Remember last time Michael took a business trip and left me home all alone with an infant and a preschooler? Remember our little discussion about Blow-Off Day? Well, how about today we talk about Blow-Off Week.
It had not been my intention to completely blow off work, exercise, play dates, house cleaning and all the rest of my daily grind this week, but due to circumstances way beyond my control, everything I had planned to do has gone right out the window. See, Michael left for Alabama on Monday. My parents, who spent a week riling up the grandkids, left yesterday. Sam developed a fever on Sunday and has done nothing but nurse since then, and Cassie has been her usual exuberant, tantrum-prone self. And me? I’m just plain wiped out.
Michael won’t be home until sometime Friday evening. In between now and then, I somehow have to keep Cassandra occupied and satisfy a ravenous baby. Both tasks are impossible. Attempting to accomplish some meaningful work at the same time is even more so. I had thought that I might catch a break last night. I nursed Sam early and then gave Cassie plenty of crayons, glitter pens and construction paper along with instructions to draw scary ghosts for our Halloween decorations. I figured a well-fed baby plus an occupied preschooler would equal free time for me. Naturally, that plan backfired.
Cassie, seated at table surrounded by a mountain of craft supplies: “Mommy, I can’t draw ghosts.”
Me, reaching for my drawing pad in hopes of doing some sketching: “Of course you can, sweetie. You drew lots of ghosts yesterday.”
Cassie: “No I didn’t. I can’t draw ghosts.”
Sam, lying on her full, distended belly on the play mat: “Waaaah!”
Me, pulling pencils, erasers, and a sharpener from my art box: “You’re not hungry Sam. Cassie, you drew ghosts for Grandmama just last night, remember?”
Cassie, pushing her construction paper away: “That was ghosts for Grandmama. I can’t draw ghosts now.”
Sam, rolling over onto her back and discovering she is now stuck there: “Waaaaaaaaaah! Waaaaah!”
Me, pushing the paper back toward Cassie: “Sam, you just ate. You’re FINE, trust me. Cassie, why not draw more ghosts for Grandmama and we’ll mail them to her?”
Cassie, dropping the paper on the floor: “I can’t. I need markers.”
Me, pencil in hand, ready to sketch: “I don’t know where your markers are right now, sweetie. Use the glitter pens I gave you. You like the glitter pens.”
Cassie, pushing the glitter pens away: “I want markers. Miss Erica let us play with markers in class today.”
Sam, scrunching up her face and turning beet red: “WAAAAAAAAAH! WAAAAAAH!! WAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!”
The conversation halts as a gargantuan fart explodes from Sam’s dinky little butt. The resulting shockwaves are strong enough to knock me senseless while simultaneously launching Sam into the air. She lands in my lap and grabs at my left breast. I regain consciousness just in time to prevent her from gnawing a hole through my shirt to get at my nipple. I can barely fend her off long enough to get my shirt up and my nursing bra open.
Cassie, ignoring my current plight: “We have markers in the craft bin, Mommy. Can you go get them for me?”
Me, as Sam proceeds to latch on and Hoover all the milk from my body; the suction is so intense, it’s a wonder I don’t implode: “My hands are a little full right now, sweetie. Could you please just use the glitter pens?”
Cassie, rolling her eyes: “Mommy, I’m an artist! You just don’t understand.”
Me, wearily eyeing my drawing pad which will remain untouched for yet another evening: “Trust me, Cass. I understand far better than you think.”
So that’s how the week has gone so far, and how I expect it will continue to go. I have plans to write and draw, but realize that I’m probably going to have to chuck all of that at a moment’s notice. Oh well. It’s Blow-Off Week. I’ll just keep doing the best I can.
I still haven’t made it to the scanner yet to scan in my cartoon from this past weekend. However, I managed to get this done on the computer yesterday. It’s a portrait of Cassandra. I think it’s a rather stunning likeness.
Flash illustration of Cassandra Jane, 24 October 2006.
Blow-Off Week – Two Frustrated Artists And A Hungry Baby
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