This morning, after last night making known to the male residents of the home AND the dog that I would like to sleep in for the first time in awhile, I was up at 7:15 to let the dog out. As grumpy as this made me, at least I got the first hot coffee and some quiet time to myself. Time I spent playing Words with Friends (never ever leave a triple word score block open, I will throw letters at that until I FIND a word), clearing out emails, ignoring today’s to-do list, and scrolling idly through Pinterest. I love Pinterest, but the quality seems to have dropped as of late. Too many dead links or missing permalinks, and what the hell is with all the cupcakes? Psst…just FYI…it’s not a Paleo cupcake if you’re using red food dye. Just sayin’.
One of the images that scrolled past was a so-called inspirational photoquote for moms. I can’t remember for sure, but it may not have had misspellings, which alone would have made it memorable. It went a little like this:
940. The number of Saturdays you have with your child before he leaves home. Think about that.
So I thought about that while I drank my coffee and my household slept. 940. Nine forty. Nine hundred and forty Saturdays with my child before he is considered old enough and responsible enough to move from my home and live on his own. The gist of the photoquote was to enjoy and appreciate every sixth day of the week that you have with your child, don’t delay, no regrets. Kindly feel guilty if you hadn’t figured this out on your own.
It kinda pissed me off.
I don’t always enjoy being with my kids. There. I said it. And I don’t like being guilted into remembering they are only with me for a very small portion of their lives. Lately both boys have been absolute pills, with the occasional good day keeping me from selling them to the nearest traveling circus. Yesterday A and I spent the day learning all about nuclear science for a merit badge. We got to tour a nuclear reactor and the day was worth the five hours in the car. This morning the sibling bickering began before they were even in the same room, or on the same floor! It has been like that more often than not lately, and while it’s pretty typical for brothers, it’s taking a toll on me. I’m about to send both off to Hogwarts, to live in the dungeon and fight Dobby for socks. This doesn’t mean I don’t love them, it just means I’d like a break and that I’m fully aware my sub-par parenting skills are to blame.
940 Saturdays of guilt that I’m sick to death of pancakes.
940 Saturdays of guilt that they’re not in any kind of organized weekend activities, and the accompanying guilt that I’m thrilled about that because I’m lazy as hell and really, college marching band killed any desire of ever being outside in inclement weather ever again amen.
940 Saturdays of frustration because I’m failing these kids.
940 Saturdays of head-shaking WTF.
940 Saturdays of wishing I had more patience, more skills, more resources.
By noon I was ready to start drinking, doing the hiding/rocking/thumb sucking trilogy until Monday morning came and maybe things would be a bit better. It was non-stop bickering and refereeing and pure unadulterated sound from the two youngest creatures in the house. Banging in the upstairs hallway, superballs (I.Hate.The.Dentist.For.Giving.These.Out.) pinging all over god’s creation, bickering bickering bickering. I ordered them outside to pick up dog poop, no lunch until the yard was clean.
Lunch. Bickering. Bickering. Bickering. Desperately trying to work on something, my attention pulled a thousand different directions by the bickering, all but banging my forehead to the keyboard, irritated by every interruption.
Until I had to give A the Heimlich.
Just a tiny piece of taquito, infinitesimal. Caught in his windpipe. And all I could think was, “Dear god, am I doing this right? I’m doing this wrong. He’s so tiny. I’m going to hurt him. I’m going to hold my child as he chokes to death in my arms. This can’t be happening. No.”
And it was out.
The tears flowed, the adrenaline slowed, the moment passed.
940 Saturdays. So many, so many full of frustrations and guilt…and yet so few.