Last night Demetri and I were presented with a unique and amazing opportunity. A once in a lifetime opportunity even. Picture it: Demetri’s mom, Nancy, (who flew into town yesterday) and my parents were all sitting out on the porch. They asked if Zoey and Gilmore could go out and sit with them. So they were all out there and Demetri and I were in here. Alone. With only the cat to take care of. So we did what any self-respecting parents would do. We locked all the doors. Or rather I locked all the doors while Demetri laughed manically.
But the grandparents didn’t notice. They were too busy applauding Zoey’s very existence and telling each other how genius she is. My dad has been known to say with total sincerity, “Look at that! Zoey is holding her sippy cup upside down. That child is AMAZING.”
So while the grandparents continued to not notice us, we lounged on the couch, soaked up the silence, and, wait for it, HELD HANDS. It was one of the few times that 3 or more of our collective hands were not busy wiping a snotty nose, changing a diaper, making dinner, cleaning up some kind of mess, holding Zoey, or holding a beer.
And the grandparents continued to not notice. Demetri began to worry that if they ever did figure out the doors were locked that my parents would take Zoey back to their place and, not having room for a fourth in their small car, leave Nancy for dead in our back yard. I had to admit that it was a possibility. I mean, my parents adore Nancy, but Zoey is number one. Even I, their only daughter, am a very very distant second. We could both picture my parents loading Zoey into the car, waving goodbye to Nancy and saying, “Hope it doesn’t storm too bad tonight.”
My kind husband began to contemplate unlocking the doors. So I tackled him. And while I had him pinned to the ground I explained that SOMETIMES I DON’T WANT TO BE A MOM AND ALWAYS HAVE MY NEEDS BE LAST AND HAVE SOMEONE CLINGING TO MY PANTS FOR ATTENTION ATTENTION ATTENTION AND I CAN’T FEED MYSELF OR SLEEP OR PEE WHEN I WANT TO BECAUSE THIS OTHER LITTLE PERSON NEEDS ME ALL THE TIME AND SOMETIMES IT MAKES ME FEEL LIKE I CAN’T BREATH AND SOMETIMES IT MAKES ME CRY BECAUSE IT’S SO HARD AND I CAN’T LEAVE THE ROOM WITHOUT A CERTAIN SOMEONE SCREAMING AND SOMETIMES I DON’T WANT TO SING ALL 8 MILLION VERSES OF MISS AMERICAN PIE TO GET HER TO GO TO SLEEP AND SOMETIMES I DON’T WANT TO CUT UP HER FOOD INTO 1000 LITTLE PIECES I JUST WANT TO EAT MY FOOD AND SOMETIMES I DON’T WANT TO CHANGE ANOTHER POOPY DIAPER OR STICK A THERMOMETER UP HER LITTLE BUTT OR GIVE HER A BATH OR CLIP HER NAILS OR READ THE PICTURE DICTIONARY ONE MORE TIME OR DO A MILLION OTHER THINGS THAT I AM SUPPOSED TO DO EVERY DAY AND THAT I AM SUPPOSED TO BE GOOD AT BUT OFTEN FEEL BAD AT AND AND AND AND.
In the end, we let Nancy back in because we love her. And we let Zoey in too because we can’t imagine life without her. We can vividly imagine a weekend without her, but not our life. So now we do what any self respecting parent does: keep going.