, enough that I'd get fed up listening to it and storm up off the couch and over to them. Then, as long as I was up, I'd get the snuggly bunny. This is what it means to be a third child. Your mother is always tired. Your mother has no time. Your snuggly bunny, no matter how adorably you ask for it, is never high on the priority list.

The guilt prompted by this revelation, combined with the realization that if I didn't get the snuggly bunny from her crib, she would do it -- which would require her to climb into the crib, which would cement that awful, hideous, deal-breaking, life-as-we-know-it-is-over habit -- made me get up.

"Here, " I said, tossing it to her and resuming my business on the couch.

Ahhhh, third children. How I feel for you.