Mommy Can’t Work Because…

Boy was yesterday a real peach. Remember that mid-life crisis I was talking about a few days ago? Yesterday was a prime example of why I’m having one. I was up most of the night before with Sam, who just could not settle down to save her tiny little life. All night long she fussed and grunted and kicked and thrashed in the bed beside me. I tried nursing her, but she kept popping off and on. It’s not a comfortable way to spend the night, nursing a baby like that. I kept waking up to find Sam beating my chest with her tiny little fists as she screwed up her fat little face and wailed. “Mommy! I can’t sleep! If I can’t sleep, you can’t sleep either!”

Normally, after a night like that, Sam would be out cold all the next day. Not so yesterday. She continued to fuss and cry all day long, only taking little cat naps here and there. Cassie, of course, was all hyped up and raring to go as soon as the sun came up. In fact, I’d say she was up before anyone else, except that I never really went to sleep so it doesn’t quite count. As you can guess, I spent all day dragging after Cassie and hauling around a screaming Sam. We did make it to the YMCA, where I managed to get in 30 minutes on the elliptical machine without falling asleep. Then we came home, had lunch, and I tried to nurse a very fussy baby while Cassie jumped around the living room like a howler monkey. She made just about as much noise as one too. Once Sam was done popping on and off the breast, I decided I deserved a break and I trundled everyone into the car and headed off to the mall.

My excuse for going to the mall was to pick up the contact lenses I’d ordered last week, but I had a secondary mission as well. There’s a Barnes and Noble right next to the eyeglass place. I had this little fantasy of taking my well-behaved children with me to the bookstore, where I would spend half an hour or so browsing through the graphic novel section and then go to the café to grab a cup of coffee and sit in the café while Cassie munched quietly on a cookie and Sam dozed in the stroller. This little fantasy of mine should tell you exactly how sleep deprived I was yesterday. In my right mind, I would have known better than to hope for such a lovely little scenario, and I never would have bothered to try it.

There’s a play area in the mall, sandwiched right between the eyeglass store and the Barnes and Noble’s, so I decided to let Cassie run around there for a while and burn off her excess energy. I sat zombie-like on the bench for thirty minutes, dreaming of my coffee, while Cassie ran around screaming with other kids. Sam sat quietly in my arms watching her sister. It was the only time yesterday she was calm. When thirty minutes was up, I told Cassie it was time to go. I did that little count down thing you’re supposed to do – “Cassie, you’ve got ten minutes left.” “Okay, Cassie, just five more minutes before we leave.” “Three minutes, Cass, then we’re going to the bookstore.” “Cassie, it’s time to go!”

The countdown thing doesn’t work very well, in my opinion. Actually, I think it just outright sucks. Cassie acknowledged every announcement with an “Okay, Mommy!” But when it came time to leave, she had a complete meltdown. I had to pick her up off the floor and shove her shoes onto her feet because she refused to do it herself. Then I had to drag her screaming from the play area. It was already 2:30 by that point, which is normally about the time I try to settle her down for a nap. I was really determined to go to the bookstore though, and it was only a few feet away from the play area. Cassie finally calmed down when I told her she’d get a treat from the café. Unfortunately, Sam only remained quiet long enough to let me browse for five minutes before she started to howl. So I ended up rushing Cassie through the café, grabbing a couple of fruit smoothies and a cookie to go, and then taking the kids home where I could nurse Sam while Cassie enjoyed her treat. God knows, I wasn’t going to subject everybody in the bookstore to my kids when I could barely tolerate them myself.

So my dreams of a quiet, relaxing afternoon kind of went up in smoke. This was quickly followed by my dreams of a quiet, relaxing work period also going up in smoke. I’m trying to write a synopsis for my really gay fantasy novel so I can send it out to a publisher by the end of this month. It’s rough going, trying to reduce 82,000 words to just a few pages. I was really hoping to get at least an hour to spend on it yesterday afternoon. However, while Cassie went down okay for her nap, once again Sam wouldn’t settle. Every time I tried putting her in her bassinette, she had a huge spit-up so I had to pick her up and clean her off. I finally got her down around 4:30ish. Then fifteen minutes later, Cassie woke up, skipped into the bedroom and demanded we go downstairs and play Little People again.

I just wanted to cry. The moment she walked in, I knew my work time was over. I spent the next few hours playing dollies, nursing babies, reheating dinner and otherwise dragging myself through the daily grind of mommy-hood. Michael called at six to let me know he wasn’t coming home for dinner. In fact, he didn’t get home until I put both kids down for bed. He’s got this paper he has to write for a conference. The same conference he’s leaving for in two weeks. The one where he gets to go to Colorado for seven days and I get to stay home and take care of the kids all by myself. Keep watching the news around that time. I’m sure right after Michael gets back, you’re gonna read about a homicide in the headlines.

About Cynical Woman

Cartoonist, Artist, Geek, Evil Crafter, Girl Scout Troop Leader and Writer. Also, a zombie. I haven't slept in I don't know how long.
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