Wine me, please. Pour me a gigantic glass and leave the bottle here on the table. I’ll take care of the rest. Thanks!
This is what I wish I had said to my husband as I sat down at the table to write and he walked over to the couch to read. Today was just one of those days. Captain No Naps McScreams (my daughter’s given name) was a handful. There was a whole lot of throwing of things (by her) and screaming and crying (by me). She refused to nap and by 3:00 was running through my parent’s kitchen shoving her fingers so far down her throat that she puked. All. Over. Their. Floor. Then when I picked her up to try and calm her down, she leaned over and bit me as hard as she could on the shoulder.
Sorry, I don’t think “bit” does what she did justice. She clamped down rabid dog style and refused to let go.
There was some inappropriate language on my part, and some graceful turning of a deaf ear by my grandmother. Or maybe she was just in agreement and also thought my daughter was acting like a dickhead. Either way, she was kind enough not to give me hell for my language or for speaking about her great grand baby that way.
Once I was finally home for the day I sat down excited to write, but I couldn’t. Instead I keep looking out of the corner of my eye at Captain No Naps McScreams on the monitor while she finally slept (she passed out two minutes into our ride home). Every minute or so I look over and check to see that she’s still asleep. I need her to sleep long enough to allow me to recharge my batteries. I also need my husband to stop watching Comedy Bang Bang behind me because the horribleness is distracting (man we have different tastes in comedy). Mostly though, I need some me time.
Ugh, “me time”. I hate that I just wrote that. I also hate the term “self-care”. It makes me think of washing your genitals. It’s something I imagine you would hear on a 1970’s high school health class video. One with a man in a suit addressing the students. “And don’t forget about self-care, Billy. Now that you’re a man you’ll need to make sure you use both soap and water on your armpits. Don’t forget your balls either.”
I assume that’s what school was like in the 70’s. A lot of talking to boys about their armpits and balls, and girls about their monthly visitor and how to dart a sock.
In the real word, when they talk about self-care they are talking about taking time to take care of yourself. The whole, “put on your own oxygen mask first” thing. In theory that makes loads of sense and I get it. We can’t care for others if we’re not taking care of ourselves. In reality it’s a hard practice to put into place when there is just so much to do. I really want curl up on the couch with a bottle (or three, I think three is a good number for today) of wine and start watching season four of House of Cards.
While I would love to be drinking wine and watching TV and pretending that I went into politics (a sometimes aspiration of mine), I can’t. I’d even settle for sitting here at the kitchen table tossing back glasses of wine like they were water while I write, but I can’t do that either. I can’t even concentrate on writing right now because my eye keeps wandering to my daughter’s monitor. When I’m not checking to make sure she’s still asleep (please, dear lord, let her sleep), I get distracted by my floor and how badly it needs to be cleaned. Even though I just spent my Saturday morning on my hands and knees with a wash cloth, bucket, and a ton of determination and cleaned the entire first floor of the house while my daughter napped. I went behind it with a towel and buffed it dry so that there were no streaks.
Honestly, that was totally worth it. My floor had never looked better than it did for the two hours that my daughter napped and my husband worked. Nobody noticed and it was back to being a hot mess of foot prints and dirt by that afternoon. But for those two hours I had to unbutton my shirt because my chest was so puffed out with pride at how pristine my floor looked.
I also have a basket of clean, folded laundry that I just can’t seem to walk into the bedroom to put away. It taunts me as I sit here, “You forgoooooot about me. I’m still on the coffee table. I belong in a drawwwwwwwer.” I have some not so clean laundry up in the washer that, at this point, needs to make another trip down Clean Clothes Lane. I am also about 90% finished Kon Marieing (yes, I drank the Kon Marie Kool-Aide, but we can talk about that another time) the house. That last 10% that I have left to do haunts my dreams. This is just the stuff that needs to be done today. Tomorrow there will be even more. The floor will be dirtier. That lone basket will have become two. The laundry I didn’t finish today will still need to be done, as well tomorrow’s regularly scheduled laundry. There will also be dishes to do, food to make, and a host of other things that need to be done. And, that little cherub (she never needs to know that I called her a dickhead), will probably be on a totally new and confusing nap schedule. Because that’s how she rolls right now.
So where is the time for self-care? If there is so much to get done today, and pushing any of that off just doubles my work for tomorrow, then where is the time for me? Maybe it lives in the Magical Land of Tomorrow.
The place where I always plan to start walking every day. Tomorrow.
The day that I will start eating more vegetables? That’s tomorrow.
When am I going to pluck that weird lone hair that grows out of my chin? Say it with me now, tomorrow.
The irony is not lost on me. In the time I have been complaining about how busy I am I could have been doing something productive. Something fun. I could have taken a walk, eaten some broccoli, and plucked all the hairs on my face. Maybe being a dickhead is a learned behavior.
So here’s what I am going to do. I’m going to go wash my metaphoric armpits and balls with both soap and water, put my butt on the couch, and ask my husband to bring me a glass (nay, a bottle) of wine.
Or at least I was, but Captain Doesn’t Nap Long Enough McHungry just woke up.
Oh well, maybe tomorrow…