Friday, March 11, 2005

The Joys of Motherhood

I impressed myself last night. I was thinking about me and impressed myself. Of course it was one of those deals where sometimes what impresses you also makes you wonder what the hell you were thinking.

My week has consisted of:

Auburn Aries had swim class. I hustle my ass from work clear out to the burbs where we live and pick her up from school. We rush home so that she can change and run back out the door to class. We don’t actually get home until 8 p.m., 30 minutes before her bedtime and she still hasn’t eaten dinner.

In an attempt to weed through her schoolwork which all seemed like it was sent home at once, I found an assignment she had for a speech that was due the next day. Not just any speech, but a speech on Costa Rica. One that included a poster board with pictures and maps, etc.

While silently freaking out at the lack of a timeline and expressing aggravated disappointment toward her in my mind because she didn’t tell me about it until the last minute (and even then I didn’t find out from her), I immediately decided I was going to have to send a note to her teacher asking for an extension.

After AAries gets dressed for school we practice her spelling words for her test.

During the day, I started searching the web for Costa Rica fun facts that would pique the interest of her classmates. Okay, pique may be a bit strong but I didn’t want her report to be dry.

Tuesday afternoon, spoke to her teacher who indicated they would be giving reports through Friday. Then headed for C.C.’s for an hour.

Tuesday evening Aries and I continue to search the web and print off information.

Buy the poster board and select her topics and start forming her speech.

Put the poster board together. Cutting, gluing, giving advice. I help guide her while she writes her speech on index cards. Listen to her practice 9,000 times. Try to impress upon her that the speech wasn’t quite long enough. Listen to her tell me it is and that it’s no big deal.

Leave the house at 8:10 p.m. once we finish, so that we can run to Sears to buy her some summer clothes which are on-sale until Saturday but she’ll be at her Dad’s.

Power shop from 8:30 – 9:00. Check out at 9:05 hoping the sales clerk who just got out of diapers still has a sense of humor about missing her own bedtime. Race home because it’s past Aries bedtime. Get her to bed by 9:30 (she’ll be draggin’ ass in the morning).

Sit down on the couch at 9:42 with still a messy kitchen to clean and laundry to do so she has clothes to wear while at her Dad’s this weekend. (Never send new clothes to Dad’s house. Ever. Everything will come back shrunk or tinged blue).

Walk her into the school so that I can help carry everything in. Give her a kiss and a smile and tell her good luck.

Now, this may not seem like a lot to do. However, I stayed slammed with kid stuff all week while juggling my full-time job, cooking dinner during all this nightly chaos, managing her schedule, baths, bedtimes, attitude, packing lunches, arguing over what she’s not going to wear to school (she’s tall so short skirts don’t work for her – well, not without she has on spandex shorts or something under them which isn’t “cool”).

I realized this week, just how difficult being a parent is. I’ve always known it but this week we were truly slammed. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have a child with a handicap or a child who thrashes about and throws fits or that has special needs – those parents are way more slammed than I.

But I did realize, once again, that being a parent isn’t for sissies. While other people are enjoying romantic dinners or having sex or out having drinks with friends, I’m home trying to create a consistent, loving world for my daughter always trying to be her rock.

I wouldn’t change it for anything in this world. I sometimes think that if I knew about all of this stuff ahead of time, I probably wouldn't have had a kid. I just have to remember to forgive myself if the clutter on the coffee table or the kitchen counter isn’t all cleaned up or when the dishes sit in the sink overnight.

It’s been a packed week and I’m ready for Auburn Aries to go to her Dad’s freeing me up to enjoy some time in The Vortex tonight with “my boys.” I have a special chair waiting for me in Margaritaville. Hot Toddy, make sure there’s plenty of ice.

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